Abortion Term Paper

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Many have pondered upon the meaning of abortion. The argument being that

every child born should be wanted, and others who believe that every child

conceived should be born (Sass vii). This has been a controversial topic for

years. Many people want to be able to decide the destiny of others. Everyone

in the United States is covered under the United States constitution, and

under the 14th Amendment women have been given the choice of abortion. In

1973, Harry A. Blackmun wrote the majority opinion that it's a women's right

to have an abortion. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Even though these

people have been given the right, the case is not closed. Pro-life activists

carry a strong argument, and continue to push their beliefs. They feel so

strongly about these beliefs that violence has broken out in some known

instances. Pro-choice activists, on the other hand, also carry very strong

points. They believe that the child inside them is their property and it's life

doesn't be until birth. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court decided that

as long as the baby lived in the womb, he or she would be the property of the

mother. Because of this decision almost every third baby conceived in

America is killed by abortion, over one and a half million babies a year

(Willke vii). Many countries have followed our decision on the abortion issue

and some of these include Canada, England, and France. Other countries still

believe abortion should be illegal, they include Germany, Ireland, and New

Zealand. Abortion poses a moral, social and medical dilemma that faces many

individuals to create a emotional and violent atmosphere.

Allowing abortion to be legal is immoral. A pre-born child is given the

status of a "product of pregnancy" and never seen as the miracle only a

women can create. Compassion for the small one is drowned out under a

demand for "rights", but what about the rights for the unborn. "A women has

a right to her own body" is an idea more and more women are realizing, but

that idea ignores the unborn child's right to his or her body. Never, in modern

times, has the state granted to one citizen the right to have another killed in

order to solve their personal, social, or economic problems. the embryo is its

own being that should have it's own rights to protect it. The zygote is a unique

genetic being (Zindler 27). If one was to abort an embryo than that embryo,

that human life would never be duplicated. A scientist that may have found

the cure to A.I.D.S. would be killed. There is a better way to solve our

problems than by killing children. A fertilized egg is the most beautiful , most

innocent being that we could ever create, and can redeem even the worst of

our mistakes. This fertilized egg is not just a mass of tissue, for if it were than

there would be no debate. A fetus feels pain. Ultra sound, fetoscopy, study of

the fetal EKG (electrocardiogram) and fetal EEG (electroencephalogram)

have demonstrated the remarkable responsiveness of the human fetus to pain,

touch and sound (Willke 64). The fetus responds to light, heat, cold, and

taste. Observations of the fetal movements in saline abortions indicates that

the fetus experiences discomfort as it dies. One doctor who, the New York

Times, wrote "conscientiously performs" saline abortions stated, "when he

injected the saline, he often saw an increase in fetal movements" (Willke 64).

In another case, a film using mew sonographic techniques, shows the outline

of the child in the womb thrashing to resist the suction device before it tears

off the head. Then you see the dead child dismembered child and the head

crushed (Edwards 40). This is murder. Nobody who sees this film will speak

again of "painless" abortion. After the doctor who performed this procedure

saw this film, he never performed another abortion again. But, many doctors

still do perform abortion, and in some instances a live child is killed. "About

once a day, somewhere in the United States, something goes wrong and an

abortion results in a live baby" (Willke 76). Forty five out of six hundred and

seven mid trimester abortions done in Connecticut in 1974-1976 resulted in

live births (Willke 76). In these cases the child was killed in cold blooded

murder. It is immoral to kill, therefore abortion is immoral.

"Abortion is the unnatural end of pregnancy. That child has a right to

life that is equal to the mothers right. One cannot kill another human being

just because they wished it wasn't around. Abortion is murder of the innocent

practiced on a national scale(Day 84)." Overall it has been proven that the

fetus is a real person. It responds to noise, has feeling and fears. To have an

abortion it will destroy an innocent life which is directly connected to murder.

Scientific research has successfully shown that abortion causes many

psychological side effects. It leaves the woman with many strong feelings

about their decision. They feel sadness, wishing things could have been

different and grief for a lost life(Chalker 15). Guilt arises because they know

a fetus represents an independent life. Anger builds up towards other people

having to do with their decision. Sometimes the mother may feel that she has

infact been abandoned. Most of all the mother feels ashamed and

embarrassed about her action(Chalker 23). People close to the mother may be

angry at her for ending her pregnancy and make it difficult for her to deal

with(Chalker 24). Even years after the abortion, women tend to remember the

regretful experience. They usually wonder what the baby would have looked

like and its birthday(Chalker 28). Thirty-three year old Michelle Urbain of

south Florida has had five abortions so far. She realizes now that they all left

emotional scares her that are unbearable. "It wasn't just a mass of cells, it was

children I was killing(Chalker 42)." It maybe a month or a year but feelings

do catch up with the mother. Symptoms like nightmares, panic attacks and

flashbacks are signs of a recently discovered Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS).

According to a study published by Association for Interdisciplinary Research

in Valves and Social Change, one in five women studied had diagnosable

stress disorders. Also two in five had sleep disorders and flashbacks

following abortions. In the United States about 1.6 million pregnancies end

in abortion(Denny 22). Women with incomes under eleven thousand are over

three times more likely to abort than those with incomes above twenty-five

thousand(Denny 105). Unmarried women are four to five times more likely to

abort than married and the abortion rate has doubled for 18 and 19 year

olds(Denny 106). Recently the U.S. rate dropped 6 percent overall but the

rate of abortion among girls younger than 15 jumped 18 percent(Denny 112).

The rate among minority teens climbed from 186 per 1,000 to 189 per 1,000.

The most popular procedure involved in abortions is the vacuum aspiration

which is done during the first trimester (three months or less since the women

has become pregnant)(Denny 163). A tube is simply inserted through the

cervix and the contents of the uterus are vacuumed out. The most commonly

used type of second trimester abortion is called dilation and

evacuation(Denny 174). Since the fetus has bones, bulk and can move,

second trimester is not as simple. When as much of the fetus and placenta are

vacuumed out then tweezers are used to remove larger parts. After this, or the

beginning of the fifth month abortion is serious and actually induced as

childbirth. That is, the mother is given substances which puts her into labor

and delivers the fetus as she would a full-term baby. About 40 percent of

Americans believe that abortion should remain legal and 40 percent believe it

should be banned except when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother

or is the result of rape or incest(Day 84). Also 15 percent believe it should be

illegal in all cases(Day 85).

Finally, abortion should be banned because life begins at conception.

The individual sex cell consists of 23 chromosomes(Shettles 15). It is only

through combination, however, that the sex cells contain the full complement

of heredity units that defines a human being (Shettles 17). This procedure of

combination defines conception. After the merger of the two sex cells 46

chromosomes are present(Shettles 19). This is what makes a human being.

The merger is complete within twelve hours, at which time the egg is

fertilized and becomes known technically as the "zygote"(Shettles 22). The

inherited characteristics of a unique human being has been established, and in

no circumstances will it change (Shettles 17). Nothing from this time on, until

death, will anything be added. The definition of alive is that a being is

growing, developing, maturing, and replacing its own dying cells. It means

not being dead. At the very time conception begins the zygote is growing,

developing, maturing, and replacing its own dying cell It's alive(Shettles 76).

The single-celled fertilized ovum cannot by any stretch of the imagination be

considered part of a women's body. This new living being has a genetic set up

unlike anyone else's, totally different from the cells of the mother's

body(Shettles 254). It makes no difference to assume that human life is more

human post-born than pre-born. What is critical to figure out is if it is or isn't

human life, and of coarse it is human life. At 18 days the heart is pumping

through a closed circulatory system, with blood whose type is different from

that of the mother(Shettles 258). At 40 days the brain begins to function. In

the 16th week motion has been detected(Shettles 260). At 6 and 1/2 weeks all

twenty milk-teeth buds are present(James 264). During the eighth week the

baby's stomach secretes gastric juice, and all it's body system is present. The

baby dreams, thinks, and feels pain(De Marco 56). This is definitely a child,

and no one on the face of this earth would be here if they weren't conceived.

In summary, abortion can be justified by a women's right to choose, but

it should be banned because it's immoral and life begins at conception.

Women have been given the right to have an abortion under the United States

Constitution, but this right is still being protested by the people that fight for

the unborn's rights. Pro-life activists claim that its immoral because it is

simply defined as murder. Life begins at conception is another strong point

brought up by pro-life activists. Before a child is born it is given all it's

necessities to survive. Before birth the child’s heart beats, the gastric juices

flow in the stomach, and all its necessary organs have been made present.

This is a child that thinks, dreams, and feels pain. Yes, some women may

look at having an abortion to solve her personal problems, but in all, women

are abandoning the abortion because it weakens their great strengths:

creation, compassion and the ability to look beneath the surface of

appearance of things. Maybe soon the abortion issue will reverse, and people

will see the rights of the unborn as greater importance than that of a personal




Chalker, Rebecca. The Choices We Made. New York: Random House,


Day, Nancy. Abortion: Debating the Issue. Springfield, New Jersey:

Enslow Publishers, 1995.

De Marco, Donald. Abortion in Perspective. Cincinnati: Hilts & Hayes Pub.

Co., 1974.

Denny, Myron. A Thinking About Abortion. Garden City, New York: Dial

Press, 1984.

Edwards, Bruce. Abortion. New York: Julian Messner, 1987.

James, Kay Coles. Never Forget. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan,


Sass, William. The Abortion Controversy. San Diego: Greenhaven Press,


Shettles, Cynthia. A Matter of Choice. New York: Simon & Schuster,


Willke, James. Choice and Conflict. New York: Facts on File, 1993.

Zendler, Michael. Embryonic and Fetal Development. Philadelphia:

Lippincott, 1972.

Word Count: 1880

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