Should abortion be allowed in the United States? If so, then under what circumstances? Abortion has been one of the most heatedly debated topics in the U.S. for more than a century. This paper explores the history and international use of abortion, as well as the empirical and moral claims made by both sides of the issue. We will also examine the key positions taken on abortion and look at those affected by it. Based on extensive research and analysis, this paper will recommend that the government increase abortion funding and availability.
Abortion has been around since the earliest times. The first recorded abortion recipe dates back to 2600 B.C. (“History of Abortion”). Ancient societies supported abortion as a means of controlling the population (“Abortion in Law, History, and Religion”). The first known abortion regulation was outlined in 4th century A.D. when St. Augustine declared Catholic law to allow abortion up to 80 days for the female fetus and 40 days for the male fetus (“History of Abortion”). However, in 1588 Pope Sixtus publicly forbade all abortions (“History of Abortion”). One of the first countries to outlaw abortion by law, Great Britain, declared abortion a misdemeanor in 1803 (“History of Abortion”). In the United States, abortion laws began to appear in the nineteenth century (“Abortion in Law, History, and Religion”).
Public and legal attitudes toward abortion have significantly changed in America since 1800. Women in the early 1800’s rarely sought abortion, even though legal restriction to obtain an abortion was almost non-existent (Sauer). Until the mid-nineteenth century, first trimester abortions were legal under common law (Abortion in Law, History, and Religion”). More restrictive abortion laws were passed in the mid-nineteenth century, while the demand for abortions increased (Sauer). Abortions became increasingly more common throughout the end of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century, even though, by 1900, abortion was prohibited by law throughout the U.S. unless two or more doctors agreed that an abortion was necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman (Sauer).
By the 1960’s, states began to reconsider the legalization of abortion in response to the high rate of hospital admissions resulting from illegal abortions and a change in public opinion (“Abortion in Law, History, and Religion”). By the early 1970’s, 17 states had altered their abortion laws towards liberalization (“Abortion in Law, History, and Religion”). In 1973, the Supreme Court declared in Roe vs. Wade that most existing state laws were unconstitutional. The case ruled out any legislative interference in the first trimester of pregnancy and put limits on what restrictions could be passed on abortions in later stages of pregnancy (Sauer).
However, the Supreme Court’s decision was hindered by the government’s refusal to provide abortion facilities. Controversy...