Abortion Policy Essay

4269 words - 17 pages

Abortion Policy

Abortion is one of about six major issues that the public considers when voting (Witwer). It is a complex issue that has been passionately debated for centuries. The various methods used to carry out the procedure range from disassembling the fetus and crushing the skull in order to suck it all out of the woman’s womb to the procedure called RU-486, that gives the woman a pill to prevent her body from giving the fetus the nutrients to stay alive. Also, some consider certain forms of birth control, Norplant, IUD, and emergency contraceptives to be abortions as well. Many people argue about when in the pregnancy abortions should be allowed, if there should be an age limit, if abortion should be allowed only in certain circumstances, if states should decide the legality of it, and if only certain procedures should be allowed. However, the key issue is: should abortion be totally legalized, totally banned, or remain the way it is?

Numerous people have a stake in this issue. The issue of abortion affects every woman worldwide as well as men who find themselves involved in a situation related to abortion, and/or men who choose to concern themselves with such an ever-growing issue (Wlezien). Also, this issue affects the fetuses aborted, or permitted to live. There are generally two opposing sides to the issue where most people find themselves: the pro-life side and the pro-choice side. While it is true that men may find themselves involved in a situation related to abortion, the debate over it still remains predominantly female (Wlezien). Surveys, facts, and figures have indicated that the two sides are made up of vastly dissimilar people and their lifestyles (Wlezien). Pro-choice usually consists of younger, better-educated, wealthier, and liberal people. Such organizations on the pro-life side: The Christian Coalition, statewide and nationwide Right to Life councils, and Feminists for Life. (Wlezien). Those in the pro-life group are typically much less educated, poorer, conservative and Christian. Organizations such as the NARL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) and Choice USA are a few of the pro-choice groups (Wlezien) (Luker, pg.3).

Public opinion presents an important part when deciding a stance. Class, location, beliefs, age, and political affiliations contribute to the difference of opinion among people. According to an article printed in Political Behavior, authors Wlezein and Goggin suggest that public opinion on abortion varies little through the years with a large increase in the 1980’s that resulted in the majority of the public being in favor of abortion “as it is now” (Wlezien, 381). Since the decision of Roe V. Wade in 1973, approximately 23% of adults believe abortion should be legal in all cases, 19% believe it should be illegal in all cases and a majority of 56% believe it should be legal in some cases (Wlezien, 381). Wlezein and Goggin conducted a general social...

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