Abortion: the Topic of Heated Debates in Many Places

Topics: Abortion, Roe v. Wade, Human rights Pages: 5 (2031 words) Published: April 13, 2002
Abortion is defined as the premature expulsion of a fetus so that it does not live. Abortions can happen as a result of natural occurrences, but the interest of this paper is abortion that is induced. Abortion has been the topic of heated debates in many places. Nicole Miller went through an abortion at the age of 18, now 20 and is attempting to talk about the experance that it put her through. The government has had long difficult battles over the aspects of abortion. Legal cases have set benchmarks that are somewhat vulnerable. The church has had to analyze doctrines to decide whether abortion is right or wrong. There has also been violence in the way of abortion clinic bombings, assassinations, and political protest. For over two hundred years, abortion has been apart of the United States culture. During the 1700's, Americans viewed abortion merely as a means of ridding women of pregnancies that resulted from illicit relationships. Birthrates in the U.S. were extremely high at the end of the eighteenth century, so consequently the Americans wanted to lower birth rates. This social trend is best cited as "induced abortions became such a popular method of fertility control that it becomes a kind of epidemic" (qtd in Omran). Abortion went from a marginal practice of the desperate few to being a significant factor in the effort of American women to regulate their own fertility. In the 1830's the use of new contraceptive techniques became available, but for a short while, the abortion rate increases with the new introduction to contraceptives. This is due to the idea that people thought that they could have more sex, which they did, but most of the general public did not master the use of contraceptives, so many "mistakes" occurred. Even when contraceptives were used correctly, the quality of contraceptive devices was not very good. After contraception devices became more mainstream, the abortion rate lowered(Sachdev 150-151). There are two important factors in the 19th centuries that are underlying the increased practice of abortion. The first is the common law notion of quickening. Most women in America at this time did not consider a pre-quickened fetus a "distinct human being with a separate existence of its own." Quicken means a fetus show signs of life. The second was the legal status of abortion in the U.S. It was never outlawed, only condoned to help slow the declining birth rates. With ideas about the quickening changing, abortion rates seem to level themselves for the rest of the century, but many demographers believe this is inaccurate because lower-class immigrant women in the late 1800's and early 1900's caused the abortion rate to rise, and not many were ever reported. The legal status of abortion began to change in the U.S., with stricter advertising laws and a newly founded belief in scientific research by doctors. The leader of this change was the American Medical Association. For most of the early 1900's, medical personnel and politicians tried to destroy abortion, but it only made abortion more of a private procedure and not one that was often made public(Sachdev 3-7). During the 1930's, there was an estimated "1abortion for every 4 pregnancies, and 90% of those abortions were made by married women. This was due to the struggling times of the Great Depression. Frederick Taussig said "Two of the underlying historical patterns that would help produce a shift in official policy during the 1960's and 1970's were the renewed importance of abortion as a method of fertility control and the desire of women to determine for themselves without the states interference when they wished to carry pregnancy to term." Taussig was correct about this, and in 1973 came the landmark Supreme Court case of Roe vs. Wade that decided the legality of abortion and fundamentally started the groups of either pro-choice or pro-life advocates(Taussig 1936). "There is much more to abortion than abortion. It has...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about The Abortion Debate
  • Essay on The Abortion Debate
  • The Abortion Debate Essay
  • Abortion Essay
  • Presidential Campaign Debate Abortion Essay
  • Essay on The Abortion Debate
  • Essay about Controversial Topic
  • Essay on Abortion

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free