The Right to Life

Topics: Abortion, Roe v. Wade, Human rights Pages: 5 (1742 words) Published: February 21, 2006
The Right to Life

One of the biggest topics thrown around in politics, government, and everyday conversation is abortion. Abortion can be defined in many ways, but a basic definition would go something like this…"Any method used to terminate a human life from the moment of conception until birth. (Erlandson). Abortion is such a difficult subject to come to an agreement on because different people's lives and rights hang in the balance. Two major questions lie in the determination of whether abortion is right or wrong – "Is this a human life?", and "When does a human life begin?". Roe v. Wade was the first legal case to try and examine this subject at a closer look back in 1973; and nearly three decades after the Roe v. Wade decision made abortion legal in the U.S., the public debate continues to follow the well-worn path between condemnation and choice. Public attitudes do not.

Those who support abortion rights justify their position in several ways. To start, these people believe that life as a fetus is not technically a human life until after the second trimester of birth. They believe that an embryo is only a "potential" human being (Peikoff). Aside from the argument of whether the fetus is viable or not, the basic idea of taking a women's rights to her own body disturbs many pro-choice believers. They feel that abortions are private affairs and do often involve painfully difficult decisions with life-long consequences. But they also feel that, tragically, the lives of the parents are completely ignored by the anti-abortionists. Yet that is the essential issue. They feel that in any conflict it's the actual, living persons who count, not the mere potential of the embryo. They are firm in the belief that what a woman does to her own body is her own business. In addition, they believe that it is best for a child to not be born at all than to be born hated, to a mother who is forced to have him because she has no choice, and not because she wants the child.

But there are also other issues defended by pro-choice believers. They feel that there are many other legitimate reasons why a rational woman might have an abortion--accidental pregnancy, rape, birth defects, or danger to her health. In cases such as rape and incest, they feel it is unjust to force a woman to complete her pregnancy due to someone else's mistake or problem. In cases where the mother's health is in jeopardy because of the pregnancy, they believe that the only logical and just thing to do is abort the baby, if the woman so desires.

I'm sure everyone would probably agree that in cases such as rape and health problems, abortion is a logical and just step. No one wants to harm a woman's life or cause her anymore more harm after a raping or bad experience. It would be an injustice to completely abandon a woman's rights to her own body. But I'm sure there are many pro-choice believers who also feel that there are certain times where abortion may become a sticky situation to look at and do see government's difficult task in settling this argument down.

I agree that we should do everything to protect a woman's rights, but at the same time feel that abortion is morally and physically a crime. Imagine yourself or perhaps one of your children, sleeping in your bed. Beyond your range of vision, an intruder enters your house. Without warning, the intruder cuts your arms, legs, and finally your head off. You only die when your heart cannot beat any more. In this world, a crime like that would be punished severely, but yet for some reason it is not. What has been described is abortion. Abortion is the killing of an innocent human life, and is wrong.

Contradictory to what many believe, I feel that once conception has taken place, a human life is in the midst of evolving. To say that a fetus is not a child is to believe in a world outside that of real life. Just as you can not get fruit without first starting with a seed, you...

Cited: Erlandson, Greg. "Church Authorities Clarify Legal Definition of Abortion." Voice
8 Dec 1998. 4 April 2003
Peikoff, Leonard. "Abortion Rights are Pro-Life." Capitalist Magazine Jan 23 2003. 4
April 2003

Appendix A

The tiny hand of a fetus reaches out from a mother 's womb to clasp a surgeon 's healing finger. It is, by the way, 21 weeks old, an age at which it could still be legally aborted.
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