On average, almost 6 million women become pregnant each year. 1.7 million of these women have abortions (www.religoustolerance.org). An abortion can be defined as destruction of a fetus or an unborn child while the child is still in the mother’s womb. This can be done by anyone from the mother herself to clinics set up specifically for the purpose of performing abortions. Abortion is one of the most controversial subjects that has been continuously debated for many years. There is one major group on each side of the issue. Someone who is pro-life is against abortion completely. Someone who is pro-choice believes that a woman should have the option of having an abortion if she chooses to. Abortion should be illegal except under certain circumstances such as when a woman is the victim of rape or incest or if carrying the baby to full term would endanger the life of the mother or baby.
Abortion poses a moral, medical, and social dilemma that causes many individuals to create an emotional and sometimes violent atmosphere. A pro-choicer would believe that the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mother’s and the state has no right to interfere. Their belief is upheld in the United States by the Supreme Court’s decision of the Roe v. Wade case in 1973. The decision recognized abortion as a fundamental constitutional right and made it legal in all states (www.abortioninfo.com). The law now permits abortion at the request of the women without any restrictions in the first trimester, or first three months, of a pregnancy. There are some restrictions on second trimester abortions to protect the mother’s health. The National Abortion Right Act League argues that without legal abortion, women would be denied their constitutional rights of privacy and liberty. A woman’s right to her own body subordinates those of the fetus and the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade argued that a woman’s “right to privacy” overruled the fetus’ right to life. If abortion was illegal it would force poor women to bear and raise children they can’t afford to bring up. There would be a number of abortions performed by people who shouldn’t be performing them. It would also force victims of rape and incest to have the baby of their perpetrator.
Pro-choicers believe that without abortion, the world would become over-populated. They argue that there already are enough starving children in the world and if abortion was made illegal there would be many more. An astonishing number of children are victims of abuse. Making abortion illegal would only make mothers have unwanted children who could add to the population of abused children. They also defend their beliefs with the argument that the mothers could go on welfare at the expense of taxpayers and cost them billions. Those who believe abortion should remain legal say that fetuses cannot feel pain and aren’t “really alive” until they are born (www.abortioninfo.com).