I am posting this for several reasons. 1) I believe there needs to be a central, mutifaceted write-up on what pro-lifers stand for here and whether you agree or not, this is actually more of an educational write-up on the pro-life beliefs. 2) People have told me that this is a well-written paper and I would like all my E2 comrades to judge for themselves. I believe you are all excellent writers and can help me perfect my craft. 3) I really, really want to.
On January 22nd, 1973, the Supreme Court made a decision that would ultimately affect the entire country. A pregnant woman wanted to get an abortion, but under Texas laws she was unable to do so legally, unless her life was in danger. An immense battle then erupted between constitutional rights and moral beliefs. Roe vs. Wade has since divided our country down the middle, or at least widening the divide between the religious right and the liberal left. Though it must be pointed out that not all right-wingers are religious and not all left-wingers are liberal. The Supreme Court decided that it was unconstitutional to deprive Ms. Roe (whose real name is Norma McCorvey) of her right to have an abortion. Over 30 years later, Norma McCorvey (Crossing Over Ministry) has changed her view and is now fighting to reverse the law she helped put into motion.
In this paper I hope to show you the true story of what an abortion is and what the consequences are of choosing one. My position on the sanctity of life is firmly grounded in the belief that every life serves a purpose and that no life, whether just beginning or near its end, should be forced to not have the opportunity to live. I approach this issue as a young male who has never had to experience pregnancy or the decisions that most women face, but I do know several women of various ages, some mothers, and I have asked different women from all walks of life their stance on this issue. I also have gathered information from various sources; mainly the Internet.
Let me present to you some statistics (Alan Guttmacher Institute):
In 54 countries abortion is legal and in 97 countries abortions is illegal.
46 million abortions are performed each year. A little under half of those are illegal.
In America, 1.3 million abortions are performed each year.
These numbers are staggering to me. If these numbers were applied to adults, it would be like wiping out a fifth of the United States people.
The main argument between those who are mostly for abortion (called Pro-Choice) and those who are mostly against abortion (called Pro-Life), is when life actually begins, whether it is at conception or at birth. I believe that life begins at conception, when the sperm meets the egg and the cells begin to multiply and grow within the womb. Scientifically this is when life begins, because the unborn child is growing. To deny that would be denying our own natural process, because even outside the womb, we continue to grow. Even premature babies continue to grow.
There are different types of abortions and many of them are disgusting procedures. I will briefly discuss them. If you have a weak stomach, you might want to skip the next few paragraphs.
At 6-16 weeks, when the child is developing eyes and ears, the operation most commonly used is vacuum suction. With this method, a tube is inserted into the cervix and all of the fetal tissue and placenta is sucked into a jar and thrown away. The unborn child is often torn apart by the force of the suction.
At 5-7 weeks, Mifepristone is used to create a chemical reaction with the placenta to basically starve the child to death. Suppositories are then given to expel the fetus.
Late term abortions (13-32 weeks), have many different methods. One is to pry open the cervix and take the child out, piece by piece until every part is out of the womb. The one that most people condemn and is used for the 32 week period is the “partial birth abortion”. In this procedure, the abortionist takes the baby out by the feet, with the head still partially in the uterus and makes a hole in the back of the skull with a utensil, then proceeds to suck the brains out with a vacuum suction.
All these methods would absolutely not be allowed if it were done illegally. The so called back alley abortionist would be put away for life. Or would he? These point to a double standard in our society. If someone went to congress and proposed a law that said it is legally “okay” to kill someone unwanted in your life as long as it is done by a licensed professional, they would be labeled as absolutely mad! But yet this is not far from what is going on in our very day and age. The only difference is that the victims can’t scream when you kill them.
Proponents of abortion also try to downplay the victims in this “silent holocaust”, by labeling the unborn child a “fetus” or “tissue”. Such methods were also used in American history, when the Indians were being wiped out, people called them “savages” to justify their extermination. This was also used to enslave Africans, by calling them “niggers” we degraded them to something less than human. Even scientists tried to prove that they were less then human and closer to apes by their skull structure.
There are several different reasons women have abortions, but the most common reason is because of an unwanted pregnancy.
Over 52% of women who have abortions are under 25.
25.5% want postpone childbearing.
21.3% cannot afford a baby.
14.1% the partner doesn’t want them to have a child.
12.2% are too young.
10.8% of women feel a child would disrupt their education or career.
These numbers are very saddening to me, because it shows how our society’s favor towards individualism and self-interest has reduced children to a burden and a liability. There are alternatives to abortion, such as adoptionand maternal assistance through crisis pregnancy organizations. Adoption can give barren couples, who desperately desire to, the chance to be parents. There are emotional and separation issues with such a decision, but the heart sacrifice is worth it. Though today there are more laws to give the biological mom more access to the child she birthed.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers are growing in numbers in the United States, but they are up against tough opposition with organizations like Planned Parenthood (a pro-choice clinic). CPCs give women of all ages and types of crisis pregnancy situations alternatives to abortion. Instead of giving an easy out to their problems, women are given choices which will benefit both them and the child. Also, single mothers who have difficulty raising a baby are given free diapers and mother training. Many CPCs have been criticized for some of the unorthodox tactics they sometimes use to persuade women to choose life over an abortion. These tactics include: videos of pre-birth babies being aborted, women having abortions and showing the psychological effects after the abortion on the woman. The critics may think of these as scare tactics, but sometimes the truth is scary.
The psychological effects of an abortion can be devastating. Many women have reported deep depression and withdrawl, sometimes even suicidal tendencies.
“Shortly after the abortion I went into a deep depression. I dropped out of school and fought with my parents. I had an abusive manipulating boyfriend and I was miserable. I didn't care about myself anymore. I was suicidal and cold hearted. Two months later, I got pregnant again (this time I was on the pill). I couldn't even imagine going through the pain and torment of another abortion. It was hard to tell my parents I was pregnant. They had never known (and still don't) about the previous pregnancy. When I told my father, he look at me with soulful eyes (and my father is NOT one to show any emotion) and said, "please don't do anything as horrendous as having an abortion". My stomach turned. My boyfriend threatened to kill me if I carried the child, then he threatened to kill me if I kept the child. All my "friends" (yeah, where are they now?) urged me to get an abortion. I talked to someone who used abortion as a form a birth control. The thought of her doing that made me want to puke!” (Gargaro, March 1999)
What about the women who have an abortion because of health problems? Let’s take a look at this side of the issue.
55% of Americans believe abortion should be legal only to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape. (USA Today, CNN)
3.3% of women have an abortion because of the health of the baby.
2.8% of women have an abortion because of their own health.
As you can see, the percentage is very low for health related abortions. I don’t believe government should at all force these women who have been put through so much trauma already, to give birth, but I do believe it is still wrong in a sense. As I stated before, every life serves a purpose and even a child that came in to being through rape must have the chance to live. And the woman who has the child has many different alternatives then abortion, as stated in the above paragraphs. As for women who could die in childbirth; I cannot speak for myself, being a male, but I have spoken to two women about this subject. One has a religious affiliation, whom I will refer to as Woman #1 and the other has no religious affiliation., whom I will refer to as Woman #2.
I asked both the question, “Is it right for a woman to have an abortion if her own health is at risk?”
Woman #1 answered, “I believe that it is still not. In the Bible, Jesus tells us that ‘greater love hath no man then that he lays down his life’. For a woman to give her own life so that her child can have one is the greatest sacrifice a mother can give.”
Woman #2 answered, “If I was raped or knew I could die in childbirth, I would sacrifice my own life for the baby. Because I know that I have had a full life and I wouldn’t want to deprive my child of having one either. It comes down to the question of, ‘What is important to you?’.”
I view contraceptives as not a form of abortion, unless it is a pill like “The Morning After Pill”, which itself is debatable as a contraceptive, because it stops the egg from being fertilized, but doesn't kill the fetus after fertilization. The Morning After Pill has been known to be accidently taken after the 72 hour period and aborted fertilized fetuses. There is a stark difference between preventing something from happening and then cleaning up what already has happened. Contraceptives don’t always work though. Many women become pregnant, while using contraceptives, so they try to justify an abortion by saying they didn’t want it in the first place. Even some married women do this. Such excuses are blatantly selfish and unjustified. Everyone in our society knows that sex is used for creating life, though we also use it for ‘recreation’ these days, which in itself isn't necessarily wrong, but wreckless pre-marital sexual activity can be. Sex is taken lightly by many people who think it won’t ever happen to them, until it does. The core problem in this debate over abortion is that we do not take enough steps to educate people as to how contraceptives fail, how sex is a sacred act, and that abstinence can be fulfilling. Abstinence in itself does not always work either, because many women have an abortion even when they are married for reason such as; not wanting more children, wanting children later in life, or their husband objects to having a child.
There have been many people who call them selves “pro-life”, who have bombed Planned Parenthood buildings and killed abortion doctors, but they do not represent the pro-life movement. I myself find it disgusting and hypocritical. Many Americans, 43% in fact, call themselves pro-life. 55% of Americans say that abortion should only be legal to protect the life of the mother, as opposed to 16% who say that abortion should be totally legal.
Many people have proposed solutions to this debate, but no one has come up with a proper solution that works. There is no legislation of abortion in the USA, of any kind, primarily because the Supreme Court decided it's not the governments business what a woman does with her body. I believe though, that there can be some sort of legislation which will still give women a choice, but still protect life itself. I am willing to take steps to meet in the middle of this issue, such as proposing that abortion is seriously not recommended except for the reason of women endangerment, walk-in abortion clinics be eliminated and after 12 weeks abortion is not an option. Constitutionally, I believe every woman should have free choice, but I also believed they should be properly educated on the effects of abortions and be offered alternative solutions, in high schools and in the workplace. Places like Planned Parenthood rarely offer adoption or maternal help as a solution, making the woman feel there is no other way, but it has been proven there are better ways to deal with unplanned pregnancies. These will also benefit the health of the woman, because most abortions put women at risk for serious infection and other diseases.
In conclusion, I will answer the question, “What if outlawing optional abortions opens the door for back alley abortions?” The only way we can prevent such from happening or at least eliminating a majority of such “back alley doctors” is by increasing the number of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, educating women about the health risks, and taking decisive action to eliminate it on a local basis.
All of life is sacred and created for a purpose. Perhaps millions of great minds have been wasted and never even given a chance, because of this new genocide. We could have had the next Einstein, Van Gogh, Mozart, or even the next great President, had it not been for that fatal decision in 1973 and after. I urge all women to think over hard their position on this issue, for it could possibly give you the joy of a lifetime or the heartbreak of a lifetime.
Node your homework. This is an argumentative paper I wrote for my English class.