Intro To Political Science
March 9th 2015
For my topic I chose to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of abortion. This is clearly a very hot debate in todays world and many of us wonder should it be legal or illegal? I have never really looked into the issues of abortion but within my recent research I have a come to the conclusion that abortion should never have been legal from the start! First I am going to just give a brief history of it, then I will include both sides of abortion, why people think it is good and why others do not, and lastly I will conclude with my valid opinion on my disapproval of abortion.
The history of abortion is almost like a game of tug-o-war. Decisions on it were never clearly made, there were loopholes at times during different abortion acts, and whether legal or illegal it was never difficult for a woman to get an abortion. Going back to 1861, the Offenses Against the Person Act made it illegal to supply or use any "poison or other noxious thing" or to use "any instrument or other means" to cause a woman to miscarry. It outlawed abortion by either the woman or any other person such as a doctor, nurse, midwife or pharmacist.
Carrying on to 1938 Dr. Bourne would illegally perform an abortion on a 14 year old girl who was raped by a soldier. He went on to turn himself in but when he went to trial he argued that, “If this girl were to go through with this birth she would have been a mental wreck for the rest of her life.” As it turns out he would not be charged for performing the abortion, because of this many new abortion cases would be allowed as long as the doctor believed the child would cause any kind of pain or danger to the mother. This was a major loophole in the system and would soon get out of hand.
In 1966, David Steel MP introduced the bill into parliament that became the 1967 Abortion Act. The Abortion Act would require two signatures from any such doctors and as long as they agreed to the following; Continuing on with the pregnancy would create bad health issues or mental problems for the mother and/or her family then if the baby was born. The other factor being that there was a risk the child would be born with a disability. Even though abortions would now be allowed, officials would not allow a baby 34 weeks in to be aborted. In 1929 the Infant Life Preservation Act would mean that no baby unborn could be killed who was capable of being of being born alive. Instead of months now, weeks are how we measure the length of births, so after 28 weeks, under no circumstances is an abortion to take place.
Now we shift forward to 1990 where both the Human Fertilization and Embryology Acts would add more drama to abortions. Between these two acts a child with any sort of disability could now be aborted up until birth. Since then, doctors have diagnosed unborn children with Spina Bifida and Cleft Palates as major disabilities, which would allow for a late-term abortion. To conclude with the history of abortion there are two powerful statistics that should be addressed. First being that 4 out of 10 unintended pregnancies (which is more often then you think) perform abortions. Second being that approximately 1.2 million abortions take places in America each year. It is no wonder why abortion is such a crazy topic.
As said before there is a huge debate whether or not abortions should be legal or illegal. Many have made their list of the great things about abortion and others have made a list of the terrible things about abortion. First let's look at the pros of abortion. “Reproductive choice empowers women by giving them control over their own bodies.”(1) Many doctors believe that if a woman has total control over her reproductive life, it will empower her in her economic and social life as well. “Person hood begins after a fetus becomes "viable" (able to survive outside the womb) or after birth, not at conception.”(1) People like...