Adoption: The Alternative to Abortion
The word “positive” is both feared and revered by women around the globe. A simple plus sign on a pregnancy test can be cause for elation or terror. Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion (Finer and Henshaw 2001). Abortion, legalized in 1973 by the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, is defined by the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law as the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus. Abortion is an inhumane, immoral way of avoiding parenthood. It is easy to understand how a woman with an unintended pregnancy may feel cornered, but an abortion should be on the list of alternatives never considered. Adoption provides a morally sound, healthy, means of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy while enabling a couple who, by their own means may not be able to conceive their own child, become a family.
Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy through the death of the fetus. Some may argue that a fetus does not obtain “personhood” at conception because it is only a cluster of cells; it is an embryo, a zygote, and is not self aware. Therefore, the killing of a fetus is just. This argument is unsound in the fact that there are no set qualifications for personhood other than having human characteristics and feelings. A zygote is considered to be biologically alive; it fulfills all four of the criteria needed to earn the title: it has a metabolism, grows, reacts to a stimulus, and is able to reproduce. The heart begins to beat around 18 to 21 days after conception (Robinson 2010). At this point, the woman may only suspect that she is pregnant.The fetus continues to grow and become more like a person with each passing week. With a natural pregnancy, there is nothing to stop the fetus from developing further. So, the question then becomes when to consider the fetus a person? The fact that the...
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