The issue of abortion is one of the most sensitive and controversial issues faced by modern societies. Even though countries such as the United States of America have legalized the procedure, it is by no means widely accepted by all corners of society to date. While there are those who detest abortion in the name of the right to life, and on grounds of deprivation suffered by the child, I will be examining the reasons why abortion should be legalized throughout the course of the essay.
Without a doubt, the ‘pro-life’ activists are not wrong when they claim that the right to life is the most important human right, it should be understood that whether life truly begins at the womb of a mother is very questionable. At what point exactly does a life begin? Is terminating a foetus, which can neither feel nor think and is not conscious of its own ‘existence,’ really comparable to murder? On the other hand, we have the mother, whose life might be at risk and she might even die during the process of childbirth.
Furthermore, the mother is a human being herself who has all the human rights including the right to choice and liberty and has absolute freedom to do whatever she wants with her own body. On a more practical note, the fact that roughly 14,000 abortions, each year in the United States, are done because of rape or incest is further justification of having abortion as an option, since giving birth to a child under these circumstances give rise to further complex issues in the woman’s life.
A very ordinary scenario may be that a young teenage girl is raped; she becomes pregnant and does not have abortion as an option. Ignoring the very important issue of the girl’s own health being endangered due to childbirth at such an early age, there are more important factors which must be considered. Who will take responsibility for the child after it is born? What will be the psychological effects on the child itself if it does not have a father? Will the girl herself be prepared to bring up the child without having its biological father’s support?
Is it really fair to the girl to deny her a proper life that every other teenage girl deserves? And let’s say, on the ground of pro-life ethics, abortion is banned in one country today; quite naturally there is no guarantee that it will be banned in every other country. One who wishes to abort a foetus may do it across the country’s border anyway. Of course, the problem of having abortion available in the black market will also arise, where there lays the risk of having unauthorized procedures performed by unqualified abortionists ith unhygienic equipment. The thousands of women who decide to go the black market as a last resort would be putting their lives in tremendous risk. Why bother creating this risk when a safe, legal method can, in the true sense, do no harm? And furthermore, when these options will inevitably be present anyway, every objective of protecting ‘the sanctity of life’ will not be fulfilled The real unresolved issue thus remains whether a foetus has a ‘life’ or not.
Everyone will agree that it is never right to kill a human being, but how many people regard a foetus as a human being? The question of denying a human being of his or her rights does not arise in the foetus’ case to most people, but when the mother herself is concerned, it arises. While there will be many that condemn abortion based on impractical principles, the harsh reality is that abortion is something society needs today, which is why it should not be abolished.