Should Abortion Be Legal?

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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. Therefore the question 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. One only needs to look into American history to see the results of prohibiting abortions to women. The violence which occurs today because the of pro-choice/pro-life conflicts is minimal in comparison to the thousands of hopeless women who turned to the illegal abortions --either self-inflicted or preformed by the backroom "professionals"-- which resulted in infection, massive blood loss, and death. It is better now that they have a place to go where abortions can be performed cleanly and with minimal risk. Legalization of abortion is the only choice no matter what side one takes in the debate. Women will try to do what they think is necessary to live as they wish, no matter what the risk. In order to live as she chooses a woman may give up her freedom, her morals, her beliefs, her family, or even her life. Abortion has been around for thousands of years in every inhabited corner of the globe. It has always been accepted as a means to prevent the suffering of both woman and potential child. It has been practiced widely in every society for many reasons including famine, war, poverty, overpopulation, or simply because a woman felt she was not ready for a child (Whitney 40). No one ever questioned a woman's right to this procedure. After all, who but God had the right to judge what a woman did with her own body? This thought process lasted till the 1800's. During this era of change people began to turn their attention in a new direction, the fetus. They began to protest abortion as cruel, inhumane, and murderous. Filled with a new sense of purpose and the glory of a fresh, righteous cause to uphold this new morality swept the countryside enveloping everyone in its wake. Abortionists who were once revered and depended upon were now scorned and threatened. Though abortions still happened with regularity, they were kept silent and seen as a matter of shame. "Over the next hundred years, public sentiment for the fetus continued to rise until the inevitable happened in America during the early 40's; Abortion was made illegal." (Cohen 17). There was much back patting and congratulations among the pro-life supporters. And why not? They had succeeded in saving the lives of the hundreds of innocent babies who would have been senselessly slaughtered for the convenience of selfish, ignorant, and irresponsible women. Because of this new law, women would settle down and raise families or give these beautiful children over into the hands of the hundreds of loving couples who were just waiting for a baby to call their own. It seemed that the perfect law had just been passed. Or had it? It has been proven time and time again throughout history that the human spirit will not allow prohibition. Something inside us feels the need to strike out at that which restrains us and holds us from the life we want. Just as prohibition of alcohol made a black market for liquor (a virtual underworld was immediately erected to fulfill the new need for abortions). Government, through regulation, had once again created a need that would be fulfilled by the lawless. Most doctors, fearing incarceration, refused to treat the women who so desperately wanted abortions. Women, seeing no other solution to their problems, were often desperate enough to turn to these...
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