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Abortion in USA - Essay Example

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Abortion, or the willful termination of pregnancy, has very much been in the forefront in public debate in the United States. The legality of abortions and the right to have one are topics very vociferously opposed or supported.It should be noted that abortion is not a new phenomenon. …
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Download file to see previous pages Abortion, or the willful termination of pregnancy, has very much been in the forefront in public debate in the United States. The legality of abortions and the right to have one are topics very vociferously opposed or supported.It should be noted that abortion is not a new phenomenon. Abortions have been carried out in the world since a long time ago. There have been findings, such as various olden texts, that prove that abortions were being carried out thousands of years ago. Various religious texts have also broached the subject in one way or another. It can be safely assumed that almost everyone has an opinionated stance when it comes to abortion based on what they deem to be their religious, moral, ethical and/or personal beliefs. Though many countries have legalized abortions, in the United States, the debate regarding the legality has still not been resolved, despite the United States Supreme Court having made a ruling on the subject. A brief historical overview in this regard reveals that abortion had not always been illegal in the United States. It was around the middle of the nineteenth century that states started enacting laws that made abortions illegal (“History of Abortion”). However, religion or morality did not have much to do with it. It was actually based on the premise of increasing the population, and ensuring that the immigrant populations did not increase those of the older residents. The religious minded people got involved in the debate much later, especially upon the scientific discovery that human life began at inception and not at the end of the first trimester as it had been previously thought. However, with the outlawing of abortion, there was a trend of women, who sought abortions, to go to ill-equipped back-alley practitioners most of whom were not medically trained. This resulted in many complications and deaths. With the passage of time, in late twentieth century, some states did legalize abortion; however, by 1965 it was effectively banned, with a few exceptions like in cases of rape or incest, if the mother’s life was at risk, or if the fetus was not developing right. Then, in 1973, the United States Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, struck down all state laws that prohibited a woman from having abortion, thus, in effect legalizing it. Even after the ruling in Roe v. Wade, the debate has not died, and some states, with the support, or by the demand, of the public at large, have enacted laws that restrict federal and/or state funding for abortion, thus minimizing the scope of the ruling. The two sides of the debate that oppose or support it are termed pro-life and pro-choice respectively. Out of the many arguments that they give, some are being mentioned here. The pro-life group argues that human life should not be so easily dispensable. It is sacred and should be preserved. A person has not right to end another’s life. Moreover, if we seek to bring religion into the debate then most, if not all, religions prohibit abortion, therefore, people who follow these faiths should not engage in the practice. Those women who opt for an abortion, according to a lot of religious minded people, show their lack of faith in God and His Commandments and His Providence. They claim that if God blesses someone with children, then He is the One who shall also provide sustenance. Also, the pain that the fetus goes through during the process is horrendous, and the fetus should not be subjected to that. What is more, abortion may also result in severe psychological trauma to the woman involved and cause emotional scarring that may last her entire life. Furthermore, abortion can, and often does, result in various medical complications. The procedure itself is quite painful, and though it does not have a long duration, however, the medical complications it can give rise to may last a life time. These medical complications include infection, sepsis, cervix weakening, miscarriages in later life, difficulties in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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