Abortion?

According to Merriam Webster, abortion is “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus”. There have been countless disputes over the moral dilemmas of abortion. But where the issue arises is the question when exactly does life starts? This answer varies amongst individuals and religion. Does life start immediately at conception or later after the embryo is formed?

This issue has even come up in the current presidential election. Obama believes that it is a personal choice that should be made without interference from politicians, whereas Romney opposes abortion with the exception for rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother. The Indiana Republic Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that abortion should be illegal even in the cases of rape. He said he “think[s] that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen” [3]. These varied opinions in politics are such a taste of the many different opinions in the world. Some people, who are against abortion, label pro-abortion individuals as “baby killers” [1]. Some people label women who get abortions as selfish. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions, but making laws on this becomes extremely difficult.

In France, they have a different outlook than America. They are passing a law to “fully reimburse all abortions and to make contraception free for minors” [2]. Making all abortions free give and women the right to decide whether or not they want to stop their pregnancy. France also allows minors to have abortions without parental consent, which I believe is a little too lenient. France was also one of the first countries to have the drug RU-486, which causes the embryo itself to detach from the uterine wall [2]. This is different than the morning after pill in the United States, which prevents fertilization from even occurring, preventing pregnancy itself. The pill that is in Europe, is much more similar in abortion. People in France seem to be a lot more open and accepting of abortion and it’s pretty surprising as to how open they are about it. Some may even say it comes to the point where they are promoting abortion because they are offering it free of charge.

On the other hand, back in America, people still have many debates on abortion. Some of the talk has been regarding the timing of abortion and what time exactly makes it ok. Of course having an abortion in the first trimester is better than having one later one. And public support for the first trimester abortion is actually the most (60-70%). There is also a large majority that supports abortion when the women’s life is endangered by pregnancy, or if it was caused from rape or incest, or when the fetus is found to be “defective” [1].

People in America will always have differing views about abortion and it is kind of unavoidable. I feel the government should not get too involved and force decisions amongst people and just let people decide on their own what they want to do. Of course, there will always be protests for people who are very much anti-abortion, but people do have the right to voice their opinions to the public.

[1] From Contraception to Abortion: A Moral Continuum by Wendy Simonds

[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/26/france-free-abortion-bill_n_2023729.html

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/28/ron-johnson-mitt-romney-abortion_n_2032145.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

[4] http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2012/10/28/presidential-stances-on-abortion/

2 thoughts on “Abortion?

  1. You quoted Richard Mourdock: “think[s] that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen” [3].

    (smacks forehead)
    It is things like this that make me question who is running our country. I am curious how knowledgeable Mourdock is in Embryology. Similarly, Ron Paul (GA rep) claims that embryology, evolution, and the Big Bang Theory are “from the pit of hell”. I left the video of him embarrassing the state of Georgia.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBy3MbP4WDo

  2. Cheddar: Good job juxtaposing class readings and discussions with contemporary issues. In your post you say “I feel the government should not get too involved and force decisions amongst people and just let people decide on their own what they want to do”- this is an interesting concept, but how would you actually operationalize it? Because while some would agree with you that folks should be able to decide what to do with their own bodies (namely pro choice folks), they still need some sort of governmental intervention to make sure they still have access to the services and that the services still exist. What do you think?

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