Pro Life or Pro Choice One of the most controversial issues in the polls today is the right for a woman to choose whether or not to abort a pregnancy. People who call themselves Pro-Life feel that it is the government’s responsibility to preserve all life, regardless of concerns for the pregnant woman’s health, or for the quality of the life of the child. The Pro-Choice argument feels that a woman should have autonomy and choice when it comes to what they wish to do with their own reproductive system, as long as the choice does not harm others (abortionfacts. com).
The reason it is important for a woman to be able to choose is because the lack of choice could lead to social and medical problems for the mother, health problems for the child, and a poor environment for the child to grow up in. Every woman has the right to do what they want with their body, and every child should be a wanted child. The majority of the arguments against the right to be able to choose are religious reasons against the termination of the potential for life. The right to choice is important, because preserving one life can sometimes mean killing another.
There are situations where a mother’s body is not prepared for a pregnancy, nor delivering a baby. Forcing them to carry the pregnancy to term can result in the death of the mother. This is most often seen when teenagers accidentally conceive, but whose bodies are not mature enough to carry a child. For example: the teenager is a normal girl; she has friends and family and is involved in high school activities. Due to her size, age, and physical maturity, she is not able to carry a baby to term. In the state that she lives in abortion is illegal. She dies delivering the baby.
The death of a teenager is always tragic; the entire community is in mourning. The responsibility of the newborn falls on the family, who is already having trouble coping with the loss of their daughter. Years down the road the grandparents will have to explain to their grandkid that his or her mom made a mistake by having sex, and died as a result. A life could have been saved by aborting the potential for another. Last year, Dr. George Tiller was brutally murdered for performing late-term abortions on women with life-threatening health conditions.
Ross Douthat wrote in the Virginia-Pilot: Tiller did abortions in the third trimester, when almost no one else would–which meant, inevitably, that he handled the hardest of hard cases. He performed abortions on women facing life-threatening complications, on women whose children would be born dead or dying, on women who had been raped, on “women” who were really girls of 10. Tiller was killed by a pro-life activist who believed that saving the life of women as young as ten years old was murder. In most of the cases the child would have died with the mother.
Tiller bravely underwent abortions where two lives were at stake; he was able to save one. What about victims of incest or rape? Rape is already an emotionally traumatic experience. Should women be forced to raise the child of their rapist? The emotional effects of such could seriously hinder the relationship between a mother and her baby. Another reason that abortion is an important option for young mothers is because being pregnant in high school can be socially crippling. Physiologically, teenage girls are not mature enough to emotionally handle a pregnancy.
According to The National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy, only one third of pregnant high school students receive a high school diploma; 80% of them end up on welfare (par. 1). Teen pregnancy also contributes to mental health problems, such as depression, which sometimes leads to suicide. All of these things could be avoided by providing the girl with the opportunity to choose abortion, thus resulting in a happier and more successful life. A child being born to an unfit mother can also cause the child problems in early and later life.
According to the FSU Center for Prevention and Early Intervention, the children of adolescents are more likely to be born prematurely and 50% more likely to be low-birth weight babies. Children of adolescent mothers grow up with more health problems than children of mothers who are twenty and above. Surveys of parent’s reports on their children have shown that 38% of children born to adolescent mothers had “excellent” health, as compared to 60% for children born to mothers over twenty. Of all ages, children born to young mothers are at the greatest risk for being the victims of child abuse or neglect, including foster care.
These children have a higher risk of growing up with aggressive behavior. Being born to a teen mother also has effects on the cognitive growth of a child. A study of children ages four to fourteen showed that the children born to the youngest teen mothers did worse on tests and were more likely to be held back a grade. Only 77% of children born to adolescent mothers complete high school, as compared to 89% of children born to mothers over twenty-one (pars. 1-9). The facts do not lie; children born to young mothers are at a disadvantage from the onset of life.
These children do not choose this, and it is not their fault. Aborting the mass of cells developing into a child could prevent a lot of misery for both the mother and child alike. How would it make you feel to be an unwanted child? No child deserves that. Many children born to mothers of unwanted pregnancies grow up with less than ideal conditions. Children born as a result of unwanted pregnancies often grow up in mother-only families, in poor neighborhoods, and under conditions of poverty. Teenagers in particular often do not have the resources available to raise a child.
Raising a child in poor conditions only contributes to a poor quality of life for that child (Maynard 54). It is not fair for a mother to be forced to raise a child whom she cannot support. Imagine how the mother feels when she cannot feed her child, or cannot put presents under the Christmas tree for them. Imagine how the child feels growing up with barely what they need to survive, knowing nothing more than canned foods and a poor neighborhood. This world already has a population problem, and more poverty than there needs to be. Mothers without adequate means to support a child should have the option to abort.
Many people are against abortion because they believe everyone has the right to live. The belief is that every unborn child is a human, and thus has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (Rudy XVIII). A baby takes its first breath when it exits the womb. Air is the very essence of life, without which we would not be able to survive. During the 9 months of the development of the child, it is completely reliant on its mother for survival. If the mother were to die during that time, so would the baby; unless the mother was in labor, and the baby was ready to exit the womb.
The baby could only survive without the mother after it left the body. Even then, the chances for survival are very low. Thus the baby is a part of the mother, and she has the right to do with her body as she wishes. People also argue that it is the killing of a person. According to United States law it is not. United States law states that personhood begins at birth, thus aborting a fetus is not killing a person. Religion also says that abortion is morally wrong, but not everyone has the same belief system. People who believe that it is in God’s will to allow the baby to live, may do just that.
The problem is that a lot of people do not believe in God, and a lot of people feel that God’s will is to do what is best for both the mother and child. It is not right to force religion, or God’s will on anyone. Humans also have the power of will, and thus can believe whatever they want. There is nothing wrong with choosing to keep a baby, but the choice should be left to the mother and only the mother. Not God, not the father, and not the family. When it comes right down to it, abortion is an important option for all mothers to have the ability to exercise at their own will.
The people that are against abortion have the choice to not abort. Those who differ in religious and moral beliefs, like we all do, should have the freedom to practice what they think is right and moral; they should not have to live based on the belief systems of others. If a mother feels that it is harmful to her health mentally or physically, the babies health, or that by carrying the pregnancy that the child would have to grow up in poor conditions; she should have the choice to do what she wants with her baby. It is not fair for anyone to tell a woman what to do with what is rightfully hers