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The Abortion Controversy

The controversy within the biomedical ethics topic, abortion, has two main proponents. The first is the view against abortion, also known as pro-life. The other view is rooted upon the belief of being pro-choice, or basically for abortions. These two different views are like two mathematical principles, in that although these two views have many differences, they also have larger similarities in the background. For example, when pro-choice activists support abortions due to unwanted pregnancies, the activists are not rallying behind the idea of sexual incompetency (pregnancies due to lack of birth control).

Rather, they are supporting the idea that women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. In order to understand these opposing views, justifications and condemnations, on abortion, it can basically be divided into three categories. These categories are based upon the reasons for which abortions are carried out, and include congenital defects, rape, and economics. Congenital defects, is when deformities within the baby are detected during an early stage of a pregnancy. These defects, such as Down’s syndrome, are detected through an amniocentesis test. The second justification for abortion is from criminal cases, such as rape.

A final reason for an abortion is due to economics, the financial condition, of a family. Economics can also include cases such as teen pregnancies. The anti-abortionists have numerous reasons for their beliefs, and many of them are attached to their religion ideals. Religious ideals, range from having an abortion before 120 days after the pregnancy, as in Islam, to considering it a sin to have an abortion, as in Christianity. However, the anti-abortionists’ reasons also come from the belief that a human being is born after conception, and that the death of that embryo or fetus resembles the murder of an innocent human being.

They believe that no one has the power to take command of another’s life, mainly an infant, which is dependent on others for survival during the initial stages of life. In addition, to the fact that abortions kill innocent human beings, anti-abortionists believe that they also damage the mental, as well as physical condition of the mother. Since, after an abortion a mother is more susceptible to breast cancer, and to periods of depression. In the case of congenital defects, the pro-life activists argue that such indications of a disease, do not guarantee that the child will be born into a life of suffering.

They believe that through love, and guidance anyone with any form of deformity or disease, can lead a normal life. The cases pertaining to rape also have different anti-abortionists views. Many anti-abortionists believe that the child can actually help the mother get through the turbulent times in her life, by providing each other with a loving environment. Finally, in the case of economics, the pro-life activists believe that having an abortion due to financial reasons is ridiculous. Because, it doesn’t mean that the child will have a life full of isolation and depression.

The pro-life activists argue that there are also numerous welfare programs for such families. However, the pro-choice or the activists for abortions, argue that if a family is in a state of financial trouble, then abortion should be a practical option. Otherwise, the child would be born into a life of suffering, and inadequate living conditions. The pro-choice believers, bases their beliefs, upon the fact that having an abortion is the inalienable right of women. They believe that by outlawing abortions, women aren’t allowed to practice their freedom of privacy.

In a way, women are being denied their constitutional rights. Many pro-choice activists also state that abortion is justifiable, because at the time of fertilization the ensuing embryo is not yet a human being. It is not a human being, but a potential one. Therefore, its death does not constitute a murder. Pro-choice activists’ beliefs, that the economics of a family necessitates an abortion, are similar to their beliefs on congenital defects as reason for an abortion. That is, a child born with a condition like Down’s syndrome, will tend to live a life full of suffering, and in other cases might die after birth.

This death can have damaging effects on the parents, by leaving emotional scars. In the case of rape, pro-life activists consider that since a woman was impregnated without her consent, that child can be exterminated. The pro-choice activists justify this action, in that if the child were born, it would be a recurring image of the pain the mother had suffered. The differences between the two opposing sides on abortion are obvious, since one’s interpretation of the cause for an abortion is the exact opposite of the other.

The anti-abortionists view abortion as a defilement of God, since God created everyone in his ideal image. On the other hand the pro-choice activists believe that the right to have an abortion, rests within a woman’s right to choose. Also, on the three main causes for either justifying or condemning an abortion, both sides have the opposite views of each other. In the case pertaining to economics as justification for an abortion, the anti-abortionists believe that one should have the child because it does not declare that the child will be brought up in poverty.

However, the pro-choice activists believe the exact opposite in that a child born into an economically poor family will grow up in poverty. The differences between the anti-abortionists and the pro-choice activists can also be seen in their views toward rape and congenital defects. While the pro-choice activist believes that a child born within these cases will most likely live a life of suffering and isolation, the anti-abortionists believe that a child of such nature can live a normal life provided a loving family and support.

In this century-old debate the differences between the two opposing views are easily seen than the similarities between them. However, there are numerous comparable beliefs from both sides of the debate. The fact, that pro-choice activists believe a woman has a natural right to make her own choices, and in this case, abortion, does not mean that she won’t make the wrong choice; a choice that she may regret later on in her life. The pro-choice activists, by being supportive of abortions does not support it as a form of birth control, or the fact that being sexually incompetent is a good notion.

Many pro-life activists also tend to believe that if a child is to be born into a life that will eventually end after birth, then that child should not live. The fact that pro-choice activists favor abortion does not mean that her or she favors abortion as a good deed. There is also a similar belief that pro-life activist won’t condemn abortions in which the life of the mother is at risk, due to her pregnancy. For example, in Islam, an abortion is permitted after 120 days in a pregnancy, if the life of the mother is at risk.

The debate about abortion is rooted within numerous issues between the anti-abortionists and the pro-choice activists. While, the pro-life activists base most of their support against abortions upon a religious basis, the pro-choice activists are more geared toward the individual rights attributed to women. Although, both sides have similarities, in broader aspects, of the mother and the choices she makes. These broader aspects include ideals such as, when a pro-choice activist supports abortions. His or her support is not stating that abortion is a good idea, but that if it was outlawed it would limits the rights of women.

Although, pro-choice activists have numerous beliefs for supporting abortions, they fail to comprehend the economical analysis of abortions. In the eyes of Economics, abortion can also have a negative effect, or an opportunity cost. For example, is the mother of Einstein or Darwin had an abortion, then the opportunity cost would be the loss of knowledge they discovered. Likewise, the opportunity cost of an unborn child due to abortion, whom could have had a significant effect on human race, can be devastating.

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