An Overview of the Pro-Choice Arguments Regarding the Topic of Abortion

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Regardless of anyone's feelings about an embryo's or fetus' rights, about women's rights, about sex and responsibility, about God, about Karma, or about the Bible, one cannot ignore the fact that women have always used abortion to prevent childbirth and always will. No matter what others think, women will turn to abortion as a last resort. If abortion is illegal, it is unsafe and dangerous; therefore, it must be kept legal and accessible to ensure the safety of women.

Making abortion illegal has little effect on the number of abortions performed, and there is evidence from all over the world that shows this. In the 1930s, there were thousands of criminal abortions in the United States and Canada. The number of births dropped by about half as women refused to bring children into a depressed economy. These women resorted to dangerous, illegal abortions to end their pregnancies. Due to this, about 2500 women die every year from abortion complications, making up one in four maternal deaths. From 1950 to 1965, in the US alone, there were over 250 abortion-related deaths reported each year.

At the time, illegal abortions were approximately two to three times more dangerous than legal abortions, and simple calculations show there were at least 500,000 illegal abortions each year. (Sykes) Is a woman's life worth less than that of her unborn baby? A woman is going to have an abortion, whether it is legal or not if that is her choice. Why not make it as safe as possible for her? The present-day changes in the law have caused the mortality rate from legal abortions to be almost zero, and abortion accounts for only 3% of maternal deaths. (Sykes) It is clear that legal abortions yield much fewer maternal deaths than illegal abortions. If saving lives is the issue, then allowing women to have a choice in the matter seems to be the only answer.

It is also true that women whose own health is compromised during pregnancy are more likely to miscarry and deliver sick babies. Their babies are also more likely to die soon after birth. Women who have unwanted pregnancies are often less likely to get prenatal care, are statistically more likely to use cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs during their pregnancy, and are more likely to give birth to low birth weight or sick babies, as well as not breastfeed. Should a baby be forced to be brought up under these conditions? Like drinking, drug use, prostitution, and sex, abortion is a victimless crime.

In 1965, sociologist and lawyer Edwin Schur looked at the existing laws against homosexuality, drug use, and abortion and found the laws to be futile. Schur argues that the laws against abortion point up some of the major consequences of attempting to legislate against crimes without victims. (qt. in Sykes) He also went on to say that abortion is an example of the unenforceability of a statute that attempts to prohibit a private practice where all parties concerned seek to avoid the restriction. ( Sykes) Unenforceable laws have little effect on people's behaviors but do lead to crime and corruption. In countries like Canada or the United States, where individual freedoms and liberties are a very high priority, it is hard to picture a complete end to abortion. That is why most are pro-choice, even if they dislike abortion.

One of the most debated subjects in abortion is whether an embryo is a human being or something less. Anti-abortionists argue that an embryo is a human and is entitled to the same rights as anyone else, including the women who carry it. What they ignore is that allowing an embryo to use a woman's body against her will would give it more rights than she has since a woman does not have the right to demand the use of other people's bodies to save her own.

Anti-abortionists also ignore thousands of years of cultural, religious, social, and legal history, which has never held an embryo to be a person. Only abortion opponents have referred to an embryo as a person and only oppose abortion. Any law that defines an embryo as a person with rights equal to, or greater than, those of a woman is illogical. Subjugating women to the needs of a tablespoon of insentient, unaware tissue is perverse. Equating a human being with a hollow ball of cells trivializes everything we value about humanity. (Sykes) A woman is more than an embryo and, therefore, should have greater rights than an embryo or at least have the right to choose how her body is to be used.

Abortion may not be right or wrong, but this is beside the point. Abortion has simply become a fact of life and must be allowed in order to satisfy the needs of everyone. Pro-choice seems to be the more politically correct view since it does not attempt to impose personal views upon others but rather suggests a viable solution to one of the many problems the world faces. In a society such as the one in which we live, it is necessary to view abortion objectively. One must ask themselves if unwanted, sick, and abandoned babies are needed and if it is just or a good moral decision to bring such babies into the world, human or not.

If I were to have to do something about the issue, I would write letters to the state and tell them how I feel. I would put a story in the newspaper, letting people know my opinion. I may even go to an abortion clinic and observe the picketers, hear their opinions, and be open-minded toward them.

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An Overview of the Pro-Choice Arguments Regarding the Topic of Abortion. (2023, Mar 06). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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