Navigating the Complex Landscape of Abortion Rights and Autonomy


The subject of abortion, deeply rooted in history, remains an enduring and contentious topic. In this discourse, I argue for the unequivocal right of every woman to make decisions about abortion based on individual beliefs and circumstances.

Fetal Personhood Debate

At the heart of the abortion discussion lies the pivotal question: when does a fetus become a person with rights? From my perspective, personhood is attained when the child is exposed to the external world, emerging from the mother's womb for the first time.

This stance contrasts with assertions from sources such as, which claims that human life begins at conception. The inherent contradiction is evident when considering how we differentiate an egg from a chicken or a seed from a plant. The Encyclopedia of Britannica, for instance, defines abortion as "The expulsion of a fetus from the uterus before it had reached the stage of viability (in humans the 20th week of gestation)." It prompts reflection on whether a fetus can truly be considered a child, especially given that the majority of abortions (89% in the US in 1995) occur between 12-13 weeks, well before the stage of viability.

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Ethical Questions

Delving into the ethical dimension of abortion, questions arise regarding the justifiability of terminating pregnancies resulting from rape, incest, or cases of extreme disability, as opposed to teenage pregnancies. Consider the alarming statistic that 25% of female college students have experienced rape or attempted rape, with a significant portion failing to recognize it as such. Less than 30% of these victims come forward, highlighting the complexity of the issue.

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If we acknowledge the validity of abortion in cases of rape, how can we withhold this option from teenage pregnancies? These young girls, victims of heinous acts, should not be compelled to bear the lifelong consequences of the actions imposed upon them.

Historical Perspectives

Examining historical perspectives on abortion laws provides valuable insights. In 1869, Canada passed a law criminalizing abortion with a penalty of life in prison. Interestingly, physicians, not citizens, spearheaded the battle against abortion in England, the US, and Canada. While their intention was to protect women's health, the outcome was a surge in illegal and unsafe abortion practices. This historical lesson serves as a cautionary tale, suggesting that restricting the right to abortion may lead to a resurgence of unsafe practices. In the contemporary world, if a woman is determined to have an abortion, the likelihood of seeking illegal and unsafe alternatives is a stark reality.

Autonomy and Choice

Regardless of personal beliefs, the core argument is centered on a woman's autonomy to make choices about her body. Andy Lewis from Capitalism Magazine aptly stated, "As a woman has the right to choose who she has sex with (as her body is her property), so it is a woman's right to choose what can and cannot remain inside her body (as her body is her property)." Drawing a parallel between the evils of dictating a woman's body through rape and forcing her to remain pregnant, Lewis makes a compelling case for bodily autonomy. Pregnancy is not a choice made willingly, and some individuals may be careless with contraceptives. However, it is unjust to curtail the choice of those who genuinely require and seek abortion services due to the actions of a few careless individuals. The magnitude of this decision should not be overshadowed by the actions of a minority.


Amidst the myriad of perspectives, various websites and groups attempt to sway individuals towards either pro-life or pro-choice stances. In navigating this discourse, my advice is simple: make the decision for yourself. This decision should not be influenced by external parties, whether they be a boyfriend, a mother, or societal expectations. The essence is that every woman should retain the right to make this deeply personal choice, one that remains beyond the reach of external interference.


In conclusion, the abortion debate encapsulates a spectrum of beliefs and ethical considerations. My position is unwavering in advocating for a woman's right to choose. Whether rooted in historical lessons, ethical reflections, or the fundamental principle of bodily autonomy, the resounding theme is that no one should have the authority to strip a woman of her right to make decisions about her own body. This nuanced and deeply personal issue demands a comprehensive understanding, fostering an environment where individual choices are respected and protected.

Updated: Jan 02, 2024
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Navigating the Complex Landscape of Abortion Rights and Autonomy. (2016, Jun 22). Retrieved from

Navigating the Complex Landscape of Abortion Rights and Autonomy essay
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