The Legality of Abortion

The issue of legality of abortion has been discussed for decades. The legality of abortion is a right that every human being has the right to decide. If one tries to take away that right he is taking away the right for an individual to make a choice. Although legal this essay will deal with the moral implications of abortion. The decision to abort a child is one that is very complex and one must factor in their current status in life.

Induced abortion can be traced to ancient times. There is evidence to suggest that, historically, pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including the administration of abortifacient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and other techniques. During this time period induced abortions were carried out in a very barbaric way, and that is one of the reasons why there is such a major controversy of the issue today.

An argument exists that with uncertainty about when life begins, having an abortion is equivalent to consciously taking the risk of killing another, or manslaughter. For example, Ronald Reagan stated in a paper he co-authored “if you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it.”

Some argue that abortion is morally wrong because it deprives the fetus of a valuable future. On this account, killing an adult human being is wrong because it deprives the victim of a future like ours a future containing highly valuable or desirable experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments. If a being has such a future, then killing that being would seriously harm it and hence would be seriously wrong. But since a fetus does have such a future, the “overwhelming majority” of deliberate abortions are placed in the same moral category as killing an innocent adult human being. Not all abortions are unjustified according to this argument: abortion would be justified if the same justification could be applied to killing an adult human.

All these arguments are good but one must look deeper into the act of “taking a life”. If I were to walk into the middle of Times Square and shoot the President dead I would automatically be apprehended and would be tried as a traitor guilty of high treason. If I were to use that some gun to kill Osama Bin Laden if I were to see him in Times Square I would be heralded as a patriot. In both instances I took a life, but what many of us forget is that the circumstances surrounding the action are more important than the act itself. The point I am trying to convey is that each unborn baby will affect each prospective parent in its own unique way.

If I were to ask a group of conservatives if having sex is wrong many of them would say yes without asking for more details. To the others who did not answer the question right away they would probably say that if you are married it is perfectly fine but if you are not married then it is wrong. This proves my previous statement that circumstantial ethics is a part of our everyday lives. The same theory can be applied to many other actions, and one of them is abortion.

The status at which you are in your life is the deciding factor in whether it is morally right or wrong. The same way if you kill a man who was trying to kill a group of children at a local school it is fine, but if you kill a man because you find out he slept with your wife it is wrong. This status is a conglomerate. Age, marital status, income, degree of education and social standing in the world are just a few items that compose ones status in life.

According to Family Enterprising, a conservative Christian group based in Tampa Florida, The number of single mothers increased from three million to ten million between 1970 and 2000. Eighty-four percent of single parents in America are women, which means that either there was a divorce and the mother took custody or the father is not in the picture due to circumstances other than death or health related issues. One might read this and just see a whole bunch of numbers and dates plastered next to each other but let us look at the effects of having a child when you are not socially ready for one.

According to the U.S Census Bureau Report the majority of criminals are males that grew up without a father to show them love and support and show them how to be a real man. If you know that a father will not be in the picture and you live in an urban neighborhood that is known for crime and violence your child, especially son has more than a fifty percent chance of being convicted of a felony. Premarital sex and premarital children are the demise of our society.

I believe that one major indicator of whether having an abortion is warranted before God is ones marital status. If you are married I do not believe there is a valid reason other than rape or harm to the mother for having an abortion. To have an abortion while married for reasons other than the aforementioned is like murdering someone in a fit of rage. You succumbed to your instincts instead of doing what is morally right.

Another criterion is financial status. If you are not financially stable enough to provide a child with adequate nutrition and care than I believe that an abortion is a valid way out of the undesirable situation. Level of education goes hand and hand with financial status. If you are a first generation college student and by having the baby you will then continue the cycle of poverty that has plagued your family for several generations you have to do what is good. When I say good I speak of the overall good. I agree that having premarital sex is a mistake, but your mistake should not have to follow you and plague you for the rest of your life.

Life I agree is a gift, but the quality of life is an issue that all of us agrees, whether we know it or not, is very important. If it weren’t then we wouldn’t have fundraisers to end poverty in America because as long as the people are alive that all that matters. Right? If quality of life were not a serious issue then the only reason our conscious would feel uneasy is when someone was being killed, or when someone’s life was threatened. If the quality of life that the child will be exposed to us less than the standard for the society in which you live you then have the right to an abortion. There is a direct correlation between the increase in poverty and the increasing crime rate. There is also a correlation between poverty and single parents. Using the transitive property, which states if a is equal to b and b is equal to c then a is equal to c, one can say that single parenting under the aforementioned conditions is not only bad for the child but for the society in which the child will be introduced.

With all the facts why is it that people have taken such rigid positions on the issue such as pro-life, or pro-choice? We as a generation do not like to use our brains. Asking a man If he is prolife or prochoice is like asking a man if he is pro-sex or anti-sex. The issue is very complicating and must be fully analyzed before a decision is made. To conclude abortions are not to be used lightly they are to be used, besides the traditional rape and harm to the mother reasons, as a resort to better your life or for the betterment of society.