Abortion Pros and Cons Essay

  • Last Edited: June 29, 2018
abortion pros and cons essay

Abstract

Abortion refers to the termination of the pregnancy and most members of society tend to feel strongly and often myopically about their opinions of abortion. This paper will examine the complex and multi-faceted history that the United States has had with abortion as well as the pros and cons of this procedure. This essay will take a long look at the reasons that motivate those who support abortion and those who do not. It is hoped that this deep analysis will not only strengthen one’s ability to think critically, but allow compassion and common understanding to thrive in society.

Abortion Titles

  • Abortion: Nuances of the Issue
  • Abortion: Reasons for Support and Opposition
  • Abortion: Reasons for Approval and for Protest
  • Abortion: Exploring the Positive and Negative Complexities
  • Abortion in America: Examining both Sides of the Coin

Abortion Topics

  • Acceptable Circumstances: When is an abortion a non-controversial decision?
  • The impact of technology on abortion practices.
  • Religion and abortion: examining the relationship through history.
  • The government and abortion: what role the government should play.
  • The mental and physical health impact of having several abortions.
  • What the history of abortions can tell us about present-day controversies.
  • The connection between abortion rights and human rights.
  • Parental rights and abortions with minors: best practices.
  • Issues commonly entangled with abortion (abuse, relationship issues, career derailment, etc.).

Outline

1. Introduction

Background on abortion.

Offer historical data on how the practice emerged and was viewed.

Discuss how opinions have changed or stayed the same. regarding the practice.

Last sentence: offer thesis on this issue.

(Note: since this is an essay that discusses the pros and cons of abortion and compares them, an acceptable thesis might be: “comparing the pros and cons of abortion can help to shed light on the complexities of the issue” or “contrasting the pros and cons of abortion can help members of society build understanding”).

2. Body

a. What is an abortion?

b. Pros and Cons of Abortion

i.  Pros
ii.  Cons

d. Trump’s Stance on Abortions

e. Abortion Statistics

f. Abortion Laws

3.  Conclusion

Restate your thesis and speculate on how having a better understanding of the perspectives of those who disagree with us can create a more compassionate society.

Reiterate the main views of those in favor of abortion and their platforms. Reiterate the foundational beliefs of those against abortion.

Summarize your statement about how the two sides may never fully agree, but reaching an amicable compromise would be the mark of a civilized society.

Essay Hook Sentence

“In the mid-1800s abortion was a hot-button issue as it is today, but not because of religion, ethics or politics, but because of concerns regarding poisoning” (Reagan, 1998).

Introduction

“In the mid-1800s abortion was a hot-button issue as it is today, but not because of religion, ethics or politics, but because of concerns regarding poisoning” (Reagan, 1998). In those days, people did not believe that human life existed at conception: it was only when the movements of the fetus were experienced did they believe there to be human life (Reagan, 1998). Even the Catholic Church upheld this viewpoint. One might argue that 18th century beliefs were in many ways more feminist as the common law was founded in the experience of the female in her own physical body (Reagan, 1998). Many of the changes in how perspectives shifted were in connection with the actions of the American Medical Association and their desire to not compete for work from homeopaths and midwives (Ravitz, 2016). Understanding how the present-day controversy towards abortion actually developed can be useful in shedding light on the issue as a whole. While people don’t like to entertain perspectives that refute their own, learning to understand the pros and cons of abortion increases one’s ability to think critically and fosters a more compassionate view of the world.

Thesis Statement

“While people don’t like to entertain perspectives that refute their own, learning to understand the pros and cons of abortion increases one’s ability to think critically and fosters a more compassionate view of the world.”

Body

What is an abortion?

For the purposes of this paper, an abortion will be viewed as a termination of the pregnancy. According to Harvard Health, “Abortion is the removal of pregnancy tissue, products of conception or the fetus and placenta (afterbirth) from the uterus.

The terms fetus and placenta usually are used after eight weeks of pregnancy, while the other terms describe tissue produced by the union of an egg and sperm before eight weeks.”

Abortions Pros and Cons

Pros

One of the biggest pillars in support of abortion is the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a landmark decision in 1973 in the case Roe v. Wade, that abortion was a “fundamental right” supported and protected by the United States Constitution (Faux, 2001). Some of the reasons behind this decision were that the justices concurred that the Constitution protected particular arenas of privacy for the individual, and that the decision to terminate a pregnancy did exist within a woman’s zone of privacy. Another point in favor of the abortion rights of women is that reproductive choice allows women not only control of their physical bodies, but also their destinies.

One of the major reasons that women get abortions is because they don’t have the time, money or resources to support a child.

As Sandra Day O’Connor pointed out notably in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives” (Cornell.edu). For a woman her professional and personal live is inextricably connected to her reproductive life. For the state to attempt to control the reproductive lives of women means that it is essentially attempting to put a stamp on their destinies, limiting their freedom and agency. That is something no citizen of any democratic land should have to endure.

Another argument that clearly supports the right to an abortion is the fact that personhood does not begin with conception. There is a period of time after conception where the pregnancy is just tissues and cellular pregnancy matter. The unborn do not have constitutional rights. Birthdays are significant because they represent the day a person was born and began receiving rights and starting their independent personhood. This is why conception days are not celebrated, because a person still did not technically exist at that time. The final point in support abortions is that “Fetuses aged 24 weeks or less do not have the brain connections to feel pain” as stated in a report published by the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Coghlan, 2010). This finding is well in line with the fact that other studies have found that fetuses can’t experience pain until the 28th or 29th week of pregnancy. When a fetus is 24 weeks or less it simply does not have personhood. The fact that it cannot experience pain only supports this finding even more.

Cons

Those who find themselves against abortion, commonly make the argument that abortion is quite simply, an act of killing. It is the mother authorizing the murder of her child that resides in the womb. To those who oppose abortion, they do so because they think that murder is wrong, regardless of whether or not the individual has been born or not. Even though fetuses may not have been granted constitutional rights, there is still The Federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act which exists in order to safeguard children and the unborn from acts which might attempt to harm them or haphazardly harm them. According to this Act, “Whoever engages in conduct that violates any of the provisions of law listed in subsection (b) and thereby causes the death of, or bodily injury (as defined in section 1365) to, a child, who is in utero at the time the conduct takes place, is guilty of a separate offense under this section” (congress.gov). Hence, if a murderer kills a woman and her unborn child, the killer is guilty of two separate offenses. Thus, if an unborn fetus is just tissue and cellular pregnancy material this would not be the case.

While fetuses might not have legal rights recognized by the constitution, they are still members of the species. They still have rights to safety and protection.

Another pillar against abortion would be the argument that life begins at conception, which is why abortion is so wrong. Conception is when life has begun, regardless if human beings have the faculty to understand it or not. The genetic identity is being forged stronger every day after conception, and even if what is there might not look exactly like a person, it is a person. The American College of Pediatricians agrees: “The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization.  At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop.

The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature” (acpeds.com).

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The final pillar against abortion is that the decision of Roe v. Wade was and continues to be in direct violation of the 14th amendment. The 14th amendment is a very special and important part of legal history in the United States, one that was deemed crucial to add to the constitution after the Civil War ended. It asserts: “No State shall … deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” However Supreme Court’s finding in Roe v. Wade erased all law protecting unborn children, who apparently aren’t people in the eyes of the state (Stark, 2018). One could only assume that the 14th amendment would include all members of the human species (Stark, 2018).

No Supreme Court should be allowed to trod on a constitutional right, which should apply to the unborn as well.

Trump’s Stance on Abortions

Trump has notably changed his position on a host of issues, supporting them one minute and then changing his mind later. He famously claimed to be pro-choice in an interview he gave in 1999. However, Trump has become what some refer to as a pro-life crusader, as he has to be in order to secure his own re-election. Many members of his party are conservative evangelicals who see the pro-life position as a deal-breaker (M.S. R, 2018). If he doesn’t support the pro-life position, he will lose their support. “Trump has explicitly stated in the past that he hoped to appoint a judge who

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Abortion Statistics

According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of abortions in America has reduced in the last few years. “In 2014, 652,639 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. The abortion rate for 2014 was 12.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 186 abortions per 1,000 live births.” When comparing 2013 and 2014, the overall amount and frequency of reported abortions decreased by 2%. Furthermore, looking at the ten years from 2005 to 2014, the number of abortions decreased by 21% and the rate of abortions decreased by 22% (cdc.gov).The majority of those seeking an abortion were women in their twenties (cdc.gov). The bulk of abortions occurred in the early period of gestation: “91.5% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (7.2%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation” (cdc.gov). This is a trend that has existed for the last few decades.

Abortion Laws

Abortion laws in America have variances and nuances to them, something one can’t help but expect, given how complex the overall issue is. While Roe v. Wade meant that the right to have an abortion was federally recognized as a woman’s right, the states all have their own requirements and modifications of this law. Consider the following policies currently in place. Doctor and Hospital Prerequisites: 41 assert that an abortion needs to be done by a licensed doctor (Africa, 2018). 19 states assert that an abortion must be performed in a hospital after a specific point in the pregnancy (Africa, 2018). Gestational limitations exist in 43 states forbid abortions except to protect a woman’s life or health, after a specific time in the pregnancy (Africa, 2018). Coverage by private insurance is still narrow. 11 states limit the inclusion of abortion in private insurance plans, usually limiting the inclusion for when a woman’s life is jeopardized and needs an abortion to survive (Africa, 2018). Refusal by doctors and other medical personnel is still acceptable.

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Conclusion

In seeking to better understand the pros and cons that exist within the complex issue of abortion, one can better understand the world one lives in. Those who support abortion often cite the federal right bestowed on them in the ruling Roe v. Wade in 1973, and the right of the woman to exert autonomy over her body. These supporters further their position by adding that neither the cellular material nor the fetus have personhood, nor are they developed enough to experience pain. On the other hand, those who are against abortion argue that it is murder, plain and simple, and the murder is always wrong. Those who oppose abortion often use The Federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act to argue that it is indefensible. There is also no absence of medical experts who argue that the fetus can experience pain. Examining Trump’s position on abortion, along with current abortion laws and policies helps to shed light on the current climate in society on this issue. The more one understands the viewpoints of those one disagrees with, then the most enlightened one becomes and more likely to engage in compromise.

References

Acpeds.org. (2017, April 17). When Human Life Begins. Retrieved from https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/life-issues/when-human-life-begins

Africa, S. S. (2018, June 1). An Overview of Abortion Laws. Retrieved from https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-abortion-laws

Arnold, A. (2018, June 27). This Is How Hostile Trump’s Potential SCOTUS Picks Are to Abortion, LGBTQ Rights. Retrieved from https://www.thecut.com/2018/06/trump-supreme-court-nominees-abortion-lgbtq.html

CDC.gov. (2017, November 16). Abortion | Data and Statistics | Reproductive Health | CDC. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/abortion.htm

Coghlan, A. (2010, June 25). 24-week fetuses cannot feel pain. Retrieved from https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19089-24-week-fetuses-cannot-feel-pain/

Congress.gov. (n.d.). Unborn Victims of Violence Act 2004. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/108/plaws/publ212/PLAW-108publ212.pdf

Cornell.edu. (n.d.). Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992). Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-744.ZO.html

Derbyshire, S. W. (15, April). Controversy: Can fetuses feel pain? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1440624/

Edwards, A. A. (2018, March 19). Men Charged With Mosque Bombing Also Attempted To Bomb Abortion Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.refinery29.com/2018/03/193706/mosque-abortion-clinic-bombing-illinois-charges

Faux, M. (2001). Roe v. Wade: The untold story of the landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal. New York: Cooper Square Press.

Harvard Health Publishing. (2015, May 20). Abortion (Termination Of Pregnancy) – Harvard Health. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/abortion-termination-of-pregnancy-

M.S.R. (2018, January 25). Why Donald Trump has become a pro-life crusader. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/democracy-in-america/2018/01/25/why-donald-trump-has-become-a-pro-life-crusader

Ravitz, J. (2016, June 27). The surprising history of abortion in the U.S. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/23/health/abortion-history-in-united-states/index.html

Reagan, L. J. (1998). When abortion was a crime: The legal and medical regulation of abortion, Chicago, 1880-1973. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms.

Stark, P. (2018, January 16). Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life | Pro-Life News and Information. Retrieved from https://www.mccl.org/single-post/2018/01/16/How-Roe-v-Wade-subverted-the-Fourteenth-Amendment-to-impose-abortion-on-demand

Closing

Despite how far we have advanced as a society, abortion still remains a divisive, polarizing issue for so many. This divisiveness must end, as it is unproductive, and it fails to empower people to reach common ground as members of the same nation. Writing an abortion pros and cons essay can help one get a sense of a perspective one vehemently disagrees with, and hopefully see the humanity behind it.

This paper has discussed all the important elements in an abortion pros and cons essay: the outline, the hook, the introduction, the thesis, the body, and the conclusion. If for some reason, you’re having trouble starting or finishing your abortion pros and cons essay, reaching out to a service like this one for a sample paper is a wise move. Our writers can anticipate what your teacher is looking for in the assignment, while meeting all vital requirements. The sample paper provided to you is yours forever, and you can always turn to it as a guide whenever you’re writing a tricky essay.

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