Abortion is a very controversial matter in our society. In the United States it is legal to abort a baby up until the day of birth. An abortion is the ending of pregnancy before birth which results in the death of an embryo or a fetus. Many people consider abortion as cruel as murder. Although some might say abortion is justifiable, others believe that no one but God has the right to take someone’s life. However, supporters of abortion do not consider an unborn child a person who must be protected. With an issue like abortion, there is a difficulty in determining if it is right or wrong. There are many sides and arguments to this matter and the media often portrays a very negative side to the choice of abortion. The media tends to be biased and against the issue of abortion. I believe that the media is very influential on our society today. In 1973, there was a U.S Supreme Court Case known as Roe versus Wade. This case legalized abortion in The United States. They ruled that babies are not legal “persons” and from that point on, babies have had no rights or protection under The Constitution of The United States of America. By extension, a woman has a right to make decisions that involve her body and the government should not try to enforce any type of regulation on a woman’s reproductive system. The government should not impose on the wishes of what a woman wants just as the media should not impose or show bias towards the issue. The abortion issue seems to be a very clear and consistent bias. Billboards, magazine ads, and television commercials have all portrayed images of innocent babies staring, with boldfaced words around them saying things like “With your tax dollars used for abortion … how many more children will be lost?” Another bias ad propaganda is a cartoon image with a woman in her third trimester saying “How dare you challenge my right to kill this thing? No one can stop me from doing whatever I want with my body!” Under this illustration are the words “Liberal compassion at 36 weeks.” These uses of ad hominems are clearly showing the negative way people view the controversial topic of abortion. Even go as far as to “stereotype” those for abortion as “Liberalist”, showing a fallacy based on something completely irrelevant. Popular teen television programs such as MTV have shown videos featuring a rapper/singer as a spirit of what appears as a baby-to-be following a woman into an abortion clinic and begging her to let him live. There is an abundance of imagery in the video to make an abortion look as violent and terrifying as possible. So teens seeing this are definitely going to assume the worst about abortions and also think that going through with a pregnancy is the only justifiable thing to do because the video not only makes this seem completely terrifying, but also because the baby would have grown up to be something great, famous. So of course it is very hard to not think about what the child would-have-been. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy states that there are "750,000 teen pregnancies annually. Only seven percent of abortions are because of rape, incest, and possible health concerns to the mother or baby. The other ninety-three percent of people who choose abortion do it for social, personal, and economic reasons. Pregnancy happens every day, planned or unplanned. Unplanned and unwanted pregnancies make abortion a sufficient option for what is basically another way out of a less than ideal situation for some people. Although women have a hard time choosing abortion as an option for unwanted pregnancies, they have been making the choice for a long time. The MTV video ad mentioned above also depicts a situation of a man criticizing a woman about her choice until she gives in and makes the choice and chooses what he wants (abortion). This anti-abortion propaganda depicts women to be unable and incapable of following their desires because of a man’s control, belittling women. Women are hardly just people who listen to what is suggested by a man instead of going with their desires and intuitions. The woman, who would be going through the actual "labor" of continuing a pregnancy, and delivering a baby, bringing it up, parenting it well, in addition to other obligations she has to do in her daily life are all things they have to consider. This alternative should be the woman’s decision, after given thought of course. It should not be a result of the man’s decision for her. The positives that come from the option of abortion are plentiful for women seeking an alternative. Women that do not choose to have sexual encounters, but yet have it forced upon them, rape victims, have a way out of an extremely terrifying situation. Pregnant women with potentially fatal or other health concerns can consider abortion to be their “lifesaver” of sorts. If there was ever an attempt to ban abortions, the percentage of illegal and dangerous procedures of aborting a pregnancy would go up, therefore causing the cost of the procedure to increase because of accountability. A babies’ life solely depends on its’ mother and a mother needs to be healthy and capable to take on motherhood. It should ultimately be her choice. “Pro-Choice” supporters, which are supporters of abortion, see a woman's right to choose as central to all of the controversy and believe women's rights are being jeopardized when the right to an abortion is taken away. Of course the people against abortion, people that are for “Pro-Life”, feel that an unborn baby is more than just potential life: they feel that an unborn baby is meaningful human life. They side with the theory that no person should have the right to decide if another human life is allowed to live or die. Abortion is clearly immoral to them. Pro-Life propaganda refers to Planned Parenthood, a healthcare clinic that offers abortion procedures, as an “abortion mill” and a “killing chamber.” The Center for Disease Control has statistics showing approximately 1,313,000 abortions in the United States alone. Abortions can cause severe side effects. Many complications can occur and these include vomiting, infections, severe bleeding, nausea, hemorrhages, and ironically death. These are very serious risks that show the obvious distaste of this controversial issue. The banning of abortion would save the lives of thousands of unborn babies each year and would cut out the chances of women who are undergoing this risky procedure from the possibilities of such severe side effects. The media uses propaganda and other fallacies to cloud ones’ judgment(s) and make people believe things that might not necessarily be true. Propaganda makes things that seem one way look completely different or make things sound more drastic than they really are. Rhetorical appeals, slanting words and propaganda affect everyone in the world today. These logical fallacies are often times absurd. For example, a billboard shows a baby and next to it in huge bolded letters, are the words “Endangered Species.” These techniques are often drastic and dramatic, however, the majority of the time, they definitely get their point across. Whether someone thinks abortion is right or wrong, it will always be around. Legal or illegal it will continue to happen. The media will continue to downgrade abortions and the people that believe in them. It is obvious that there are few people in this world that are for this issue but it is not right to place judgement on someone without knowing their situation, and even then, who is anyone to judge what someone else believes is in their best interest? I would say absolutely no one has that right. While the issue of abortion is so controversial, it makes it nearly impossible to talk about and possibly see the “positives” that come from it, rather than just questioning it. People will have their opinions, primarily on the basis of their morals or ethnically, that is how they will look at this issue. The majority will have an unwillingness to change their view(s). On the hopeful side, it is possible that because society and the media portray abortion so negatively, adoption rates will increase and fewer lives are left unharmed to the decision of abortion.
“Abortion in the United States: Statistics and Trends.” www. nrlc.org. 4 October 2010.
Blackmun, Harry. “Roe.vs. Wade.” www.oyex.org. 2 October 2010.
Cornswald, Alexander. “Liberal Compassion at 36 weeks.” 27 March 2009. www.cornswalled.com. 2 October 2010.
“News and Politics.”www.sodahead.com. 4 October 2010.
Wetcher, Beth. “Knowledge Is Empowering.” www.knowledgeisempowering.com. 1 October 2010.