Legal Abortion

Topics: Abortion, Pregnancy, Roe v. Wade Pages: 5 (2030 words) Published: March 29, 2013
The topic of abortion is one of the most controversial of our times. It has caused countless deaths and several violent confrontations between the two separate parties of opinion. The fight between pro-life and pro-choice supporters has been long and brutal. This is because, despite what several people may believe, abortion is neither right nor wrong. It is a matter of personal opinion. In this way, each side can say with certainty that the other is wrong. However, the question still remains; should abortion be legal? Though some may disagree on this point, the fact is that legalized abortion is the only option that will protect the lives of American citizens. Therefore, present abortion laws according to Roe v. Wade should be upheld and maintained in the United States (Brown 2). Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision that legalized abortions in the United States. It was about a poor, pregnant woman who filed a lawsuit against the state law of Texas, which stated that abortions were illegal. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which meant that the decision made affected the nation as a whole. On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jane Roe and stated that "the 14th amendment guarantees an adult woman the right to seek a termination of her pregnancy until viability" (Guernsey 63). From this day on, abortions in the United States were legal. The definitions of the opinions taken on abortion are somewhat unclear to many people. Hopefully, the definitions stated below will be of some help in choosing an opinion. Pro-life supporters believe that a fetus's right to live comes first, before the rights of a pregnant woman. Pro-choice supporters believe that it is a woman's fundamental human right to decide when and whether or not to have the child (Lowenstein19). Nevertheless, while the pro-choice side fights the right to have an abortion, they make a distinction between "pro-choice" and "pro-abortion," These groups want women to be able to choose an abortion if it is right for them. However, they do not necessarily believe abortion is the solution for everyone (Lowenstein 52). There are many reasons why abortion should be legal. "The single most important effect of legalization has been the substitution of safe, legal procedures for abortions that formerly were obtained illegally" ( Jaffe, Lindheim, and Lee 147). One only needs to look into American history to see the results of prohibiting abortions to women. The violence which occurs today because of the pro-choice/pro-life conflicts is minimal in comparison to the thousands of hopeless women who turned to illegal abortions. Women, seeing no other solution to their problems, turned to "back room" clinics. These clinics were located in poverty-ridden sections of the city and their conditions were deplorable. The places themselves were layered in filth and disease. Inexperienced butchers using dirty and crude equipment treated the women. As if these backroom clinics were not bad enough, there was an even more appalling decision a woman might face. If she were unable to pay the exorbitant price for the illegal surgery, she would often perform the act herself. "Knitting needles, coat hangers, antiseptic douches, and poisons were used most often" (Welton123). It is better now that women have a place to go where abortions can be performed cleanly with minimal risk. Legalization of abortion is the only choice no matter what side on takes in the debate. Women will try to do what they think is necessary to live as they wish, no matter what the risk. Each year 84,000 women die worldwide from failed abortion attempts (Lunneborg67) . Because of anti-abortion legislation, women avoid going to the hospital, often until it is too late, to avoid prosecution from police. In the cases of rape and incest, the very idea of being forced to have the child of the woman's abuser is repulsive. There are also cases when a woman's health is put in jeopardy by having a child...
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