Abortion is a totally unacceptable, cruel and unethical practice and
should be considered illegal except under some special cases and medical
circumstances that indicate a danger to the mother. Our judicial system
must consider the ethical and moral aspects of abortion as an intrinsic
part of the problem when approaching this social issue. The recent banning
of the partial birth abortion is a huge stride in the positive direction.
Abortion is the one of the most debated social issues of this
century. The controversy as to the right that man has over the life of a
baby in the fetus and in controlling its entry into the world is a much-
debated topic. Abortion is the process of putting an end to the life of the
baby by killing it in the womb itself. This social issue assumes all the
more importance given the fact that an astounding 1.7 million people have
abortions every year in the United States alone. There is much debate that
the procedure, which was initially indicated as a life saving method, is
today misused to suit the whims and fancies of the people. Let us analyze
the ethical and moral and medical aspects of abortion in a little detail.
The Legal Battle -Row Vs Wade
Row Vs Wade was an important landmark case in American legal history.
It happened when Norma McCorvey, (under the name of Jane Roe) a 25 year old
woman challenged the Texas laws which regarded abortion as criminal.
McCovery was denied an abortion in 1969 and was forced to give birth to her
third child. (Which she attributed to be a consequence of rape and later
claimed to be a false testimony). However Sarah Weddington, an attorney
from Dallas took her case in 1973. This time they successfully argued that
the anti abortion law was an infringement of the women's personal rights
and defeated the Texas government attorney Henry Wade. [Frank Beckwith]
The outcome of this case marked a great victory for the women's rights
movement as for the first time in the United States abortion was made a
legal medical option out of pregnancy. By a majority of seven to two the
justice bench ruled that the government did not have any control over the
reproductive rights of women. Citing the fourteenth amendment of the
constitution, which expounds the freedom of personal and family affairs,
the judiciary ratified the decision to abort the child as a personal choice
and freedom of the mother. However this decision is still viewed as a
highly controversial one. The judges also defined the time period
(trimesters) within which abortion is legal. Abortion within the first
trimester was made legal throughout the United States while abortions in
the second trimester were regulated. The judgement also ruled out abortions
in the last trimester except under critical medical conditions. However
there are lot of controversies regarding the misuse of the provision.
We need to understand the viewpoints of the two opposing groups in
discussing the ethics of abortion. The main issue under question is the
right of women as against the moral and ethical implications of killing a
baby, which cannot even pray. Though these two groups have a totally
different outlook and approach to the issue there are some general cases
where there seems to be a general agreement over the abortion option. Let
us look briefly into the views of these two rival groups so that we can
understand their stance better before taking our stand on this issue.
Pro-Choice (Women's rights)
Ever since the women's rights movement gained force the pro-choice
group has argued for abortion as a rightful choice. Abortion is perceived
as an option that empowers women with the right to exercise her choice to
prevent unwanted pregnancy. The result of the Row Vs Wade case added
impetus to the Pro-choice group. The main...