As citizens of the United States, we all posses the right to choose as a central liberty, unless it is the right to cease a pregnancy. In the last few decades, abortion has become a much-discussed subject. It has been a central point in many political affairs, such as selecting justices for the Supreme Court, and a frequently debated issue for candidates for state and local offices, as well as for the U. S. Presidency. As early as 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects personal decisions regarding marriage and the family from governmental intrusion.
In 1965, the Court ruled that the state couldn’t prohibit a married couple from practicing contraception. In 1972, it extended the right to use birth control to all people, married or single. And in its 1973 ruling, Roe v. Wade, the Court held that the Constitution’s protections of privacy as a fundamental right encompass a woman’s decision to have an abortion.
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On the 36th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, President Barack Obama said that it “stands for a broader principle that government should not intrude on our most private family matters,” but he also went on to say, “no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make” (Falcone). What exactly is abortion anyway?
Depending on whom you ask, one will always get different answers, but the dictionary defines abortion as the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus. Abortion has been traced back to ancient times and has continued through the 19th century, despite bans in both the United Kingdom and the Unites States. In the 20th century legalization of abortions began.
There are many factors to consider in choosing whether or not to carry a child to birth or abort, but these factors are very personal and can only be answered by the woman who has been confronted with the fact that she is pregnant. No one just gets pregnant to have an abortion, being Pro-Choice means having the right to choice, not necessarily Pro-Abortion. Pro-life protestants claim, abortion is murder of an unborn child, but how do you choose when life starts? An embryo cannot live outside a mother’s womb and will die, the same for a single sperm.
Outside the human body, however, a sperm can live for a few days before ultimately dying, so why isn’t the simple act of putting on a condom or another form of contraception considered murder or abortion of an unborn child? Biologist say a heart beat begins to beat on the twenty-second day after fertilization and “the first brain activity will not begin for five more months” (Duscheck). Without an active cardiovascular system, there is no life. More than half of abortions performed are with in the first month of conception, meaning the embryo cannot live since there is no cardiovascular system to support it.
Adoption is also heavy on many women’s minds that do choose abortion. Many people argue that if you do not want your child then choose adoption, there are many women that are unable to conceive and would adopt. This is also saying you agree with the government selling children (at an unsuccessful rate). Since 1987, the number of children placed for adoption has ranged from 118,000 to 127,000, as opposed to the 100,000 that were adopted (United States of America). Leaving 18,000 to 27,000 children left in an adoption agency or orphanage, meaning each year the number of children left only increases.
Adoption agencies and orphanages are overpopulated and in part, not because women and men do not want to adopt the children, but merely because the initial fees are insane or because they don’t “qualify”. I, personally, would rather see a mother that is incapable of providing for her child, physically, financially, mentally and/or emotionally, choose adoption or abortion, than to see that child suffer from neglect or abuse. This leads to the mass amounts of people that feel if a woman is responsible enough to have sex, she should be responsible enough to complete a pregnancy.
Isn’t using contraception considered being responsible? Having sex unprotected leaves a 100% chance of getting pregnant but protected sex is never a 100% guarantee against pregnancy. Many women get pregnant everyday. Wealthy women, middle-class women, women living in poverty and even women addicted to drugs or making a living through prostitution, you cannot stop any of them from having sex, protected or unprotected. When you buy a car, the DMV requires you to insure that vehicle with a state minimum insurance policy for the possible outcome of an accident.
Those same women having sex and ending up pregnant accidentally, unfortunately, have an insurance policy called abortion. For the most part, abortions are not socially accepted unless the pregnancy was due to situations of rape, incest or the mother’s life being threatened. An abortion is the termination of an embryo no matter how you look at it. So why is it more acceptable to terminate a child if it was conceived through rape or incest but not if it’s the choice of a woman who felt she could not provide for the child? Both women could have easily chosen adoption and never had to face that child again in their life if they desired not to.
All options, abortion, adoption, or completing a pregnancy to extend your own family are all the choice someone made that they felt was best suited for them. Pro-choice means the right to choose not necessarily Pro-abortion. The Bible even says, before you were born, God knew all of your future: “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book” (Psalms 139:16). This means God sees your tomorrow, today. He already sees the things you’ll face. Who is to say the future He saw was not a future of pain or discomfort.