Abortion Essay

  • Length: 14 pages

Excerpt from :

Potential Topics:


The Impact of the Pro-Life Movement on Abortion Rates

The Impact of the Pro-Choice Movement on Abortion Rates

The Future of Roe v. Wade

When Does Life Begin?

Titles: [1]


A Comparison of Abortion Practices in Different Countries and the United States

The Current Status of the Abortion Debate in the United States

How Will the Trump Administrations Stance on Planned Parenthood Affect Abortion Rates in the U.S.?

How the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Movements have Affected Americans Public Opinion about Abortion [2]

Outline:


I. Introduction

II. The Pro-Life Movement

III. The Pro-Choice Movement

IV. Conclusion

Abstract:


Despite becoming the law of the land in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Courts decision made abortion legal, pro-life advocates continue to hammer away at the laws concerning the status of human embryos and fetuses in an effort to eventually reverse this landmark decision. In response to the growth of pro-life organizations, a number of pro-choice groups have emerged to protect the fundamental right to abortion established in the Roe v. Wade case. Proponents on both sides of the abortion debate have used marketing techniques that are designed to evoke powerful responses from the American public in an effort to sway opinion in their favor, but the pro-life movement in particular has resorted to some methods that rise to the level of scare tactics as well as being deceptive and misleading. This essayreviews the literature concerning the origins of the pro-life and pro-choice abortion movements including how their marketing methods have been used in an effort to influence public opinion. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings about these political movements and their implications for the future of abortion are presented in the conclusion.

Definition:


Abortion is the termination of a human pregnancy, resulting in the death of an embryo or fetus. This highly controversial procedure is normally done within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. The termination of the pregnancy is either done with the assistance of a pill orsurgery.

Introduction: [3]


Perhaps no other issue evokes such powerful emotion-filled responses on both sides of an argument than legal abortion in the United States today. Even otherwise progressive thinkers who publicly support a womans freedom of choice concerning whether to abort or not may hold sharply opposing views when their own family members are involved. Nevertheless, abortion became a fundamental right for American women on January 22, 1973 with the 7-2 decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade [4](Should abortion be legal?, 2017).

Thesis Statement: [5]


Given the significance of the ongoing heated debate over legal abortion in the United States, this paper reviews the relevant literature to define the respective positions of the pro-life and pro-choice movements and how these movements have influence American views about abortion, followed by a summary of the research and important findings concerning the recent and current trends on the future of legal abortion in the conclusion.

Argumentative:


Unfortunately, there is little or no common ground between Americans concerning their conflicting views about legal abortion, and the issues are so profound that they defy a universal consensus or even some degree of compromise. For example, according to one authority, As the Pro-choice faction screams accusations of backward thinking, religious fanaticism, and male domination; the Pro-life group counters with cries of baby killers, Satan-worshippers, and inhumanity (Alexander, 1993, p. 271). Indeed, many pro-life advocates are even opposed to abortion in extreme cases such as rape or incest, citing the sacredness of all human life in support. Conversely, pro-choice advocates argue that women have a fundamental right to make choices about what happens to their bodies.

Part of the problem relates to how each movement defines life and when it begins and how these conflicting views affect womens right to make decisions about their own bodies. According to the definition provided by Blacks Law Dictionary (1990), abortion is the spontaneous or artificially induced expulsion of an embryo or fetus; as used in legal contexts, usually refers to induced abortion (p. 7). The abortion debate therefore also extends to the stage of pregnancy, with womens rights to legal abortion being restricted by various definitional issues as discussed further below.

The Pro Life Movement:


The pro-life movement originated in the mid-1960s when religious and academic leaders in the U.S. began arguing that the human fetus was fully imbued with personhood and was entitled to the same protections that are afforded all members of the human community (Beckwith, 2001). In support of this position, pro-life proponents initially cited the growing body of scientific evidence and more enlightened philosophical views that they maintained the fetus is already a human person (Beckwith, 2001). During this period, the growth of the pro-life movement was fueled in large part by the establishment of the United States Catholic Conference's Family Life Bureaus National Right to Life Committee and a number of other pro-life groups emerged in the mid-1960s and became affiliated with this national organization (Crescio, 2015). Since that time, there have been dozens of pro-life groups established with different goals but sharing a common anti-abortion message (Crescio, 2015).

Following the Supreme Courts decision in Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion-right groups have sought to incrementally whittle away at the fundamental right to abortion established by the Court. In fact, it was not until the Supreme Courts decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey that reconfirmed womens fundamental right to abortion, anti-abortion advocates largely abandoned their calls for overturning the decision in Roe v. Wade and convincing national lawmakers of the need to pass a Human Life Amendment that would classify human fetuses and even embryos as constitutional persons (Bergmann, 2013.

Despite this setback, it is reasonable to posit that the pro-life movement is having some effects on abortion rates in the United States based on current statistics. For example, the results of a 2014 study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute determined that both abortion rates and ratios have experienced a modest decline in recent years. The study found that in 2011, 1.05 million abortions were performed in the U.S. compared to 1.6 million in 1990, the peak year for abortions in this country (National Right to Life, 2017). This decline may be attributable, at least in part, to the aggressive anti-abortion marketing efforts that are used by some pro-life organizations that can border on scare tactics (Pavone, 2007), such as the example pro-life poster shown below.

[caption id="attachment_1811" align="alignnone" width="469"]pro life poster Figure 1. Representative pro-life poster http://www.theprolifeyouth.com/uploads/2/6/0/4/26042819/6529945_orig.png[/caption]

In fact, some pro-life organizations have even advocated violent means to achieve their goals in addition to the twin legislation and litigation strategies that are commonly used in their arguments again abortion (Mason, 2002). These tctics have a long history, dating most especially to the Supreme Courts decision in 1973 that legalized abortion in the United States. For instance, one pro-choice organization emphasizes that, Since the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in 1973, reproductive health clinics and health care providers across the United States and Canada have become the targets of violence by anti-abortion extremists (Clinic violence, 2017, para. 3). Likewise, a press conference sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1979 was conducted in an effort to identify ways for the pro-life and pro-choice movements to collaborate and compromise. In response to this call for reason, young anti-abortion activists actually presented an aborted baby at the conference, a tactic that essentially doomed these early efforts at compromise (New, 2015).

Even the major National Right to Life organization is not above using alarmist rhetoric of this nature to convince women that abortions are not in their best interests due to the physical and emotion problems that can result. The National Right to Life organization also disregards the lifetime burden that is caused by unwanted pregnancies, focusing only on the gestation period as evidence of the price paid by women. For example, the National Right to Lifes publication, Some medical facts, cautions women that, Nine short months of pregnancy is a relatively small cost to pay in light of a lifetime of potential physical and mental health problems (2017, para. 2). These types of aggressive and seemingly deceptive marketing efforts have been used to highlight the moral requirement to protect the unborn as well as the purported harm that women experience from abortions, with pro-life organizations offering their spiritual and even material support for pregnant women (Beckwith, 2001). For example, the Pro-Life Action League reports that, Pregnancy resource centers nationwide provide free services, including confidential counseling, help dealing with family problems, medical care, housing assistance, and job placement assistance. They also provide free maternity and baby clothes, diapers, and baby furniture (Learn the facts, 2017, para. 3). This shift in anti-abortion marketing strategy was specifically intended to reduce abortion rates as well as change the American publics views about the need for legal abortion (Beckwith, 2001).

In response to the negative public image…

Cite This Essay:

"Abortion Essay" (2018, August 27) Retrieved April 21, 2019, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/abortion-essay-essay-2169462

"Abortion Essay" 27 August 2018. Web.21 April. 2019. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/abortion-essay-essay-2169462>

"Abortion Essay", 27 August 2018, Accessed.21 April. 2019,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/abortion-essay-essay-2169462