When the topic of abortion is discussed, people tend to assume one of two standpoints: ‘pro-life’, that is they believe that women should not have the ability to abort a human life because it would constitute murder or ‘pro-choice’, they believe that the woman carrying the foetus should be given the right to decide whether to carry the baby to term or abort it. Although modern society is divided on the subject of abortion by many wide ranging beliefs, most do not fall strictly on one side or the other and there are certainly indications that ultimately the majority do favour a form or forms of restricted availability.
There are variations within each group depending on how liberal or conservative one’s opinions are; some individuals who are pro-life believe that in cases of rape or incest abortion should be allowed, and some pro-choice groups favour waiting periods and other restrictions on abortion. Furthermore, pro-choice proponents do not necessarily support or advocate abortion, they simply want women to have control over their own bodies and futures. Therefore, contrary to popular media portrayals of the debate between pro-life and pro-choice groups, there is not actually a clear-cut line between the two sides of the argument.
No matter which side you have personally taken, it is important to understand what the opposing position believes. The more you know about the arguments in favour of or against abortion, the better prepared you will be if you must make this type of decision regarding your own pregnancy.
Some of the popularly held ‘Pro-Life’ Arguments are as follows:
Since life begins at conception, abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking human life. Abortion is in direct defiance of the commonly accepted idea of the sanctity of human life
No civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different.
Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and accomplishes the same result. And with 1.5 million families wanting to adopt a child, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.
An abortion can result in medical complications later in life; the risk of ectopic pregnancy doubles, and the chance of a miscarriage and pelvic inflammatory disease also increases.
In the instance of rape and incest, proper medical care can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant. Abortion punishes the unborn child who committed no crime; instead, it is the perpetrator who should be punished.
Abortion should not be used as another form of contraception.
For women who demand complete control of their body, control should include preventing the risk of unwanted pregnancy through the responsible use of contraception or, if that is not possible, through abstinence.
The foetus is a human being from the moment of conception; this means abortion is murder, which is immoral and should be illegal.
If the pregnancy is the result of carelessness on the mother’s part (i.e., she did not take the proper precautionary measures to effectively prevent an unintended pregnancy), she should have to deal with the consequences. It is ultimately her responsibility (as the partner who can become pregnant) to prevent pregnancy if both she and her male partner do not wish to conceive.
If abortions are unconditionally accepted by society and easily obtainable, people will use them as a regular form of birth control.
All babies have great potential; a woman could possibly abort a foetus that could have grown up to be of great importance to society or the world at large.
Many religions with extremist views do not endorse abortion or birth control. This is because such religions believe that sexual intercourse is for procreation purposes only or simply because children conceived within a marriage are children of God. Hence, terminating a child of God is a moral sin.
Many Westerners who pay taxes are opposed to abortion, therefore it’s morally wrong to use tax dollars to fund abortion.
Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterwards.
Abortion frequently causes intense psychological pain and stress.