Abortion: Crime or Social Responsibility

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Population control comes in many forms: cancer, famine, A.I.D.S, genocide, war and natural disasters, but never has one been so celebrated and socially accepted before abortion. Abortion has been practiced for hundreds of years and medical technology has advanced accordingly; providing a safer and much more sanitary procedure for the women receiving the operation, but the result remains the same for the defenseless child. Abortion continues to be one of the most debated and country dividing topics this nation has seen. In the recent past, there has been steady movement towards the governmental restrictions of abortion. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 was one of the greatest victories in congress related to this topic. The ban restricts a certain form of abortion (partial-birth abortion) past 24 weeks from conception (United States Congress). Even though this is a positive step in the right and moral direction, the act needs to be revised. It needs to have the allotted time reduced from 24 weeks to 20 weeks based upon new medical research that fetuses can “feel pain” prior to 24 weeks. Abortion will never become completely illegal (that is just harsh reality), but the restrictions that govern abortions can be fine tuned to incorporate a smaller and more humane window for abortions. Abortion has been a topic of debate for the past two hundred years. During the years shortly after our country’s independence, abortion laws were little to none other than the common law adopted from England; which held abortion to be legally acceptable if occurring before quickening (the fetus’s ability to stir in the womb) (Lee). Various anti-abortion statutes began to appear in the 1820s, and by 1900 abortion was largely illegal in every state. Some states did include provisions allowing for abortion in limited circumstances; generally with the purpose of protecting the woman's life or pregnancies related to rape or incest (Kauthen). This nation-wide ban of abortion only lasted for a couple decades. Roe vs. Wade is one of the most pivotal Supreme Court cases with regards to the abortion movement. By the end of the hearing, the courts decided that abortion was a constitutionally protected right of women and their right to privacy (Garlikov). This decision laid the foundation for legal arguments and, even today, is still taken into consideration as a precedent of common law. Roe vs. Wade made it possible for any women to receive an abortion at any time and for any reason, and women did just that.poorly concluded paragraph According to the figures from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, half of all abortions in the U.S. each year are performed on women under the age of 25, and one in five involves teenagers (Hausknecht). In the year 2006 there were 4.1 million child births in the United States, in the same year there were more than 1.37 million abortions performed (Hausknecht). That’s approximately one abortion for ever three births, and that’s not the most shocking statistic. An estimated 43% of all women will have at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old and 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion (Hausknecht)! In today’s society more women are delaying starting a family until they are in their thirties. This suggests that the high number of abortions will remain high, and quite possibly increase, in coming years. Nearly a quarter of the women surveyed who have had an abortion say they opted for the procedure because they wanted to postpone motherhood (Hausknecht). The large majority of women who do choose to abort their pregnancies do so within the first 15 weeks, in fact nearly 95 percent have the operation performed during that time period (Hausknecht). This leaves five percent of women still having an abortion 20 weeks and later from conception. Five percent may not sound like a large statistic but when you consider it is nearly 68,500 women a year, it brings the issue...
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