Professor Sheila Austin
8 December 2012
Pregnancies are Merely Embryos
An endocrinologist Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders has said, "We really need to get over this love affair with the fetus and start worrying about children." What is it about the unborn embryo that causes pro-life protestors to react to the issue with such anger? Although there’s a heartbeat in a collection of cells during the third week of pregnancy, that does not make the fetus a living human being. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. Women are rightfully entitled to abort their pregnancies. Making the act illegal, as in the past would violate peoples freedom, promote unwanted pregnancy, and would definitely harm the physical health of embryos and the psychological health of mothers to be.
Freedom is guaranteed to citizens of the United States. In 1973, the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision permitted abortion. The decision stated that a woman could choose to abort in early stages of pregnancy without legal limitations. In the past, women pursued the illegal termination of pregnancy. These were known as “Coat-Hanger” abortions (Rosen). Some paid at least one thousand dollars to have the procedure done. In the Atlantic an article by Rebecca J. Rosen, she explains that in some circumstances, “Women would take ergotrate, then castor oil, then squat in scalding hot water, then drink everclear alcohol.” When all else failed, women would rather beat their stomach with a hammer before going to an illegal abortionist. One reason for the extreme home procedures was that they simply could not afford the surgery. Supporters from the pro-life side advocate adoption as the answer. However, if abortion were prohibited woman throughout the country will have limited choices since adoption might be the only legal route. Not only will they be forced to look elsewhere for abortion laced with illegality, but also the emotional weight of unwanted pregnancy would give women...