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Analyse and interpret the pro-life and pro-choice perspective on abortion. Judging from the evidence gained, which is the more reliable perspective?

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Introduction

Q1: Analyse and interpret the pro-life and pro-choice perspective on abortion. Judging from the evidence gained, which is the more reliable perspective? The principal aim of this essay, is to give a greater understanding on the subject of abortion and the debate that surrounds this topic area, it would be an understatement to say that abortion is an utterly controversial subject, which as for many years, lead to numerous heated debates, as it is not uncommon that each individual holds their own strong willed opinion (Marsh and Chambers, 1981). The actual definition of abortion can be characterized as a procedure of removing prematurely a foetus from a woman's womb and the term 'abortion' finds it origins in the Latin word 'aboriri', which signifies 'failing to be born' (Jenkins, 2002). It should not be forgotten that abortion has not always be legal in the United Kingdom, therefore this legal status of abortion only changed with the adoption of 'The Abortion Act 1967' which took effect on the 27th April 1968 (Lee, 2000). There was further development brought by 'The 1990 Human Fertilization and Embryology Act', which set a new upper time limit reducing from the 28th week to that of the 24th week of pregnancy for the acceptance of an abortion (Talking Politics, 2002). There are many reasons for why women decide to ask for an intervention, such as an abortion, whether it is for personal or for medical reasons, it is important to point out that an abortion will only be granted, if certain conditions are met, the grounds for the acceptance of this type ...read more.

Middle

and 'to what extent is the foetus human?'. Both the pro-life and pro-choice movements agree that yes, the zygote-embryo-foetus is a living element, which can be described as a biological system that is capable of transforming both nutrients and oxygen into reusable energy, which in turn allows its cells to proliferate and develop (www.elroy.net). It is based on these facts, that the pro-life movement base their central conviction that 'life begins at conception', it cannot be denied that all the necessary elements are present, the 23 chromosomes from the egg and the other 23 chromosomes from the sperm, to create a fertilized cell and therefore contains all the DNA essential to become a potential person. Although these facts are true, the pro-choice counter-attack this judgement, by arguing that there are other single cells that are equally capable of transforming oxygen and nutrients into energy in order to divide and grow, one such cell is the 'amoeba'. Similar to the human zygote, the amoeba has its own full DNA, and commonly shares many aspects with the zygote, except at no given moment will the amoeba become a potential person, it will always remain an amoeba and never a human being (www.elroy.net). It has been shown that on certain points, the two movements, agree to disagree, when investigating the debate that surrounds the moral ethics of abortion, it is apparent, that there is not just one central issue, but the whole abort or not abort question, is founded on numerous other matters, other than the moment of personhood, another popular topic area often revolves around whether or not the foetus is human, and if so, at what moment does foetus become human (www.elroy.net). ...read more.

Conclusion

The pro-choice movement do not agree with this viewpoint, on the simple basis that the foetus is not human and consequently not eligible for any rights, they argue that life does not start until birth or at the moment of viability. It is their beliefs that the women rights have a predominance over that of the foetus, especially when the woman's health and life are in some form of danger and that a woman should have the freedom of choice, when it concerns her own body (Lee, 2000). To further emphasise to the pro-choice approach, in 2004, a woman who had seen her pregnancy unfortunately terminated by error, lost her legal battle, when the European Court ruled that the six month old foetus was not considered to be a human being and as a result, was not accorded the right to life under the European Convention of Human Rights (http://news.bbc.co.uk). The aim of this essay was to investigate both the pro-life and the pro-choice perspectives concerning the subject of abortion, and based on the evidence obtained, judge which of the two approaches seem to be the more reliable. It cannot be denied the due to the subject matter; the decision was going to be exceedingly difficult to make and would largely be influenced by personal opinions and convictions. It is very difficult to remain insensitive to the whole idea of the abortion procedure, in the same way; it is possible to understand why a woman actually choose to make this decision, as it must be a difficult and painful choice to make, which for a certain degree must leave not only physical scars, but psychological ones too. ...read more.

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