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.  Recent polls say that over 80% of adults are in favour of Abortion.

Many people who argue for abortions agree that with or without the law, it will still happen.  Desperate women will go to all sorts of measures to get an abortion.  People who fight for abortion argue that it is safer to allow abortions to be legal, this way, women can get the treatment they need safely.

Join now!

Another view is that if a woman is ill with child she should be able to abort the pregnancy.  Many believe that if a mother is ill, has been raped or knows that the baby will have no quality of life they should be able to have an abortion.  Some women who are disgraced in their family’s views argue that their prime concern for requesting a termination was for the potential child.  How can a mother bring a child into this world when she knows she will not love or care for it?  In1991 nearly 90% of all the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay