The paper "Legalization of Abortion: the Right Thing to Do" is an outstanding example of social science coursework. Aborting unwanted babies has long been a source of debate in the United States, as well as all over the world. Is it right or wrong? Should it be legal or illegal? The Supreme Court addressed at least the issue of legality in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. It suddenly became legal to abort unborn babies all over the country, although some states had already made this decision individually, as early as 1969 (Klick and Stratmann, 2003).
This decision, however, was almost reversed in 1992 (Levine, et al. , 1999), showing that, even decades later, the debate was not over. Indeed, even today, the debate continues, with Planned Parenthood groups being at the forefront for the pro side of abortion legalization and religious conservatives heading up the anti side of the argument based on the grounds that abortion is murder and should be illegal based on that fact alone. This essay contends that the answer to whether or not abortion should be legal cannot be based on a moral standpoint regarding the humanity of the unborn child alone.
As will be shown, there is much more at stake here, including overarching social issues. Whether abortion is illegal or not, the practice will continue. It was carried out for centuries before the United States government decided it could be seen as legal. Indeed, illegal abortions continue throughout the world even today at great risk to the mother, as well as the child that is being terminated (Grimes, 2003). This shows that, no matter what, abortions will still be performed, and if they are not legal, there is a much greater risk to the health of the mother than if they are.
This was the case in the United States before the Roe v. Wade decision and was probably a major factor in the arrival at that decision. Should mothers have to die along with their unborn children? No one would agree to that. Why, then, would they question whether abortion should be legal when it is clear that if abortion is illegal, it is much less safe for the mother? Besides the safety issue, there is the plain fact that, at least in the United States, people are given the right to choose how they will live their lives and what they will do with their bodies.
Thus, women should be guaranteed the right, by law, to choose what will happen to their bodies. Pregnancy can be a traumatic experience for any woman, even when it is desired, because of the multitude of complications that can occur. For an unwed teenager with terrifyingly strict parents or a helpless rape victim who finds herself with a child as a result of the attack, pregnancy can be particularly devastating.
Should these women be made to suffer an almost unbearable mental state for the rest of their lives simply because of the bad choices they, or someone else, made? The freedoms granted to each individual in the United States society ensure that this would not have to be the case.
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