Should a Woman Have The Right To Choose? Essay
Should a Woman Have The Right To Choose?
I was raised to believe Abortion was wrong. There were always other options. My best friend, Kimberly, had a sister who used abortion as a form of birth control; we were aware of three before graduation. If she had only known her choices, she might have saved innocent lives.
In 1994 a friend of mine found herself in an unwanted pregnancy. She had only one year of college left; she knew she couldn’t disappoint her parents by going to them with the dilemma. She felt her only option was abortion. I remember having very long, in depth conversations with her, trying to persuade her against the abortion. I also told her I was there for her no matter what her decision would be. Going through this experience with my friend is what brought me to argue pro-life.
The biblical argument against abortion is a little tricky. The Bible doesn’t say anything about abortion directly; I believe that is because during that time abortion was an unthinkable act. First, children are viewed as a gift or heritage from the Lord. Secondly, the scriptures state that God opens and closes the womb and is sovereign over conception. Third, childlessness was seen as a curse.
Exodus 21:22-25 states ” If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. “
This verse teaches us that if a woman gives birth prematurely, but the baby is not injured, then only a fine is appropriate. However, if the child dies then the law of retaliation should be applied. In other words, killing an unborn baby would carry the same penalty as killing a born baby. A baby inside the womb has the same legal status as a baby outside the womb.
If you don’t believe in the bible there is also the medical argument. One argument is the definition of life and death. One set of criteria, which defines death, could also be used to define life. Death used to be defined by the cessation (stopping) of the heartbeat. A stopped heart was a clear sign of death. If the cessation of heartbeat could define death, could the onset of the heartbeat define life? The heart is formed by the 18th day in the womb. If heartbeat were used to define life, then nearly all abortions would be outlawed.
Physicians now use a more rigorous criterion for death: brain wave activity. A flat EFG (electroencephalograph) is one of the most important criteria used to determine death. If the cessation of brain wave activity can define death, could the onset of brain wave activity define life? Individual brain waves are detected in the fetus in about 40-43 days. Using brain wave activity to define life would outlaw at least a majority of abortions.
Medical science leads to a pro-life perspective rather than a pro-choice perspective. If medical science can be used at all to draw a line, the clearest line is at the moment of conception. Medical arguments provide a strong case against abortion and for life.
The way to prevent abortion is NOT to make it illegal. That won’t work. It never has. Whenever governments have made abortions illegal, they have not stopped them. Throughout the centuries, when women have felt abortion to be their only option, they have had them, whether they were legal or not. In the two decades before abortion was legal in the United States, nearly one million women went “underground” each year for illegal operations. Thousands died for lack of medical care. Tens of thousands were maimed. All were forced to behave as if they were criminals in order to do what they felt was right for themselves.
Regardless of where we stand on the abortion issue, most of us would like to see the need for abortion reduced. This will only come as the natural result of reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. There are more than three million unintended pregnancies each year.
The quickest way to reduce the number of abortions in America is to increase the availability of contraception. The shocking fact is that millions of Americans do not have access to contraceptives or know how to use them. For many others they are too expensive.
Easier access would prevent hundreds of thousands of unintended pregnancies and abortions. New methods of birth control are also needed.
Give young people a better teacher than experience. The people who oppose abortion and contraception also oppose sex education programs for teenagers. They apparently think that by saying nothing at all, teen sexuality will go away. A shocking number of teenagers know nothing at all about how reproduction works, how their own bodies work, and how to prevent pregnancy. Television, movies and misinformation from peers are their only source of information.
Anti-abortion leaders argue that information about sex should come from parents. Are parents doing it? Do they know what to say? Or when to say it? Research shows that many parents feel uncomfortable discussing sex with children. When they do, important information is often left out.
Almost all parents, regardless of how comfortable they are discussing sensitive matters with their children, support the idea that sexuality education programs should be offered in schools and other community settings.
These programs provide young people with a comprehensive understanding of the facts. And a basic element of sexuality education programs is to help teens understand that waiting until they’re ready to have sex-and not succumbing to peer pressure-is a legitimate option.
Sexuality education does not increase sexual activity; it increases knowledge and responsibility. The overall result: fewer unwanted pregnancies and fewer abortions.
Increase the involvement of men. No woman ever made herself pregnant. Yet for centuries, men have ignored their responsibility in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Create new birth control methods. By far the most common method of birth control for married couples is sterilization, because it offers the best protection against unintended pregnancy. But sterilizations are permanent.
Among the “temporary” methods, none is perfect. Unless there’s a dramatic increase in government support, new methods will not be available to American women any time soon.
A study by The Alan Guttmacher Institute found that the U.S. has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in most of the industrialized world.
The countries with the lowest rates were found to be those with a more realistic and accepting attitude toward sexuality, and open access to family planning services. Other factors cited were economic opportunity for young people and the encouragement of self-esteem.
For many young people today, sexual expression is often the only way to feel loved. Becoming pregnant, or causing pregnancy is a tragic outcome of that quest for intimacy.
Studies support the premise that young people with high levels of self-esteem are the least likely to compromise their futures by taking the risk of unintended pregnancy.
To help young people avoid unwanted pregnancies we must provide them meaningful alternatives: a better understanding of human sexual development, a better education, real career opportunities, job development, training, placement and hope for a better life.
Public opinion polls show that a strong majority of Americans favor preserving safe, legal abortions, but there is still a vocal minority that does not. They want to make abortion a crime, robbing women of the right to decide for themselves when or whether to have children. We must work to reduce the need for abortion.
Most of the arguments for pro-choice are: the woman is not ready to become a parent, she can not afford the baby, she doesn’t want to be a single parent, she doesn’t want anyone to know she has been sexually active, she has all the children she wants, she is too young to have a child, she or the fetus have health problems and lastly she was a victim of rape or incest. I have been faced with a majority of those and never once considered abortion. I feel a woman needs to take responsibility for her actions; there are always other options out there. Why not give the baby up for adoption.
There are thousands of couples in the United States who desperately want to have children but cannot due to medical reasons; they turn to adoption as a means to still have a family. The only reason I can see having an abortion would be if the fetus or mother were faced with medical problems and only as a last resort. If a woman has been raped or a victim of incest, she can always go through counseling if it would be too mentally challenging for her. Give the baby up for adoption and then seek the help you need, please don’t kill an innocent life.