The Ethical Dilemma of Abortion

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At some point in everyone’s life they have probably heard an argument or a commercial about the ethical dilemma of abortion. Since the historical 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, the discussion of a woman’s right to have an abortion has been one of the most contentious moral and political debates in America. The Court decided that a woman’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy, protected by the fourteenth amendment. The decision gave a woman total freedom and control of the pregnancy in the first trimester, and defined different levels of state interests for the second and third trimesters. The laws of 46 states were affected by the Court’s ruling. Despite this decision, the ethical and moral question still remains, when does a human life begin?

Pro-choice advocates argue that an embryo has no rights because it is only a potential and not an actual person, and that it should not have rights that come before those of the pregnant woman. They also say that whether or not to go through with a pregnancy is an absolute personal choice, because it involves a woman’s body, personal health, and future. There are many reasons why women consider abortion. Over half of all women who have an abortion used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant. When these methods fail, it leads women to consider other options. The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with education, work, or ability to care for dependants. That they could not afford a baby now, or they did not want to be a single mother who is having relationship problems. Other reasons are because they didn’t want to tell their parents and the negative affects it will have on their body.

Some people who are pro-choice see abortion as a last resort for a number of situations where they feel abortion is a necessary option, like health reasons. There are many health reasons for which a woman would want to terminate a pregnancy....
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