Abortion: Morality and Society

Morality is often questioned when there is an opposing ideal. The problem with morality is that it is not black and white, considering that most speculation concerning certain topics is. There are a lot of variables at play, and not many people conduct proper research regarding these matters. One of the hot topics that fuels constant debate is abortion. People often confuse this debate as being a liberal or conservative matter, not to say it isn’t, but it has more to do with personal belief rather than what political ideals you hold. Besides the political standings there are also religious groups that see abortion in a negative light. This is such a demanding topic because of one question: What is the value of human life? This display provokes a fruitful exchange of ideas, in the past too much of this exchange has missed the point, and that is still relevant today. So, how do we provide our peers with factual information and insight? Is it possible to use someone’s beliefs as a way to educate them? I do not believe it is, but I am only one person, and although some people may agree with my outlook, others will not. The truth is that the pro-life stance does not depend on religion.  The logical case for life is built entirely upon premises grounded in the Constitution and science. Not only are we capable of creating life, but we are able to create the world around us. The choices we make are relevant to every cause we have in life, that included is child-birth. There are many pros and cons, and in the end, which comes out on top? If the fetus is a human person then abortion should be illegal; if the fetus is not a human person then abortion should be legal.  The second is that the fetus should be considered a human person.  Together these statements comprise the pro-life conviction that abortion should be illegal.We derive the first conclusion from the Constitution.  Foremost in the famous triptych of rights enshrined in the Fifth Amendment is the right to life: “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In our society it is very easy for our constitution to be manipulated. Facts, on the other hand, cannot be manipulated. They can be falsified, or stretched, but an actual fact cannot be misinterpreted. There are many reasons to agree with or oppose abortion. I personally believe in the right to choose, and that was solidified after I took the time to look over facts and figure out where I stand morally. It is important to emphasize this point because pro-choicers regularly justify legalized abortion on the grounds of “women’s rights.”  However important it may be to safeguard the freedom of all citizens to pursue a lifestyle of their choice, this freedom cannot be so unlimited that it takes precedence over the innocent’s right to life.

Women from different backgrounds get abortions. It has nothing to do with the status-quo, although there is a higher percentage of women with lower incomes that participate in this procedure. Forty-two percent of women that have abortions have incomes below the federal poverty level, which is an annual income of $10,830. That is nearly half of all women. Eighteen percent of women are under the age of eighteen. And shockingly enough, twenty-eight percent of women that undergo the procedure are Christians. Besides the economic aspect there are reasons that are common, such as: Responsibilities of parenthood and family life, interference with work or a career, and schooling. It is easily justified to a person who believes in pro-choice when they put these factors into account. Someone who is pro-life may disagree. It is easier for someone pro-life to say, “I am pro-choice, you have the choice to wear a condom, you have the choice to not have sex.” That is actually quoted from a family friend who opposes my belief. Thankfully we can express our thoughts in an intellectual fashion. Sadly that is not always the case, but indifference is what you can expect when debating a subjective topic. And if both ideas are not discussed and fought for we are contradicting the principles our country was founded upon. Our right to choose and have freedom is what we are founded on. It is one of our liberties and is the reason we have this right today. In the article, Psychosocial Aspects of Abortion, one quote read, “…The concentrated research of effort recently accorded to induced abortion. The distinction is, of course, that spontaneous abortion is regarded as an involuntary, physiological process, whereas induced abortion is both a voluntary act and, according to interpretation, a freedom for the woman or threat to establish social institutions.” (Psy 1)

Other than personal beliefs, there are statistics that are very reassuring. The safety of abortion cannot be disputed. The risk of abortion complications is minimal. There is fewer than 0.3% of abortion patients that experience complications that may require hospitalization. Pregnancies in the first trimester have shown to offer virtually no long-term risks, that including: Infertility, ectopic pregnancy (an abnormal pregnancy that occurs outside the womb), miscarriage, or birth defects. There have also been studies that have concluded that there is no association between abortion and breast cancer. Other studies have ruled out other forms of cancers and the state of a women’s mental health. There is the possibility of having complications the longer the length of the pregnancy. With all of that in mind it shows that abortion, which may seem immoral, is safe under the right circumstances. For someone who is pro-choice this information is very assuring, but for someone who opposes abortion at all costs this information means nothing. All in all, these are only facts that help guide a person through the possibility of abortion. The facts presented may not be humored by an opposition, but they are facts nonetheless.

Both pillars of the pro-life thesis that abortion should be illegal are vindicated solely on the authority of science and the Constitution.  Science is clear that a human fetus is a living member of the species homo sapiens.  Individually, a sperm and an egg are living cells; but when they are fused together they acquire the characteristics (growth, maintenance, etc.) that biology assigns to an independent living organism.  Therefor it is the moment of conception that marks the beginning of a new human organism and therefore the beginning of personhood and the rights that come with it. The debate over the legality of abortion, then, reduces to the question of fetal personhood, and the most reasonable definition of a person is a living human organism. This is where a conflict of interest derives. If it is illegal to commit murder, wouldn’t abortion be considered murder in itself? That is a reason I do not find this idea to make sense or hold any justice. I am not against the death penalty, and someone that agree with me shouldn’t be as closed-minded as they are. There has to be a middle ground, but for right now we are still in constant debate.

With all of the statistics and different opinions involved, with the constant debate continuously appearing in the news, after all that is brought to our attention by politicians, is it safe to ask one question? Is there a correct answer? I cannot answer that question, but I can give my stance on the matter. I believe there are too many instances where abortion is justified. Whether that be rape, complications during pregnancy, or a miscarriage that is not discharged. I think our society is moving into a new revelation where they are able to justify many behaviors that are new because of how fast we are moving as a whole species. Everything we develop in is and will constantly change. Thirty years ago in classrooms and this topic was still as important, children were asked to right and express their views, and their reports and papers were written in pen and ink. I am typing this on  a computer. If given that the percentage of under-age pregnancies were to keep a consistent rise would that become the norm- would it be normal? The whole argument could die out and become extinct, or it could live on and make a comeback. Pro-life seems to me to be a contradict. It does not seem right for some pro-life supporters to deem capital punishment feasible. The argument is how you can justify the life a human versus the development on a fetus. They both are alive, yes, but one is alive and breathing while the other is being brought into our world. Neither is justified, but we have a system. We have a system that allows self-induced abortion illegal, just how we have a legal system can give a sentence of death for a capital punishment. This may seem like a game of good and evil, but it’s not. It’s about our choices and our morality. We decide what is right and there will always be a person, a group, that see it a different way. What do you believe in? What are your morals?

Works Cited

Fact on induced Abortion in the United States.” Incidence Of Abortion, Jan, 22 Mar 2011. Web. Jan 2011

“”Psychosocial Aspects of Abortion.” A Review of Issues and Needed Research, 2011, Web. 1976

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