CONTENT OUTLINE I. Abortion is immoral.
II. Abortion affects people's lives.
A. "Pro-Life"� versus "Pro-Choice"� is a serious debate.
B. Abortion is the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of independent life.
III. A baby is created at conception.
A. The fetus forms at an early state.
B. The baby is considered living.
C. On the tenth day, the fetus stops his mother's menstrual period.
D. By ten weeks the body is as totally formed.
E. At sixteen weeks, fingernails, eyebrows, and eyelashes appear.
IV. The process of abortion is a moral issue.
A. Abortion is the killing of a living child.
B. Induced abortions are those that are intentional.
C. People should not have the right to choose whether or not a child should live.
V. Abortion is clearly immoral.
The issue of abortion has been very controversial in the past and still is today. People have disagreed on whether the issue of abortion is morally wrong or whether it should be a right for women to choose if abortion is the right thing to do. Abortion is wrong with respect to human morality. The topics that prove that abortion is morally wrong are, first, that abortion affects people's lives; second, that the baby is a living human being; and third, that the process of abortion is cruel and inhumane. These three arguments show that abortion is immoral.
The "Pro-Life"� and "Pro-Choice"� arguments are serious debates with a significant influence on people's lives. Hopefully this paper will not be seen as an attack on anyone, especially those who may disagree. The purpose of this is to be sensitive and caring to those who have had an abortion or who may be faced with a decision regarding one in the future. Both sides, pro-life and pro-choice, have people who are an embarrassment and represent extreme action that can stir up the debate. It must be understood, for example, that those who bomb clinics do not fit the typical descriptions of people in the pro-life movement. Most strongly despise this hate and the violence. Likewise, surely those who are pro-choice would probably be uncomfortable with the extremes of those who see abortion as a normal form of birth control. Therefore, hopefully, all sides of the issue will listen to each other and not stereotype the opposing view as being crazy or as taking only dangerous actions.
Abortion is the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of independent life, and this of course, affects many lives. It is estimated that twenty-five K. Willaert 2 percent of all human pregnancies terminate spontaneously in abortion, with three out of four abortions occurring during the first three months of pregnancy (Bender 25). The fetus does in fact show signs of life at an early stage of development. From the moment of conception, when the sperm cell from the father meets and unites with the egg from the mother, life begins. During fertilization, the two cells become a single living cell. This is the first step of becoming a living, breathing person. This is a unique individual. He or she has never existed before in the history of the world (Brosnan). The fetus is not not exactly like either of its parents, nor is it like any of its ancestors.
A fetus forms fast at an early stage. As the nuclei of the ovum and sperm come together during the first hours of fertilization, they bring together twenty-three chromosomes from the mother and twenty-three from the father. These chromosome sets carry some 15,000 genes from each parent cell. In these first hours of human conception, the genes are like letters of a huge alphabet that spell out the unique characteristics of the new individual. The color of the eyes, hair and skin, facial features, body type, and parts of their personality and intelligence are all determined by this genetic coding. The gender is determined by an X or Y chromosome carried in the father's sperm cell. If an X chromosome fertilizes the egg, then the baby will become a girl, and if a Y chromosome fertilizes the egg, then the baby will become a boy (Feldt 161).
The baby is considered alive. At this point there is disagreement between the pro-life and pro-choice beliefs. The pro-life belief is that this act of conception has produced a human being. They also believe that new human life has begun at conception and K. Willaert 3 should continue until natural or a violent death (Bloom). Dr. Ratner gives his opinion on when he believes life starts by writing: It is now unquestionably certain that a human being comes into existence precisely at the moment when the sperm combines with the egg. From everything we know of genetics, it is proven that when the sperm and the nuclei unite, all of the characteristics, such as color of the eyes, hair, skin, etc., that make up a unique personality, are laid down determinately (Ratner).
Dr. John Willke agrees. He says: When the sperm and the ovum complete their joining, i.e., fertilization, conception, there is a single cell. Each of us was once that single cell. Contained within the single cell that we once were, was contained the totality of everything we are, the color of our hair, the size of our shoes, and that perhaps when we are fifty we'll get diabetes. All of this was in that single cell. The scientific fact is this; nothing has been added to the single cell, which we once were, except food and oxygen. All we have done since then is grow up (Willke).
On the tenth day, the fetus stops his mother's menstrual period and is in control of the pregnancy from then on. After day eighteen, the heart is already pumping blood through the body. Then at six or seven weeks the eyes, hands, feet, and toes are formed. The first movements of the body, arms, and legs occur then also. The buds of its teeth now appear. Surprisingly, the brain waves can be recorded too. The nose is developing, K. Willaert 4 and if he wanted to, he could already turn his head away from something that is bugging him. Then at eight weeks, if people were able to look inside, they would be able to see that the child can already grasp an object and hang onto it. He is already moving freely in the fluid he started growing in. By now the mother should have just missed her second menstrual period (Brosnan).
By ten weeks the tiny body is as totally formed as yours or mine. The heartbeat can be detected now. The fingerprints and footprints are already imprinted on the skin of the hands and feet. At the tenth week, the baby can suck its thumbs, fingers, and toes even though he is still in the mother's womb. At eleven to twelve weeks [one-third of the way through the pregnancy] the baby begins to breathe, swallow, digest, urinate, and have tiny liquid bowel movements. The baby is also able to sleep and can wake up if there is a loud noise coming from the room the mother was in. The baby can hear his mother's voice at this time and will recognize it. At this age the baby feels pain, can be taught things, and also has dream patterns on the brain waves. During this stage vocal cords are also forming and the baby goes through the motions of crying (Brosnan).
Next, at sixteen weeks, fingernails, eyebrows, and eyelashes appear on the baby. He also becomes more active as he kicks his feet and curls his toes, or he rests, sucking his thumb. Then at the five-to six-month point, [passing the midpoint of pregnancy and moving toward the end of the second trimester], the baby has been fully formed for a number of months. Now, very coordinated, having increased in size to twelve inches or more and weighing up to one and a half pounds, the baby curls as the mother moves, stretches, and rests [some infants born prematurely at this stage would survive with K. Willaert 5 enough care] (Brosnan). The description of development can go on all the way to the ninth and final month, but the point being made is obvious.
Abortion confronts head-on the moral issue of killing a living child. With all of this development taking place, some people still consider getting rid of the child by going through with the process of abortion. Of course, no fetus has ever lived through an abortion to tell anyone of the pains or how the process feels. However, it has never been proven that the fetus does not feel the pain. As the following procedures of abortion are explained, just imagine how this would feel.
Induced abortions are those that are intentional. The most common is the suction or the vacuum. During this procedure a small flexible tube, referred to as a cannula, is put into the uterus through the cervix. Once the cannula reaches the uterus wall, it then withdraws the uterine contents from the cervix. The contents are then entered into a vacuum pump. In other words the fetus is sucked out of the uterus like dirt from a carpet. Another way to abort a baby is through saline combination. Through this process the amniotic fluid is removed from the uterus with a needle. The needle is inserted through the skin into the embryo. This induces uterine contractions in about 24-48 hours. Then the fetus is disposed of. He or she becomes medical garbage. Other types of abortions include smashing and drugging the fetus. Abortions become more complicated with more time and development (Brosnan).
People should not have the right to choose whether or not a child should live. "Our laws are very funny. They allow police to enter the privacy of people's homes to stop them from battering and abusing their children, and then they use the same force of K. Willaert 6 law to guarantee the "˜privacy and right' to parents that decide to end the life of their baby before birth"� (Brosnan). Brosnan responds to the argument of whether women should have the right to choose or not stating: Let's think about the choices she has to make. She could have the baby, have the baby adopted, or have the baby's life terminated. What right has the woman got to have the life of her unborn child terminated? Nobody is forcing the woman to care for the baby after it is born, when there are thousands of couples wanting a baby to care for. Doesn't this seem to be a better option than having the baby killed by one of the methods mentioned above? It's a baby after all not an inanimate object."� (Brosnan).
It seems very convincing that abortion is immoral with respect to human life and most importantly, to the life of an innocent and defenseless unborn child. The fact that people are against abortion, the baby is a living human being, and that abortion is an immoral and inhumane way of getting rid of someone's mistake have been addressed throughout this paper. People must realize that abortion is just a sanitized way of saying, "the murder of a helpless, defenseless, and innocent baby."� K. Willaert 7 WORKS CITED "Abortion."� World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia. CD-ROM: World Book, 1998.
Bloom, Phil Fr., Dr. Herbert Ratner, and Dr. John Willke, "Abortion and Free Choice."� August 1997. Online: 30 Nov 2000. www.goecities.com/HEARTLAND/2964/top ten10.html Bender, David L., Bruno Leone, Charles P. Cozic, Stacey L. Tipp, eds. Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Green Haven, 1991.
Brosnan, Gloria, Nurse. Personal Interview. 16 Dec 2000.
Feldt, Gloria, and Reed, Ralph. "The Abortion Debate."� Cosmopolitan. Jul 1997: 155-224.
Mcgee, Glenn, and John F. Merz. "Abortion."� Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, 2000. CD-ROM: Microsoft Works Suite, 2000.
Ruane, Medb. "Statistics On Abortion District Truth Series."� Irish Times. 13 Oct 2000: 14.
"Women's Health 911."� Glamour. Jun 1999: 187.