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The evolution of abortion Free essay! Download now

Home > A Level > Sociology > The evolution of abortion

The evolution of abortion

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The evolution of abortion

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Abortion was illegal before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in the trial of Roe v. Wade, but now that abortion is legitimate, women have the freedom and the choice to live their life the way they want to. Albeit, abortion is criticized by religious sects in America and some of the public, the practice of abortion should remain legal in the U.S. because it allows a woman to choose her destiny and prevents unwanted children. Definitions are essential to define in this issue. Abortion is the forcible removal of a developing baby from the womb of his or her mother, using surgical, mechanical, or chemical means. Medical definition holds that abortion is any termination of pregnancy before 20 weeks. Medically defined, abortion is the "end of a pregnancy before viability." Therapeutic abortion is the termination of pregnancy via the intervention of a physician through surgery or the use of RU-486 or some other medications. Conception is a synonym for fertilization or creation. An embryo is a stage of prenatal mammalian development which extends from 2 to 8 weeks. Fertilization is the penetration of an ovum by a single sperm. A fetus is a stage of prenatal mammalian development which extends from 9 weeks after fertilization. Miscarriage is the interruption of pregnancy prior to the 7th month, usually used to refer to an expulsion of the fetus which starts without being induced by medical intervention. About a quarter of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage. An ovum is the mature sex cell generated by females in an ovary. Trimester is a period lasting nominally 3 months.
A human pregnancy is often divided into three trimesters, from fertilization from birth. From a historical perspective, the purpose of abortion has been undoubtedly to act as a life saver for both child and mother. In the two decades before abortion was legal in America, it's been estimated that about one million women per year underwent illegal abortions. In the process, thousands of American women died and thousands more were maimed. Whenever a society outlaws abortions, it induces the women to seek abortions in the back alleys where they become deleterious, exorbitant, and tarnishing. Thus, to protect the woman's life, we must keep abortion legal in America. According to abortion statistics from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, about 15,000 women have had abortions each year because they become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. Fortunately, the nation's leaders were able to stop this butchery of women. In Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1973, stated that a woman and her doctor may freely decide to abort a pregnancy during the first trimester, state governments can restrict abortion access after the first trimester with laws intended to protect the woman's health, and abortion after fetal viability must be available if the woman's health or life are at risk. In other situations, state governments have the right to prohibit abortions.
Abortion, thereby, became authorized in the United States of America because the court decided to preserve the right to choose an abortion as a constitutionally protected liberty. It is possible for one to be supportive of abortion on a political level, but against abortion on a personal level. Although many individuals say this notion is contradictory, different people evidently have different morals and values based on religion, from parents, friends, family, experience, and knowledge. Even though most Americans would believe that, for example, murder is wrong, a range of values exists for Americans to believe. The disparities between these values create challenges for a government in modern society. As a political issue in a pluralistic society, abortion does appear to be a dilemma for the government. The question is, "How does a federal government formulate a law that benefits the whole society best?" Political compromise, the usual mode of settling disagreements in a pluralistic society, is not a satisfactory method for resolving deep moral controversy.
In the case of abortion, however, the United States government should undoubtedly play an autocratic role in dictating what morals to promote. Since Judeo-Christianity principles form the foundation of Americans, American government is likely to incorporate Judeo-Christian values, as well as other values, into its decisions about abortion. The question still remains: Whose morals are Americans supposed to follow? Obviously, no one can dictate morals and, if the American government authorizes certain morals, it is likely that individuals would rebel against the "tyrannical" system. Our nation is polarized over the political, legal, and moral status of abortion. The two sides of abortion include, "pro-choice" and "pro-life." In the simplest characterization, a pro-choice would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the government has no right to interfere. A pro-life would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. This moral incongruity is the problem that must be resolved.
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