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Abortion: A Woman's Choice Essay

1291 words - 6 pages

Abortion: A Woman’s Choice

Since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that did away with all laws regulating abortion, it has become one of our nation’s most controversial issues. Outlawing abortion would have the effect of imposing one person’s moral values upon another. Can I prevent someone from drinking because I think it is wrong? Can I insist that two people stay married because I am against divorce? The answer to these questions is no. Not only is it unconstitutional, but it is unrealistic to believe that we can control the lives of others simply because their beliefs differ from ours. Abortion is a personal issue and should be dealt with by the individual, not the courts.
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She struggles with her situation, carefully weighing all the factors, and in the end, she decides not to continue the pregnancy. Nonetheless she is now faced with a new problem. People she does not even know are trying to override her decision. Who are they, and why should they have any say in her life? Are they willing to support her and this child? Are they willing to guarantee her the same life she could have had if they had not interfered? She played by the rules, she took preventative measures, but they did not work. Now it looks as if she is being held responsible and penalized for something that she had no control over. While her situation seems hopeless to her, what about the teenagers who marry hastily, drop out of school, take a low paying job if they can get one, and give up on their lives before turning twenty? Women must be given the right to choose a life above mere physical survival.
We all know, however, that recent court decisions and legislative efforts indicate an increasing tendency to impose legal penalties and restrictions on women in the name of “fetal rights.” For the first time ever the Supreme Court has upheld a ban on a specific type of abortion. The April 18, 2007 decision said “that outlawing the procedure didn't enable states to outlaw abortions outright, nor did it place an undue burden on women seeking to obtain them. Instead, Justice Kennedy wrote, government was entitled to regulate the medical profession. Barring a procedure Congress found brutal and inhumane” (Bravin 2007). How can we protect a fetus, and at the same time disregard the life of the women carrying it? Are pregnant women merely carriers of children? Yes, we have a moral obligation to all living things, but if their survival depends on the needs of an actual person, we have to give priority to human beings. We cannot protect a fetus and consider the mother expendable (Dexter 2004).
Another implication that goes along with an amendment to outlaw abortion is its potential effect on the right to use birth control devices. Birth control pills do not prevent fertilization, but instead prevent the implantation of an already fertilized egg. The Human Life Amendment declares that fetuses, from the moment of fertilization, are “persons” (Wikipedia 2008). Does this mean that birth control pills could be made illegal? Birth control pills are not only one of the most popular, but one of the most effective as well. If these were outlawed, women would be forced to use less reliable forms of birth control, and the need for abortion would be even greater.
I believe the most important factor to be considered is that outlawing abortion is not going to stop it from happening. Years ago, most states had laws that prohibited...

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