Research on abortion.
Abortion Sc2004057178 S. Nandra
I have been asked to write and research about abortion. Abortion is a very controversial issue and many people think its right and ok, others think the opposite and then there are people that believe it is right only in extreme cases such as rape or under age sex. In my essay, I am going to include, figures and statistics, quotes from the bible and different sided arguments on whether abortion is right or wrong.
In 2003 the total number of abortions was 181,600, compared with 175,900 in 2002, a rise of 3.2%. The age-standardized abortion rate was 17.5 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44 (17.0 in 2002). The abortion rate was highest, at 31.3 per 1000, for women in the 20-24 age group. The under-16 abortion rate was 3.9 compared with 3.7 in 2002 80% of abortions were funded by the NHS, of which just under half took place in the independent sector under NHS contract. 87% of abortions were carried out at less than 13 weeks gestation; 58% were at less than 10 weeks. 1,950 abortions (1%) were under ground E, risk that the child would be born handicapped. in 2003 there were 9,100 abortions for non-residents carried out in hospitals and clinics in England and Wales
There are many definitions to what abortion means. Here is a list of a few of them.
Miscarriage/ termination of a pregnancy,
Termination of a pregnancy before 24 weeks gestation, which results in the expulsion of a fetus, which shows no signs of life.
Spontaneous: A pregnancy loss during the first twenty weeks of gestation.
It is the non-spontaneous termination of a pregnancy before the fetus can survive outside the uterus.
Abortion is the termination of pregnancy.
Different sides to abortion
If a woman finds herself pregnant, and does not want to be, what is the best (or least worst) solution for her, the potential newborn that she is carrying, and all the other people involved -- including her boyfriend or husband and their families?
1) To take no action, have the baby and raise it herself (hopefully with support from others).
2) To take no action, give birth, and give the baby up for adoption.
3) To have an abortion and terminate the pregnancy. If a woman finds herself pregnant, discusses her options with her physician, perhaps her spiritual counselor, and the other people involved, and decides to have an abortion. The media often refer to two opposing abortion groups: pro-life and pro-choice. Actually, reality is much more complex than this simple either-or binary system. There are a few individuals, sometimes referred to by the term "anti-abortion," who are so opposed to abortions that they occasionally bomb or set fire to clinics and/or murder abortion providers. The pro-life and pro-choice movements are not homogenous. There is a range of beliefs held by members of both groups. Others believe that abortion is acceptable under some unusual conditions, perhaps when the pregnancy happened as a result of rape or incest. Others say it is acceptable in cases where an abortion is needed in order to prevent the woman from being seriously and/or permanently disabled. Others say it is acceptable in a broader range of cases in which a continued pregnancy would very seriously affect the woman's health.
This is a preview of the whole essay
Pro-choicer hold a different range of beliefs about the morality of abortion some say that only very early abortions are morally accepted. Some say that only abortions during the first trimester are OK. Some say that an abortion before the fetus becomes viable is OK. Some say that a woman should be able to choose an abortion up to the time that the fetus is born. There is no single right or wrong. Many different sets of beliefs exist among individuals and groups. Most pro-lifers and pro-choicer agree:
- That an ovum, spermatozoa, a hair follicle, skin cell, etc. are all forms of human life because
- There all alive and contain human DNA
- An ovum and spermatozoa are not a human person.
- A newborn baby is a human person, and is deserving of protection.
- Somewhere between the ovum and spermatozoa stage and the newborn baby, a new human person comes into existence.
- Once a new human person exists, and then its life must be protected.
Where people differ is at what point in the process does a human person come into existence? I.e. at what point does human life become a human person? Most pro-lifers believe that this happens at conception or shortly later, when a unique DNA is created. Most pro-choicer believe that this happens later in pregnancy. They have different criteria. Some are:
- When the fetus loses it gill slits and tail and begins to look like a mammal.
- When the fetus begins to look human.
- When the fetus can survive outside of the mothers' womb.
- At birth.
Is compromise possible?
There is a wide diversity of beliefs on when, if ever, an abortion is a moral choice. No consensus exists now; none appears to be possible in the future. However, in some Western countries, people have simply agreed to disagree, and to let the woman -- in consultation with her physician and perhaps her family, friends and spiritual advisor -- make an informed decision about whether she chooses to have an early abortion. Canada is one example. The country currently has no law regulating abortion. The Supreme Court of Canada found an existing law unconstitutional. The House of Parliament was unable to agree on a replacement law. Only the regulations of provincial medical associations control how late in pregnancy an abortion can be performed. This is typically limited to 20 or 21 weeks into gestation. Abortion protests have become almost non-existent. The occasional pro-life vigil is covered in the media. In recent instances of violence -- arson and bombing of abortion clinics and the attempted murder of an abortion provider -- radical anti-abortion terrorists were believed to have entered Canada from the U.S.
The U.S. is an exception among western countries. Pro-life protests are common. Threats, blockades and other conflicts at abortion clinics are almost routine. There are a number of reasons for this high level of opposition to abortion. The interval between puberty and marriage is lengthening and is currently on the order of 15 years. This increases the number of pre-marital pregnancies, which are more likely to result in abortion. There are a relatively large percentage of conservative Christians (Fundamentalists, other Evangelical Protestants, and Roman Catholics) in the country, relative to Canada and some countries in Europe. There is a relatively low percentage of religious liberals, secularists, and persons of no religion. Trends in religious belief do not suggest a peaceful resolution on abortion.
New testament Bible
The Christian Scriptures were originally written mostly in Greek. The authors used the word "brethos" to refer to a fetus, infant or child. The implication is that to Greek Pagans (the people who originated the Greek language), a fetus is as human as an infant or child. The Bible gives us many quotes why abortion is wrong, because as a Christian or a catholic or any member of a religion, they believe that no one should have the right to determine an unborn Childs life. They believe that God has put the child into the mothers womb and he wants this baby to be born and has created him so no human being should have the right to end his life.
Matthew 26:24: "...but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born." This verse states that it would have been better for any person who betrayed Jesus if he had never been born. The verse might be interpreted as meaning that a terminated pregnancy might be better than a completed pregnancy, if the child's life would be miserable.
Luke 1:15.... [John] shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. Some translations of the Bible refer to the time when John was a fetus. Others refer to when John was a newborn; the New International Version uses the phrase "even from birth." The passage in Greek appears to be ambiguous; it might refer to a time during the third trimester when the fetus is viable. At any length, it refers to John' special birth, not necessarily to infants today.
Luke 1:35: "...The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." In this passage, the angels refer to the fetus, which Mary will carry as a "thing," not a male person. The gender in the original Greek is neuter. Jesus is only referred to by the title "Son of God" after he is born, presumably after he becomes a person. This is consistent with the traditional that a fetus becomes a full human after it has half-emerged from the mother's birth canal. Luke 1:41...when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb.... Elizabeth's fetus was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. Verse 36 states that she was in her 6th month, at a time when the fetus is probably viable. The verse might be intended to imply that a 6th month (26 to 30th week) fetus has some degree of awareness of its environment, is capable of living independently, and should be considered as a "pre-born" human person worthy of protection. It says nothing about a first trimester fetus without a functioning brain, consciousness or nervous system. This passage might be used to argue against the morality of a third-trimester abortion.
The passage also clearly relates to two miraculous pregnancies: that of John the Baptist and Jesus; it would not necessarily apply to pregnancies of ordinary people. There never has been a documented case whereby an "ordinary" fetus could understand the words of the woman who was carrying it. This only happens many months after birth.
A single-celled, just fertilized ovum is simply what a human being looks like at the start of its life as a human person. Pro-lifers consider any intentional termination of the developing process from conception to birth as a form of homicide. They argue that abortion is profoundly immoral, and should be outlawed. There are many variations of belief among pro-lifers:
- A very few would outlaw abortions under all conditions, even if it were necessary to save the life of the woman.
- Almost all would allow abortions if continued pregnancy would cause the death of the woman.
- Many would permit an abortion if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
- Some would make abortions available if continued pregnancy would result in very serious damage to the woman's health and/or long-term disability. Some would allow the use of (EC), which might, occasionally, result in the death of a just-fertilized ovum before the ovum attaches itself to the inner wall of the womb and pregnancy begins.
The pro-choice movement generally argues that much later in pregnancy, or at birth. There are also many variations of beliefs among pro-choicer as well. The two main ones are:
Many would argue that a woman should have full control over her body. If she is convinced that she wants to end her pregnancy, after discussing her options and their consequences with her physician (and perhaps her spiritual counselor), she should be allowed to have a safe abortion at any stage in pregnancy -- from the time that pregnancy begins (i.e. many days after conception, when the fertilized ovum has developed to the blast cyst stage and has attached itself to the lining of the uterus), until the time when birth is imminent. Others would argue that a woman should have the right to terminate her pregnancy at any time in pregnancy, up to the point when the fetus is viable and fully formed.
I believe that abortion is right when a woman has been raped or pregnated against her own will and if she is under age. I don’t think that its healthy for a child to have a baby as they are children themselves and they wont benefit from having a child. There life will be completely changed and they have to always depend on other people for help and support and for when they continue and go back to their education. Also, by the time there old enough to go clubbing or drinking they wont be able to because they will have to look after their baby. In today’s society, more and more younger adults, teenagers, are having babies of their own with no support from the fathers side. Its like sex has become a hobby or a competition. I think that schools, secondary schools, should enforce and talk and let pupils know more about under age pregnancy more and offer help and advise.
If a woman was raped, if I was raped, I would not want to have my rapist child. You could argue that it’s not the child in the wombs fault, which I would agree with, but if it weren’t for the rapist the child wouldn’t be there. It would be like a constant reminder for the mother and very hard for her to love that child in the same way she would love a child she wanted and was made with love. I wouldn’t keep the child because I believe it would be very hard to love that child as my own and I don’t know if I would be able to cope with having a mans child that raped me.
In conclusion to this, I believe that if a woman s put under extreme pressure and circumstances then she should be allowed to have an abortion. If she’s under age she should talk to someone who’s been there, they might not regret having their baby, but they could offer their help and let the teenager know that it’s not easy. Everybody has their own opinion with whether abortion is right or wrong but in the end it should be down to the mother and the father if he is presented.
Peter Staudenmaier, "Peter Singer and Eugenics," at:
Peter Singer, "Practical Ethics," Cambridge University Press, (2nd Ed., 1993).