The topic of abortion has been a highly debated and highly controversial issue before America was even founded. There are many aspects of the debate and many angles that can be taken. In order to understand, and to form an opinion on the topic of abortion a person must be informed about the History of abortion, the methods of abortion performed today, the potential side affects of abortion, and the two different and equally debatable sides that are taken today. These are all very important issues to be informed about before making a decision on where you stand.
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Abortion is not a particularly new issue or practice and is not exclusively concentrated on American culture. The first record of abortion dates back to 2600 BC, where the first abortion-causing drug was produced. Sometime after this recipe was created the Egyptians used it for contraceptive pessaries. This abortion recipe was neither healthy, nor effective; one of the main ingrediance in this very unscientific recipe was crocodile dung. After some time the Egyptians and many other cultures perfected the process of abortion, and in the 4th century AD St. Augustine laid down catholic rights allowing abortion up to 80 days for female fetuses, and up to 40 days for male fetuses.
St. Augustines decree is very significant in the history of abortion because it is the first time that the church has gotten involved with the issue of abortion and actually gave their own opinion. In 1564, the Italian anatomist Fallopius, founder of the fallopian tube, publicized condoms as a disease-avoiding device. In 1564, Pope sixtus forbad all forms of abortion. Directly after the decree of Pope sixtus Pope Gregory XIV withdraws Pope sixtuss decree and allows abortions to be performed freely.
In 1803 Some time after the Catholic Churchs rain, Great Britain decreed that abortion would now be charged as a misdemeanor. During colonial times abortion was legal before quickening, or about the fourth month of pregnancy, historic colonial home medical guides gave recipes for bringing up the messes with herbs that could be grown in anyones back yard. Unfortunately these recipes were fatal and many women died. The first statutes preventing abortion were not actually against abortion. These laws were in fact against poison used in the home, or poison control.
In the 1840s the abortion business was booming, including the sale of illegal drugs that were prohibited by the poison statutes that were mentioned earlier. The sales of illegal drugs and of abortions were advertised openly in the media. To give you an example of how big the business was, the most popular abortionist was Madame Restell; she would openly provide abortion to any women who wanted one. She had offices that she operated out of in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. She also had traveling sales people that promoted her famous female monthly pill.
Oddly enough in a historical twist the one group that was petitioning for abortion to be outlawed was the American medical association, this was an association of physicians. The very group that is now performing a majority of abortions that go on today. The American medical associations crusade against abortion was not entirely selfless. The reason the association decided to crusade against abortion was because they saw the white American birth rate declining and saw the immigrates birth rate moving up.
In that day the economic status and ethnic heritage of the women receiving the abortions were very different from today, the average women who was receiving an abortion were upper class to middle class Caucasian women who were considered Americans. Horatio R. Storer, anti-abortion leader of the cause asked in 1868. This is a question our women must stated; upon loins depends the future destiny of the nation. The womens rights movement also opposed abortion, basing their hopes that women could time the frequency that they had sex, and that they could regulate their own motherhood.
In late 1869 these two groups won their fight against abortion. The United States of America for the first time spoke directly against the issue of abortion. The congress wrote a law that declared abortion was to be illegal in all U. S territories, these laws would stay intact until 1973 (Pollitt). In the famous case or Roe vs. Wade, On Monday January 22nd 1973, 7-2-majority vote in favor of allowing first trimester abortion to be legal in the United States, the decision was permitted to be decided between the women and her physician.
The father was not allowed to have say in the matter if the mother did not desire it. The court also ruled that abortion in the 2nd trimester of the pregnancy was allowed if it was required to maintain the health of the mother. The court went on to rule that abortion could be performed in the third trimester of the pregnancy if the mothers life was at risk (Hopeclinic. com). Today the abortion issue is hotter than ever. Abortion is a hot topic at every election debate whether for president or local office.
With republicans running all branches of the government hopeful pro-life supporters are rallying to make abortion illegal. There are many other points to abortion that affect someones decision when choosing to go through a pregnancy or to terminate. Types of abortion are just another aspect to consider when making this momentous decision. There are numerous types of abortions that can be performed. Two things decide what kind of abortion will be administered; the condition of the child and the condition of the mother decide the type of abortion that is performed.
Dr. Robert Baird, in his book, The ethics of Abortion, has divided methods of abortion into three categories: those that invade the uterus and kill the child by instruments, those that kill the preborn child by administration of drugs and then induce labor, and the last is those that invade the uterus by abdominal surgery. Before any procedure can take place dilation of the uterus must be performed. The uterus is normally dilated by manually increasing the size of the cervix using metallic curved instruments, called dilators. Studies conducted by UCLA show that this procedure would normally cause permanent damage.
Rather than the cervix stretching naturally over a period of hours as it does in natural birth, it instead stretches within seconds at the hand of the abortionist. Once the dilation has taken place then the abortion will proceed. There are seven popular types of abortion that are being used in abortion clinics across the country. I will cover all seven types in chronological order according to the babys progress. The first method of abortion and most popular method that are being used today are called suction aspiration. Suction aspiration is administered during the first 12 weeks of the babys life.
The mother is first given General anesthesia and her cervix is quickly dilated. A suction curette is inserted into the womb. This instrument is connected to a vacuum machine. The vacuum suction is at least 29 times more powerful than a home vacuum. The vacuum tears the placenta and fetus into small pieces and disposes it into a bottle where it is then disposed of (Lewis 46). The second type of abortion is called Dilation and curettage. This process is also performed when the baby is at 12 weeks or less. This method is not too different that the suction aspiration method.
The only difference between the two methods is that before the suction tube is inserted the abortionist uses a knife like object called the curette which cuts the baby into pieces allowing the fetus to be sucked out of the womb easier than before (Lewis 48). Dilation and evacuation is an abortion procedure that is performed up to 18 weeks of gestation. This procedure is a lot like the D&C procedure. But instead of using a hooked shape knife a pair of forceps is inserted in to the womb. The forceps grasp a part the child and then are trusted back and fourth repeatedly until the child is totally dismembered.
Usually the skull must be crushed and the spine must be broken. After this procedure has taken place the body parts are removed from the womb (Lewis 50). After the child has been in the mother for at least 16 weeks (four months) other methods must be used if D&E is not an option. Salt poisoning is a method that is becoming more widespread. This method takes place when enough fluid has built up inside the womb. A needle is inserted through the mothers abdomen; a strong salt solution is inserted into the babys sac. The baby then swallows the fluid and is poisoned by it.
It usually takes about an hour for the child to die, after the child has died the mother then goes into labor. She will either give birth to a dead child or she will give birth to a child that is dying. If the child is born alive he or she will be left on a table to die, when the child dies the body is taken and disposed of. There have been quite a few instances where the child has lived through it and was later adopted (Lewis 42). At six months if the child has not been aborted yet a procedure called Prostaglandin chemical abortion is administered.
This form of abortion uses chemicals produced by the Upjohn pharmaceutical Co. When these chemicals are injected into the mother in causes her uterus to contract violently and force the child out. These contractions are so much more violent than contractions that happen during labor that it almost instantly kills the child, normally by breaking its neck. If the mother has decided that she wants to abort during the last three months of pregnancy more than likely a hysterectomy or caesarean section will be performed. The process is similar to a caesarean delivery.
The abortionist begins the process by cutting through the wall of the abdomen, and cutting the umbilical cord while the baby is in the womb. When the umbilical cord is cut the childs oxygen supply is also cut causing the baby to suffocate; the baby will die normally in a few minutes and then removed from the womb and disposed of (Lewis 56). The last and most physical process of abortion is called partial birth abortion. This type of abortion can be performed all the way up to the end of the pregnancy term. The abortionist begins by reaching his hand into the womb and grabbing the babys leg.
He or she then pulls the baby into the birth canal, and then the abortionist delivers the entire baby except the head. When the body is delivered a tool resembling scissors is jabbed into the back of the babys head to enlarge the skull. Once all this takes place the abortionist enlarges the tool and removes it from the childs skull. A suction catheter is then inserted into the hole that was made by the scissor like tool, and the brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is removed and disposed of.
According to UCLA. u there are two kinds of side effects that result after an abortion takes place. The two kinds of side effects are Physical and Psychological. The following is a list of side effects, keep in mind when reading these that all women that have gone through an abortion do not experience these side effects. Physical effects could include: Intense pain, Sterility, bleeding, perforation of the uterus, laceration of the cervix, peritonitis, shock, increased risk of breast cancer, passing blood clots, death, miscarriages, entopic pregnancies.
Psychological effects that can be a result from an abortion are: Guilt, obsession with baby, loss of interest, night mares, regret and remorse, hatred, feelings of exploited, anger and rage, lower self esteem mourning, suicidal impulses. To make a decision about your stand on the topic of abortion, you must be informed about both sides. There are two sides of the abortion issue, pro-choice (for abortion), pro-life (against abortion). It is essential that everyone have an idea of which side that they stand on. The pro-choice stand is centered on womens right to choose.
They believe that only a woman can get pregnant so only a woman can have an abortion, they feel that since the child is not able to live on its own than it is not yet living. Pro-choice supporters support this argument by going on to say that a fertilized egg is a potential life, based on scientific evidence the fetus is not viable, or able to live outside of the mother. They say that it is not a person but merely a potential life (Rudy 12). Another angle on the pro-choice view is that if abortion was deemed illegal than it would be a lot more dangerous than if it was legal.
According to the world health organization 40-60 million abortions take place each year. 20 million of these are in countries where abortion is illegal opting women to undergo back street abortions. Due to the unsafe conditions of back street abortions 100,000 women die each year, and leave many others permanently injured. Pro-choice supporters argue that whether or not abortion is legal it will still continue to be practiced. Pro-choice supporters also say that there are many justified reasons for ending a pregnancy.
They argue that many mothers are too old or too young to handle the responsibility of raising a child, they also say that many mothers are single and lack the emotional capacity to care for a child. Another reason explained by pro-choice supporters is that the child will be born with disabilities and will not be able to lead a happy, productive life, the mother could have a serious disease that could be made worse by a pregnancy. Pro-choice supporters continue arguing that some families have hereditary diseases and do not want to pass them on to offspring.
But the most frequent stand argued is that if the child is a product from rap or incest than the mother has a 100% right to terminate the pregnancy. Pro-life advocates disagree strongly with all arguments that pro-chiocers put on the playing field. The basis of the pro-life argument is their concern for the rights of the fetus. Pro-lifers believe the fetus to be a living person with an equal right to life as all other people enjoy. It is the mission of the pro-life force to speak for those who dont have a voice. Often, it is not uncommon for pro-life arguments to come across accusing the mother of being selfish.
They play on the idea that we live in a me society where women opt for abortion over changing their lifestyle for a child (Baird 43). The pro-life issue is based on when life begins for a child. Pro-choice advocates argue that life does not begin until the child is born. But according to pro-lifers, it is when conception occurs and there is a fusion of genetic codes that is the moment when an individuals life begins. It has its own unique genetic code, from each 23 chromosomes of both its parents and now contains all DNA necessary to grow into an independent, conscious human being.
From here stems the point that not only is the fetus an individual, but it should be guaranteed the right to live (Baird 57). The pro-life group suggests that embryo and fetus refer simply to stages of development, just as infant, adolescent and toddler do. They are terms used to describe levels of growth that a human passes through, thereby giving an unborn equal due respect as a born human. The word fetus can be traced back to the Latin meaning of young one or little child, both of which describe people, rather than potential people (Baird 41).
Both pro-life and pro-choice agree that there are problems in the world today that and that there are many social problems that affect children today. Both sides also agree that a woman has the ultimate right to choose what she does to her body. Ultimately, the entire complex issue comes down to one question. Is the fetus a person? Each side is focused on a different topic and renders it impossible to reach consensus. No progress is made because we are not talking about the same thing. On the one side, pro-abortionists prefer to discuss choice and to dwell on all the social problems inherent in an unwanted child.
Believing it is not a person, and simply part of the womans body and subject to her control, any attempt to diminish that control would therefore be an infringement of her rights. On the other side, anti-abortionists are primarily interested in protecting the life of a child. Believing the fetus is a person, one is obligated to protect it even if deliminating the actions of the woman carrying it is required. Basically, pro-abortion focuses on a womans rights and anti-abortion focuses on a fetus rights (Rudy 128).
Religions have often sought to provide a solution to this pivotal question, and they too have swayed towards particular positions. Religious beliefs and organizations are primarily concerned with the sanctity of human life, however, are caught between defining whose life and what is life, whether it be that of the mother or fetus. In further confusion, during the past century, the increased diversity of traditions and practices within religious communities has led to a diversity of approaches to the abortion issue. The fact is that even the church can not decide what side to take a stand on.
The fact is like many other issues, this is one that no one will ever totally agree on. You need to decide where you stand and what you represent. In order to understand, and to form an opinion on the topic of abortion I hope that I have informed you about the major angles and views of abortion. The History of abortion, the types of abortion performed today, the potential side affects of abortion, and the two different and equally debatable sides of abortion are all things that you must understand to choose a side to defend concerning abortion.