Some people have always attested to the fact that conception marks the beginning of human growth and so procuring an abortion according to them would be termed as murder. Faith based organizations, certain governments and scientific discoveries (Irwin, 2007 p.99) treat abortion as murder. Despite all these positions, many people still have diverse ideologies regarding abortion. To some people, it is not wrong to secure an abortion because the fetus is not yet born. Pro life movements do argue that unborn fetus in real sense is a living creature which is sensitive to any external influences.
Moreover, some people believe that abortion can be conducted at any time before the third trimester of the pregnancy. As a matter of fact, ultra sound fetoscopy show that unborn children experience pain as the fetal movement is normally noticed during the process of abortion.
Those who posit that life of mother has to be protected when delivery would mean their death, advances an argument that fetus does not posses any human right until when they have developed adequately to show that they have potential personhood. They feel that pregnant women should therefore have rights over their bodies; hence the right to decide on carrying the pregnancy or to terminate it (Appel, 2005, p. 79). The essay seeks to explore whether abortion should be declared illegal and if so provide reasons why it should be rendered illegal.
Thesis- abortion is illegal
Owing to the fact that human growth begins at conception, it is generally wrong to terminate a pregnancy. Irrespective of the pregnancy stage an abortion is still murder. Whether the practice of abortion should be legalized or not has been a protracted global debate. The legality and other cultural factors regarding abortion differ substantially. Abortion is one of the wrong decisions made by people, some end up dying and other develop health complications which may negatively affect their reproductive system. Abortion involves termination of pregnancy before its full term reaches through removal of fetus or embryo from the mother’s womb hence causing death to the fetus (WHO, 1999, P. 112).
Abortion can either be an induced encounter or it can take place spontaneously. However, in this essay illegality of abortion will be pivoted on induced abortions as spontaneous abortions are considered as miscarriages. Miscarriage is beyond human control and it is not considered as illegal as individuals do not choose to have the embryo killed. Right to life is one of the most fundamental human rights. Abortion violates rights of the growing fetus and embryo. Human life is considered as a sacred gift and no one has a right to willingly take it away. Human being should be allowed to live from the time of conception up to occurrence of natural death (Head, 2009 p.185). Any act to willingly terminate life of unborn fetus is illegal.
Unborn fetus or embryos are small creatures undergoing human development, they are alive and that is why they are growing. Immortal objects do not grow and so unborn fetus or embryos are living human being, terminating their lives is murder. Conception marks day one of human life on earth, unborn fetus and embryo have right to life and abortion would be a definite violation of their right to life. When individual argues that some pregnancies are unwanted this does not make right of fetus invalid. Furthermore it was not their responsibility to be conceived, a woman and man had sex and conception is one of the possible outcomes.
If conception takes place both parties should take the full responsibility of pregnancy until birth without any intentional interference. Scientific discovery has shown that human life begins at conception, before which people use to argue that abortion of embryo or fetus could be conducted any time before the third trimester of the pregnancy. English common law prohibited abortion only after the fetus started to make movements in the womb.
They thought that this is the time when embryo started living however, scientist have proved it otherwise. During termination of pregnancy fetus or embryo are exposed to painful procedures, exerting unnecessary pain on human being regardless of their age or status is illegal. Whether adopted abortion methods are medically done or not they cause a lot of pain to the unborn fetus (Cline, n.d., p. 45).
Vacuum abortion which is one the commonly used methods involves removal of the fetus, placenta and its membrane through sunction. The procedure can be done manually using a syringe or electrically by the use of an electric pump. The fetus is cut into pieces which is a very painful procedure both to the mother and the unborn embryo. This method may cause damage of the uterus forcing the doctors to remove it; the woman is not able to have more children.
The woman may be considered as a social outcast especially in African countries where children are valued as part of the family assets. Abortion may cause health problems for instance anemia due to excessive bleeding leading to prolonged headaches and dizziness. Death also occur especially when abortion is conducted by unqualified persons, mother leave their families with no one to take care of them (WHO, 2006, p. 19).
Mothers may experience mental problems after abortion, emotional attachment exist between the mother and the unborn fetus. Once abortion is conducted the mother may feel guilty of her action resulting to stress and hallucination which may lead to mental illness. Mentally related problem are referred to as post abortion syndrome, if abortion is legal there should not be some people who want it done secretly. Reasons why many women opt to have abortion is mostly for personal gain and comfort as opposed to medically related problems. For instance, women go for abortion in order to delay time of childbearing, secure job, avoid interruption of education and due to financial instability. These reasons do not always add up because children are God given gifts to parent (Marquis, 1998, p.17).
Anti- thesis abortion is legal
Though scientific facts show claim that human growth starts at conception it is not certain that unborn fetus will grow to healthy human being after delivery. Some children are born with disabilities some of which may lead to death soon after birth or in later age. Children born with disabilities may require large sum of money for medical care hence leading to financial constraints. It should be noted that it is not all forms of disabilities which are curable and the child may eventually die.
It is better to terminate pregnancy than to the child born, put the mother through labour use money for treatment and eventually have the child dead. The state has a legal responsibility of defending the life of unborn fetus however, embryos have no rights until when it is determined that they can develop to potential human beings. Human beings are assigned a right to life because of their already determined personhood however, embryos are deemed not to have right to life because their personhood has not been well established.
Opposed to scientific facts personhood is considered to begin between 22 and 24 weeks. Research has shown that neocortex develops during this time this is the earliest recognized point of viability. At this stage fetus can be removed from the womb and still survive to a normal human being with medical care support (Head, 2009, p.14).
Pregnant women have control over their bodies and right to make choices on their bodies whether for personal gain or any other gain. Fetus before they attain viability stage does not possess any human right and their removal should not be considered as murder. Consequently, until when the fetus has developed adequately to posses its own rights decisions made by women to procure abortion remain precedence over the concerns of the embryo. The particular right of a pregnant woman to procure abortion termed as privacy right implied in the 9th and 14th amendment of American constitution. Laws which criminalize abortion usually relate to physician and not pregnant women who procure abortion.
This implies that even if state laws banned abortion on medical grounds women would still have the right to procure abortion using other methods for instance taking of drugs which induce expulsion of unborn fetus. A research conducted in Nicaragua where abortion is a criminal offence expectant women used ulcer drugs to terminate pregnancy in a way that can be likened to a miscarriage. The argument that human life is sacred is not valid because not every human being is religious and for this matter a Christian. Negative effects such as death of women and damage of uterus can be avoided if women are given freedom to procure abortion through legalizing it.
This would prevent conduction of abortion by unqualified persons hence avoid preventable deaths and other negative effects associated with abortion. This would also control orphan hood and single parenthood (Sedgh & Henshaw, 2007, p.89).
Women who procure abortion determine the destiny of the unborn fetus, unfortunately their destiny is being sent to the graves in their early days of life. No one has the power to determine the destiny of other individuals apart from God; expectant women should give the unborn fetus opportunity to live until occurrence of natural death. Abortion causes death of many individual who could contribute greatly to national growth.
It kills potential leaders, employers and family persons who are expected to the pillars of national growth. Abortion brings about social conflicts whereby in some communities individuals who procure abortion are regarded as social out cast. Attempt to seek personal identity may result in social conflicts, leading individual being chased away from their native land (Warriner & Shah, 2006, p. 122). Legalizing abortion is immoral.
Unborn children are regarded as an outcome of the conception and never seen in the context of a miracle occasioned by women. Sympathy for the unborn baby has been overlooked by the human rights bodies which care less about the rights of unborn children. Every day pregnant women argue that they have primary right to choose whether to carry their pregnancy to term or not they never acknowledge that the unborn child growing in their womb has any rights.
Never, in contemporary times has state laws permitted anyone to away life of another individual in order to solve their economic and personal problems. Why then kill pre-born children because of financial constraints, job security and retention of owns status quo. Once an embryo is murdered there is no other exact human being who can serve as a duplicate of the poor unborn fetus so let it live to serve its unique purpose on earth (Lennart, 1990, p. 91).
Abortion is illegal since it violates the rights of unborn children. It violate rights of unborn fetus or embryo which if given a chance to live they can become great individual in future. Since unborn children are living beings, expectant mother should not violate their rights in attempt to solve their economic and personal problems. However, fetus does not posses any human right until when they developed adequately to show that they have potential personhood. Pregnant women have rights over their bodies; hence the right to decide on carrying the pregnancy or to terminate it.
Appel, J.M. (2005). Judicial diagnosis ‘conscience’ vs. care how refusal clauses are reshaping the rights revolution. Providence, Rhode Island: Brown University Press.
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Head, T. (2009).Why is Abortion Legal in the United States? Web.
Lennart, N. (1990). A child is born Garden city, New York: Doubleday.
Marquis, D. (1989). Why Abortion is Immoral The Journal of Philosophy.86:4. Web.
Sedgh, G., & Henshaw, S. K. (2007). Legal Abortion Worldwide: Incidence and Recent Trends. Web.
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