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A Discursive Essay on Abortion

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Angela Wilkinson 1st November 2001 English Coursework Assignment No.1 A Discursive Essay on Abortion In this discursive assignment I am going to examine the topic of abortion. The Oxford English Dictionary defines this as: "An operation or other procedure to terminate pregnancy before the foetus is viable." The topic of Abortion causes much conflict between people and I will be examining both sides of the argument before reaching my own conclusion. Many people don't understand exactly what abortion is. In the UK abortion became illegal in the nineteenth century. The penalty for carrying out an abortion became life imprisonment. This did not deter many women. They used many things from poisonous drugs to knitting needles to rid themselves of an unwanted pregnancy. Many people became aware of the number of women suffering and dying because of an unwanted pregnancy. Protests resulted in a Reform Bill relating to abortion which was put into practice on the 27th of April 1968. It made abortions legal under twenty four weeks of pregnancy. It is illegal for an abortion to take place if the mother is over twenty-four weeks pregnant because it is thought that the baby can survive on its own from this time on. Since 1967 there have been twenty unsuccessful attempts at banning abortion. ...read more.


An estimated two million women have illegal abortions a year, those that don't die could be left with permanent injuries which may not allow the women to have further pregnancies in the future. Many people believe that from conception to birth the foetus is part of the mothers body and she therefore has complete jurisdiction over it. Therefore, some argue she should be able to have the right to terminate it from any time between conception and birth. These people do not believe in the 24-week law and may try to terminate a baby after this deadline. At the minute, in courts, fathers do not have say in whether or not the mother of his child has an abortion or not. In 1987, British courts ruled against a father who was trying to stop his wife from having an abortion. In Norway, a Robert Herzc is trying to get rights for fathers in the European Court of Human Rights. The religious view on abortion is very mixed. No religion actively supports abortion but some allow it. The Church of England and the Church of Scotland teach that abortion is wrong except in extreme circumstances such as serious risk to the mother's health and life. They especially disapprove of abortion when the mother is doing it for selfish reasons such as saying her career is more important. ...read more.


This leaves the mother very confused and lonely. Depression is seen as a more serious case, mothers can become depressed by changes in the body, she could feel guilty and following a termination she could feel like a piece of her has gone. In conclusion, after considering all of the evidence, I agree with abortion. I see it as a life changing decision, which can solve many problems. If abortion was made illegal, hundreds of women would die trying to solve the 'problem' of an unwanted child by themselves. It would also cause a raped mother to have the baby, which could lead to her hating the child, because it reminds her everyday of her dreadful ordeal. Some women would die if they continued with the pregnancy and need to have the option of terminating the pregnancy available to them. Not having an abortion could also lead to a severely handicapped child being born with no chance of surviving. In my opinion legal abortion should be an available choice for a pregnant women. However, it is probably one of the most difficult and heart rending decisions that a female will ever have to make in her life. A decision which should not be taken lightly. I don't class a baby as a living, human being until it is born and so I don't see abortion as murder. ...read more.

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