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Legality Of Abortion Essay

1595 words - 6 pages

Of all the legal, ethical, and moral issues we Americans continuously fight for or against, abortion may very well be the issue that Americans are most passionate about. The abortion issue is in the forefront of political races. Most recently the “no taxpayer funding for abortion act”, has abortion advocates reeling. Even though abortion has been legal in every state in the United States since the monumental Supreme Court decision, “Roe v Wade”, on January 22, 1973; there are fewer physicians willing to perform abortions today than in 2008. (Kraft) At the heart of the ethical dilemma for many in the medical profession is the viability of the fetus. And just to make this whole dilemma more confusing, according to the United States Government, “The child in utero, at any stage of development in the womb”, is protected by the Unborn Victims Violence Act of 2004 (Unborn Victims of Violence Act) Medical professionals have the right to follow their conscience and not participate in performing abortions, however as professionals they must respect the viewpoints of others. It is important to realize that abortion is not a black and white issue.
Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, or able to survive outside of the uterus. (Fremgen) Elective abortion or induced abortion is the willful termination of a pregnancy by various methods. Most commonly abortions are performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. With technological advances many early pregnancies are terminated using a medicine called Mifepristone, or more commonly referred to as RU-486. Medical abortions can only be used in the earliest stages of pregnancy, approximately from the seventh through the ninth week of gestation. Another common method of early termination is the manual vacuum aspiration. This method can be used up until the twelfth week of pregnancy. It is considered minimally invasion as it only local anesthesia is used to numb the cervix. Aspiration is another first trimester abortion method. This is also referred to as a D&C (dilation and curettage abortion). This procedure will not generally be done using local anesthesia alone. Medication based abortion procedures are not an option during the second trimester of pregnancy. Local anesthesia is used and either a D&C or a D&E (dilation and evacuation) method is performed. Less than ten percent of abortions are done in the second trimester. Third trimester or late term abortions are extremely rare. Third trimester abortions are no longer legal in most states, as a result of the “partial birth abortion act” except under certain extreme medical conditions. These were known as late term abortions. In the medical community the point of viability is still a grey area, but most consider the twenty-fourth week the earliest viable period. Until approximately the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy an induction abortion is used to terminate pregnancy. Previous to becoming illegal, intrauterine cranial...

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