Abortion Should not be Allowed
Abortion: Why it Should Not be Allowed
Abortion and whether the same ought to be allowed or not is an issue that has stimulated heated debate between proponents and supporters of abortion. While proponents of abortion have often presented seemingly reasonable arguments on why abortion should be permitted, these arguments have often times been countered by equally strong arguments against abortion by those opposing it. This text revisits the debate and with compelling reasons, argues why abortion should not be allowed.
To begin with, it is important to note that aborting an unborn child (regardless of its stage of development in the womb) is akin to murder. According to Schwarzwalder, the senior VP of the Family Research Council, there are those who have argued that whatever is formed in the woman’s womb when a human ovum is penetrated by a sperm is just but a “blob of tissue.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In the words of Schwarzwalder, “at the moment when a human sperm penetrates a human ovum, or egg, generally in the upper portion of the Fallopian Tube, a new entity comes into existence.” Terminating this new entity at any point thereafter is akin to murder. This is particularly the case given that this new entity, which is referred to as a zygote, has “human DNA and other human molecules” as some of its key components (Schwarzwalder). It is for this reason that Schwarzwalder concludes that this particular new entity is undeniably human.
Next, it should also be noted that there are numerous other viable alternatives to abortion even in those instances where the unborn child is “unwanted.” One such alternative is adoption. Already, there are thousands of childless couples in the U.S. who would be only too happy to adopt a child they can bring up and take care of. Some of the reasons that have been cited for procuring abortions include, but they are not limited to, incest and rape (Schwarz 162). As Schwartz further points out, some abortions are procured after mistaken predictions that the unborn child is likely to be born with a disability (159). Given that there is always a chance that such predictions could be wrong, abortion could result in the death of an otherwise healthy child. Even if it is proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the unborn child will be born with a deformity, is such a discovery enough reason to kill an unborn child? In the words of Schwartz (159), “most people, including those who hold the pro-life-with-exceptions view, would strongly oppose killing a born child, even if he were deformed.” Why, then, should it be different with an unborn child? In my view, instead of denying an unborn child the right to life for the reasons cited above, the most appropriate choice for any reasonable individual would be to carry the pregnancy to its full term, bear the child, and then offer the child for adoption to a barren couple.
Third, it has already been proven that abortion could lead to some complications — both psychological and physical, either during the procedure, immediately after the procedure, or even many years after procuring an abortion. According to NHS, all clinical procedures carry some degree of risk. Some of the most common or prominent risks during the abortion process are womb damage, cervical damage, and hemorrhage (NHS). After an abortion, as the NHS further points out, womb infection remains one of the main risks. Repeated abortions according to NHS could also result in miscarriages as a result of the damage occasioned to the cervix. It is also important to note that apart from the largely medical complications identified above, abortion could also result to a lot of mental anguish and pain later on in life. Indeed, “approximately 15-25% of women who undergo induced abortion suffer from guilt feelings, anxiety, depression, sensations of loss, anger, decrease in self-esteem, nightmares and hallucinations” (Steinberg 3).
For fairness sake, it would be prudent to examine (and fault) two of the most prominent arguments that have been advanced by those in support of abortion. One such argument is that individuals ought to be granted full and absolute autonomy over their bodies. Proponents of this argument “assert that a woman’s right to self-determination, liberty and bodily integrity means that she should be able to decide not to continue with the pregnancy at whatever stage (and for whatever reason)” (Hendrick). This argument is however faulty on various fronts. For those demanding control over their bodies, they ought to come to the realization that control extends to the making of rational decisions, including prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Another argument that has been advanced by proponents of abortion is what is referred to as the right to self-defense approach. This approach according to Hendrick maintains that when threatened in some way, an individual (in this case a woman) reserves the right to protect herself. As rational as this argument may seem at first instance, it is inherently faulty and without any sound basis. It beats commonsense as to why an unborn baby would be viewed as an intruder while in the first place, its conception was as direct consequence of the actions and decision of the individual who now insists on terminating it. While the right to self-defense approach could be deemed reasonable in those instances where the health of the mother is at risk or where the woman in question was raped, it would be hard to advance such an argument in an instance where the pregnancy came about as a result of irresponsible behavior (Hendrick).
Hendrick, Judith. Law and Ethics in Children’s Nursing. Iowa: John Wiley and Sons, 2011. Print.
NHS. “Abortion — Risks.” NHS, 7 June 2012. Web. 20 April. 2014.
Saad, Lydia. “Pro-Choice Americans at Record-Low 41%.” 23 May 2012. Web. 20 April. 2014.
Schwarz, Stephen D. Understanding Abortion: From Mixed Feelings to Rational Thought. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2011. Print.
Schwarzwalder, Rob. “The Best Pro-Life Arguments for Secular Audiences.” Family Research Council, 2014. Web. 20 April. 2014.
Steinberg, Avraham. Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics: A Compilation of Jewish Medical Law on All Topics of Medical Interest. Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers, 2003.
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