Every year in the United States 25% of all pregnancies results in an abortion, this adds up to over a million abortions a year. This clearly illustrates that there is problem of over aborting innocent fetuses in our society. I am a firm believer that abortion should be restricted, to minimize its use. I believe that our current society is using abortion as a form of contraceptive. I believe abortion does have its place, and should not be banned altogether. However I do believe when it is used form of birth control that it is being used incorrectly.

When examining the issue of abortion there are many questions to consider. What if the mother wants the baby, and the father doesnt? What if the father wants the baby and the mother doesnt? What if the decision is made to abort the fetus in the first trimester as opposed to the second or third trimesters? What if the mother was impregnated by an act of rape? What if going on with the pregnancy could cause harm to mother? All of these questions raised are touchy issues. All of these questions bring up good points for both sides of this debate.

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Many people who are pro choice claim that the mother has a right to privacy, and to deny them the decision to abort is going against this right. They believe that since this decision affects the womens body, that this should be her private business. I really dont like this argument. I believe that the right to privacy no longer exists when the decision effects more than the person involved in the decision. When a woman makes the decision to have an abortion it affects many people involved, rather than just the mother. The father is also greatly affected by this decision. The father should have equal say in this decision making process. In any case that the father wants to keep the child, the woman should not have the right to abort. This theory work both ways, if the mother wants to keep on with the pregnancy and the father wants to terminate it, by no means should the mother have to grant the father his wishes. I think John Stuart Mills harm principle supports my argument. Mills principle believes that a person has a right to do whatever they choose as long as they cause no harm, or the potential of harm to others. When a mother makes a decision to abort the pregnancy the father can defiantly be mentally harmed by her decision.

Another issue about abortion is when the abortion actually occurs. A pregnancy is divided into three time periods. These time periods are called trimesters. Each trimester is 13 weeks, which adds up to 9 months, the duration of a normal pregnancy. The question about this issue is when does actual human life begin. Many people feel in the first trimester that the fetus is not viable. If the fetus cannot survive on its own, then it is not a life, so it can be terminated. I dont like this argument either. I believe once conception occurs that there is a valuable life in existence. I realize that it may not be able to survive on its own, but there is still enough there to protect. After learning of a pregnancy many excited expecting families begin to prepare for their new addition. They have baby showers, build a baby room and buy baby cloths as well as many other items in preparation for this big event. Surely they are not making all these decisions without knowing for sure if a baby is on the way. They are making these arrangements happen because they know what is going to happen in near future. The fetus might not be viable at the time of all these plans, but they know in the matter of months it will be. This argument also works both ways. People, who decide to abort the fetus, know damn well they are discontinuing a potential life. Even if the fetus cant survive on its own, it is only a matter of a few short months before it will be able to. When a mother concludes that she is going to abort a pregnancy, she is deciding to kill an inevitable life. The point to this argument is not rather the fetus is viable at a particular stage of the pregnancy; rather the fetus is a life that is beginning to happen.

As I said in the beginning of this argument I do believe abortion has its time and place. I really believe when a woman becomes impregnated by rape, that she has the sole right to abort this pregnancy. I believe J.S Mills harm principle works here too. I believe that if a woman goes through the pregnancy and gives birth to a child that was created by an act of rape; she is subjecting herself to potential harm. I also believe any child created by an act of rape could potentially be exposed to harm as well. I believe any woman who goes through something as tragic as rape should not be forced to have a constant reminder of this event. I do not think its fair to force the woman to go through a 9 month pregnancy, be forced to take maternity leave from work and pay the medical expenses of the pregnancy, when she never intended to become pregnant.

I really believe that in most cases abortion is an absolute wrong. I believe abortion is being used as an expensive form of contraceptive. I believe that people should be held accountable for their decisions. If people fetus will soon turn into a precious innocent newborn child.

choose to consent to sexual intercourse, they choose to accept the responsibilities that come with the act of sex. I do not believe this is an issue of when the fetus is viable; I believe this is an issue of knowing that the fetus will involve into a precious innocent children.

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Abortion The most important issue in balancing individual human rights with social responsibility in my point of view is abortion. The law that was passed so that abortions would be legal was a good decision. The anti-abortions have very sound points, but it should be up to the women to make her choice. Abortion has been debated for decades and always will be. Ever since Roe vs.

Wade, abortion has been a very hot topic. When Jane Roe sued for the right to have an abortion she was pregnant with an unwanted child. In the state of Texas where she lived, she could not find a doctor to perform the abortion because it was against the law. An abortion would only be performed if carrying a baby to full term would threaten the mother’s life. Roe had to have her baby and give it up for adoption.

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If abortions were legal at that time she would not have to go though such drastic measures. The law should stand that if a woman is seeking an abortion that she would have a safe place for it to be performed and it is legal. Many women have either lost their lives or had many complications for seeking out illegal abortions. By no means should a woman use abortion as a means of birth control, but she should have the right to choose when she brings a life into this world. Anti-Abortionist believes that it is against the laws of God to have an abortion. If it is against God’s law, then it should between her and God’s if she will receive punishment for her decision.

Some think it is still wrong to have an abortion if it threatens the mother’s life. Those who oppose abortions believe that if you don’t want your baby then you can give it up for adoption or kept it because there are organizations that can help you. Giving a child up for adoption is a good route if you don’t want to keep your baby. Sometimes these unwanted children sit in orphanages until they are eighteen. The tax papers are paying for these children.

It is it right for society to pay for the mistake of others? I don’t believe so. Everyone has a responsibility to society and should be responsible in society. There are many forms of birth control but none are one hundred percent. So if a woman is in a situation in which she wants to terminate her pregnancy, she should be allowed without people yelling at her that she is a murderer. Abortion is a very sensitive topic. There will always be controversy surrounding this issue.

Having the right to choose should be a basic human right. This ensures that society won’t have to pay for the long term care of unwanted children. If you want to be a responsible citizen in society, you should not do anything that would put a burden on society. If keeping abortions legal is a way of keeping the burden off society then it so be it. Social Issues.


Wim Van de Keere
English comp I
Prof. Fjordbotten
A matter of life and death
About 29 years ago, Norma McCorvey, who then adopted the pseudonym Jane Roe, became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit to challenge the strict anti-abortion laws in Texas. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which handed down its controversial ruling on January 22, 1973. The decision legalized abortion in all fifty states and sparked a sociopolitical debate that remains charged to this day. However, McCorvey never had an abortion and eventually gave away the child for adoption. In 1995, she converted to Christianity and became a fervent adversary of abortion. The woman who had fought for women to have the freedom to decide what to do with their bodies came to see pro-abortionists as killers.
Lets first take a look at some of the circumstances in which people may decide to abort a child. I think its a misconception to think that people will only opt for abortion in cases of unplanned parenthood. Todays technology enables us to see at a very early stage of the pregnancy if the baby is in good health. If tests show that something is wrong and that the baby will never be able to survive or will only grow to be a certain age, parents often have a very difficult decision to make. In these cases, I think that parents definitely have the right to opt for abortion. I find it sad that, while those people go through a living hell, they are judged for their actions, often by people who obviously havent been in their situation and judge them as killers who took an innocent life. Its far more complex than that.

Unwanted pregnancies remain the main reason to opt for abortion. Here again, the matter is very complex and there isnt a solution that is valid in every situation. If the pregnancy is the result of rape or sexual abuse, there should be no discussion. The victim has the right to choose for abortion.
Mostly, unwanted pregnancies are the result of unsafe sex. In these cases, I feel that the mother has the right to decide what she is going to do with the baby, as young men often dont want to take the responsibility for their actions. If they do, then the couple should decide together. An important aspect of the decision is financial security. If you decide to have the child, you have to be certain that you will be able provide clothes and food for it. If not, I think that abortion is an acceptable solution. Hopefully, these young people will have learnt a valuable lesson from this predicament. The support of parents – or lack thereof – also plays an important role in the decision-making process. If they are supportive and want to help the young mother to the best of their abilities, the decision becomes a lot easier.
I dont think, however, that abortion should be seen as some kind of safety valve. People confronted with unwanted pregnancies shouldnt think that they can have sex without contraceptives and if they get pregnant, theyll just have the fetus aborted. Thats a totally wrong and regrettable mentality that I see too often among young people nowadays. And if not to prevent pregnancy, they should at least use contraceptives to prevent attracting STDs.

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Undoubtedly, there will always be people who are in favor of abortion and others who are against it. Religious beliefs will keep playing an important role in the debate. However, I dont think that people who opt for abortion should be seen as killers. If you are not sure that you will be able to provide a secure future for the child or if the pregnancy is a result of sexual abuse, there are sufficient grounds for abortion. I feel that people who do opt for abortion shouldnt be judged for their actions. To form an opinion of people, one should have all the facts. Unfortunately, that is often not the case.


Abortion “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”1 U.S. Supreme Court Justices O’Conner, Kennedy and Souter Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey Abortion in the United States Before Roe When Roe v. Wade was decided in January 1973, abortion except to save a woman’s life was banned in nearly two-thirds of the states.2 Laws in most of the remaining states contained only a few additional exceptions.3 It is estimated that each year 1.2 million women resorted to illegal abortion,4 despite the known hazards “of frightening trips to dangerous locations in strange parts of town; of whiskey as an anesthetic; of ‘doctors’ who were often marginal or unlicensed practitioners, sometimes alcoholic, sometimes sexually abusive; unsanitary conditions; incompetent treatment; infection; hemorrhage; disfiguration; and death.”4 The Constitutional Development of the Right to Privacy During the half century leading up to Roe, the Supreme Court decided a series of significant cases in which it recognized the existence of a constitutionally protected right to privacy that keeps fundamentally important and deeply personal decisions concerning “bodily integrity, identity and destiny” largely beyond the reach of government interference.6 Citing this concern for autonomy and privacy, the Court struck down laws severely curtailing the role of parents in education, mandating sterilization, and prohibiting marriages between individuals of different races.7 Important aspects of the right to privacy were established in Griswold v. Connecticut8, decided in 1965, and in Eisenstadt v. Baird, decided in 1972.9 In these cases, the Supreme Court held that state laws that criminalized or hindered the use of contraception violated the right to privacy.

Having recognized in these cases “the right of the individual to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child,”10 the Court held in Roe that the right to privacy encompasses the right to choose whether to end a pregnancy.11 The Court has reaffirmed this holding on multiple occasions throughout the past 25 years,12 noting in 1992 that “[t]he soundness of this . . . analysis is apparent from a consideration of the alternative.”13 Without a privacy right that encompasses the right to choose, the Constitution would permit the state to override not only a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy, but also her choice to carry the pregnancy to term.14 The Roe Compromise Although Roe invalidated restrictive abortion laws that disregarded women’s right to privacy, the Court recognized a state’s valid interest in potential life.15 That is, the Court rejected arguments that the right to choose is absolute and always outweighs the state’s interest in imposing limitations.16 Instead, the Court issued a carefully crafted decision that brought the state’s interest and the woman’s right to choose into balance. The Court held that a woman has the right to choose abortion until fetal viability, but that the state’s interest generally outweighs the woman’s right after that point.17 Accordingly, after viability — the time at which it first becomes realistically possible for fetal life to be maintained outside the woman’s body — the state may ban any abortion not necessary to preserve a woman’s life or health.18 25 Years of Roe: A Better Life for Women By invalidating laws that forced women to resort to back-alley abortion, Roe was directly responsible for saving women’s lives.

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It is estimated that as many as 5000 women died yearly from illegal abortion before Roe.19 Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, the safety of abortion has increased dramatically. The number of deaths per 100,000 legal abortion procedures declined more than five-fold between 1973 and 1991.20 In addition, Roe has had a positive impact on the quality of many women’s lives. Although most women welcome pregnancy, childbirth and the responsibilities of raising a child at some period in their lives, few events can more dramatically constrain a woman’s opportunities than an unplanned child. Because childbirth and pregnancy substantially affect a woman’s “educational prospects, employment opportunities, and self-determination,” restrictive abortion laws narrowly circumscribed women’s role in society and hindered women from defining their paths through life in the most basic of ways.21 In the 25 years since Roe, the variety and level of women’s achievements have reached unprecedented levels. The Supreme Court recently observed that “[t]he ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.”22 Into the New Millennium: What Will the Next 25 Years Bring? In 1992, the Court rendered its most important decision in the abortion area since Roe. In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v.

Casey, the Court reaffirmed Roe, while at the same time sharply restricting its protections. The Casey Court abandoned the strict scrutiny standard of review and adopted a less protective standard that allows states to impose restrictions as long as they do not “unduly burden” a woman’s right to choose. Under this new standard, the Court approved state obstacles that it had previously found to violate the right to privacy and effectively invited states to impose barriers on women’s access to abortion.23 Indeed, today, states are enforcing more restrictions that impede women’s access to safe, legal abortion than at any time since Roe was decided twenty-five years ago.24 It seems inevitable that great strides will be made in the next millennium in science, technology, athletics, communication, and in numerous other fields of human endeavor. What is less clear is whether proponents of women’s reproductive health and freedom will be able to move forward in the 21st century — to secure better access to effective methods of contraception, comprehensive sexuality education, and quality health and child care — or will remain locked in a struggle against further deterioration of the right to choose ostensibly secured by Roe a quarter century ago. It is past time for the nation to develop policies that secure access to abortion, make abortion less necessary, and improve reproductive health.

Our nation must commit resources to prevent unintended pregnancy by promoting sexuality education, family planning and healthy childbearing. Only then will the promise of Roe be fulfilled. Bibliography Richard Schwarz, Septic Abortion (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1968), 7; Willard Cates, Jr., “Legal Abortion: The Public Health Record,” Science, vol. 215 (Mar.

1982): 1586. Walter Dellinger and Gene B. Sperling, “Abortion and the Supreme Court: The Retreat from Roe v. Wade,” 138 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 83, 117 (Nov. 1989).

Casey, 505 U.S. at 927 (Blackmun, J., concurring and dissenting). See Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923); Skinner v.

Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942); Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). Eisenstadt v.

Baird, 405 U.S. 438 (1972). Eisenstadt, 405 U.S. at 453 (emphasis omitted). Roe, 410 U.S. at 153. See, e.g., Akron v.

Akron Center for Reproductive Health, Inc., 462 U.S. 416 (1983); Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 476 U.S. 747 (1986). Casey, 505 U.S.

at 859. Casey, 505 U.S. at 859. Roe, 410 U.S. at 159.

Roe, 410 U.S. at 153-54. Roe, 410 U.S. at 163-65. Roe, 410 U.S.

at 163-64. Schwarz, Septic Abortion, 7. Lisa M. Koonin et al., “Abortion Surveillance — United States, 1993 and 1994,” CDC Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 46, no. SS-4, (Aug.

8, 1997): 96. Casey, 505 U.S. at 928 (Blackmun, J., concurring and dissenting) Casey, 505 U.S. at 856. Casey, 505 U.S.

at 881-87. Who Decides? A State-by-State Review of Abortion and Reproductive Rights, 1998 (Washington, D.C.: The NARAL Foundation/NARAL, 1998).


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