In three weeks, Jennifer will leave for college. She broke up with her boyfriend two weeks ago, and today she found out she was pregnant. Should Jennifer have an abortion, or stop all her plans and have a baby at eighteen? Either way the decision is hers to make. On January 22, 1973 the landmark decision of Roe vs. Wade occurring in the Supreme Court made abortion a "constitutional liberty" (Francome 20). Legally, Jennifer can receive an abortion. Socially, however, she will endure many more obstacles.
Fighting for society's acceptance
In today's American society, viewpoints on certain topics often conflict with what individuals believe is right. This is very evident in the argument for acceptance of abortions among college students. However, with the rise of the anti-abortion movement this procedure has become less accepted and harder to obtain. Should abortions among college students be more widely accepted in society? According to a Planned Parenthood study done in 1997, forty percent of seventeen year olds will become pregnant before their twenty-fifth birthday. This statistic is directly targeted at college age females. The answer is far from being strictly a black and white issue, but my own viewpoint is "yes" abortions should be accepted among society for many reasons. The controversial issue of abortion has many intertwining, surrounding complications. Such an issue is never concrete, "in
America, about 20% of Americans thoroughly oppose abortions, 20% thoroughly favor abortions, while a vast majority are 'muddled in the middle'" (Pojman and Beckwith 59). As with any pregnancy there are impending risks involved and many extenuating circumstances that justify an abortion. In a perfect world, abortions are not the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but there are many "bumps in the road," keeping the United States from being perfect.
The main question facing society is the definition of a fetus' point of living. Pro-Lifers believe that, "a fertilized embryo is the foundation for a living human being" (National College Students for Life). In contrast, pro-choicers argue that a human being is something more concrete with it's own thought processes and consciousness. Petchesky argues, "the fetus is only a potential human being, and we confuse actual with potential" (432). So who is right and who is wrong? Who makes the definition of a living human being? These however, are questions that will most likely never be resolved. Therefore, both sides need to accept and respect each other views on the issue for society as a whole to be more accepting of abortion.
The emotions that result from being in a college atmosphere and the emotions that occur with pregnancy do not coincide. Most college students are not emotionally stable enough to carry or give birth to a child. As stated by Rosalind Petchesky, "women between the ages of eighteen and twenty are at the highest level of emotional insecurity
and have proven to be unfit mothers" (322). Entering college is a new experience for teenagers which involves a new sense of freedom and responsibility. College students are battling with being on their own for the first time, managing their time and studying. College students have too much emotional strain and stress on them to add the additional stress of having a child. A survey was conducted among college males and females on their various viewpoints of abortion. Of those surveyed, 82% of both males and females claimed they did not feel that they would make a capable parent while still remaining in college. Having a child brings a whole new sense of responsibility that I do not believe college students are able to handle. The added stress of morning sickness, mood swings, weight gain and other anxieties attributed to pregnancy would place to much of a emotional strain on an already tense college student. Pro-Lifers argue, "if one...
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