Abortion: Sexual Freedom or Murder
Abortion is a topic that brings up very distinct feelings in us all. Some of these feelings come from personal experience, while others come from social influences. A lot of people see abortion as a simple decision of for and against. As if the issue was only in black and white, but when it comes to a topic like abortion it's mostly gray. With the intelligent writings of Ellen Willis, Randall Terry, Justice Harry Blackmun, and Justice William Rehnquist, we can hope to gain a better understanding of the many different sides and views one can take on this topic.
Ellen Willis is a freelance liberalist writer who believes that abortion is a moral debate in every sense of the word. However, she preaches that we, as a society, are focusing too much on the fetus and are overlooking the obvious and most essential concern the woman. Willis states that the "public concern over abortion centers almost exclusively on fetuses; women and their bodies are merely the stage on which the drama of fetal life and death takes place" (464). She never doubts the fact that the fetus is alive or that it is human but thinks a pregnant woman's health and well being come first. Ellen Willis thinks the key question to the abortion debate should be: "Can it be moral, under any circumstances, to make a woman bear a child against her will" (466). The thought of an unwanted pregnancy appalls Willis because last year she gave birth to a relatively easy and much desired baby. She describes her experience as painful, exhausting, but wonderful. Wonderful being the key word because to a mother who is stuck having an unwanted child the entire ordeal is dreadful. Willis thinks that "criminalizing abortion doesn't just harm individual women with unwanted pregnancies; it affects all women's sense of themselves" (466). Also, she argues because of their sexual beings, women are constantly vulnerable, their lives are disrupted, and their physical...
Cited: Barnet, Sylvan and Hugo Bedau. Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2002.
Blackmun, Harry. "Roe v. Wade." Barnet 403-11.
Rehnquist, William. "Roe v. Wade." Barnet 412-14.
Terry, Randall. "The Abortion Clinic Shootings: Why?" Barnet 471-73.
Willis, Ellen. "Putting Women Back into the Abortion Debate." Barnet 464-70.
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