.. liberty is being denied from the fetus. Although the law has set boundaries on when a fetus should be considered a citizen, there are people who believe that life starts before birth no matter what the law states. I am sure these people wonder why the fetus doesn’t have rights as well as the mother. Abortion author Faye Ginsberg states that, never in the history of the United States has the state granted one citizen the right to have another killed to solve one’s problems (156 Ginsberg). But, people who consider a fetus to be a life must also believe that Constitutional rights are being denied from the fetus.
Abortion, to people who that believe a fetus is a citizen, seems as though a human life is being terminated because someone else justifies the cause with reasons of their own. How can the legality of abortion ever be determined if one cannot determine whether or not a fetus is considered a human being? Since every person has individual beliefs and thoughts on the livelihood of the fetus, the legality of abortion must be determined on the circumstances of the pregnancy as well one’s belief to what a fetus really is. In order to intelligently formulate a stance on abortion, one must come to conclusions and formulate answers on some aspects of abortion. Is a fetus a human being? Yes, a fetus is indeed a human being livening in the womb of its mother. Upon conception, the fetus is uniquely distinct and different than any other human being (200 Steinbock).
The fetus is like a snowflake; there are no two alike. Very shortly after conception the fetus takes on very human characteristics. The fetus thinks, moves, dreams, and feels pain just like you and I. Yes, the fetus can feel pain; it can feel itself being murdered by the abortion (200 Steinbock). Another important question one must answer is: Who’s life is the fetus’s? Is the fetus merely a living appendage of the woman, or is the woman an incubator for a life of an independent human being? This question can in no way be answered by practical means.
It can only be determined on a personal and moral level. The court case of Roe v. Wade in 1973 set up legal regulations and standards for which abortion cases can be approached. Although case does not determine when the fetus is considered a human, but it outlines a basis for when a fetus can be legally considered a citizen. The case determined that for the first two trimesters of a pregnancy the woman has a right to abort the fetus for her won personal reasons, but she must go to a certified clinic.
Fetuses in the third trimester, according to law, are considered to have undeniable Constitutional rights as well as the mother. But, a woman may abort a fetus in the third trimester if she is in personal danger due to the fetus (188 Tribe). In conclusion, there are two angles to approach determining whether a fetus is a citizen or not. The law’s method of declaring the citizenship of the fetus is controversial to many people. These people are pro-life and most believe that the fetus is a life upon conception. Is abortion physically safe for women? Abortion is often times physically safe for women.
According to Laurence H. Tribe’s, Abortion, The Clash of Absolutes, abortions in the first trimester are actually physically safer for a woman than going through with the pregnancy and having a child. Tribe’s book also says, “Within only a few year of the Roe v. Wade case, the death rate for women undergoing legal abortions was ten times lower than that for women who had illegal abortions and five items lower than that for women who went through with child birth” (208 Tribe). This statistic proves that with abortions being legal, women are at a lesser risk of injury through abortion. Although the physical effects of abortion are not very detrimental, the mental effects of abortion in women can be devastating. According to The Eagle and Cross, a pro-life organization which supports freedom, women often suffer extreme depression due to the guilt of having an abortion (4 The Eagle and Cross).
Having a child may effect the rest of a woman’s life, but aborting a child may also have an effect on the woman’s life as well. Women must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of having an abortion and choose the less severe and personally harmful of the two alternatives. Should abortion be legal? Abortion should definitely be legal. Women should not let a fertilized egg dictate the way in which they spend the rest of their lives. A pregnancy should not be able to have the power to radically alter the social and professional life of a woman. If a woman cannot choose an abortion she must take a leave of absence from her daily life in order to have a child and take care of it.
For many women this may mean quitting school or leaving their career. These women would be forced to a disadvantage in society because they were denied control of their bodies. Since having and caring for a child is an expensive procedure, poor women may be forced into welfare. This not only burdens and embarrasses the mother, but it also forces the rest of society to support a child which was not wanted by the mother in the first place. Also, the social life of a woman who bears a child is greatly altered.
Women who do not give their children up for adoption must constantly care and provide for their children which greatly effects the social life of the mother. Women who are forced into having an unwanted child are forced to a disadvantage if abortions are not legal. If abortions were illegal many women would suffer. Instead of bearing unwanted children, many women would turn to illegal and underground abortions. These underground abortions are often times unsafe, and unsanitary, causing women to submit themselves to many life-threatening dangers. Since abortions were deemed legal through the Roe v. Wade case, the death rate for women undergoing legal abortions were ten times lower then that for women who had illegal abortions (232 Tribe). Legal abortions are in sanitary and government regulated clinics.
At the clinics there is a focus on the safety and well-being of the mother. If a woman is forced into having a child rather than having an abortion, would she be a good mother? Why should a woman be forced into having a child that she does not want? If abortions were illegal, laws would force unfit mothers into bearing undesirable children. Forcing birth would not benefit either the mother or the child. The goal of parents is to offer their children the best possible chances for success in their children’s lives. Children who come from mothers who were denied an abortion are not likely to be given chances of success from their mothers.
Thus, denying abortions, may cause a negative and undesirable childhood for children everywhere. Answering the question about the legality of abortion is a losing cause. There are too many instances where questions cannot be answered due to diverse moral beliefs. Yes, of course abortion should be legal, but society is focusing on the wrong concept. Birth control may be the root of all abortion problems and it should be addressed more so than abortion.
If issues concerning birth control are addressed on a more aggressive level, the frequency of abortions would decline greatly. Thus with more and better uses of birth control, the number of incidental pregnancies would plummet. In ending, abortion must be legal. Women should not be forced to let a rape or an incidental pregnancy dictate the rest of their lives. Denying abortions unjustly sets women at a disadvantage in life.
Denying women the right to abort their pregnancies would cause wide spread use of under ground abortions which poses threats to the health and well-being of women who seek abortions. Next, unfit mothers and uncaring mothers should not be forced into having a child which they do not desire. Finally, when addressing abortion, a greater concentration on birth control must be addressed as well. There are pro-life people and there are pro-choice people, but nobody is pro-abortion. Nobody wants to end the “miracle of life,” but to ensure the safety and Constitutional rights of women, abortion must be legal.