Abortion Should Not Be Legal The Ongoing Thesis


Abortion Should Not Be Legal The ongoing debate on the issue of whether abortion should be a legal option still divides people of USA although it has been long since the Roe v Wade case wherein the legality of abortion was upheld in a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Supporters branding themselves as pro-choice argue that abortion is a personal right which should not be restricted by governmental or religious authority which offsets any right claimed for an embryo or a fetus. They advocate that pregnant women will undertake illegal abortions which are unsafe in the absence of legal sanction to abortion. (Abortion Procorn, 2012)

On the other hand, opponents stating themselves as pro-life claim that a being comes to life at conception, and thus abortion is killing of an innocent human being which is grossly immoral. Abortion metes out pain on the unborn child and it is unfair to permit abortion when couples who are unable to biologically conceive are awaiting adoption. Differences are there on both sides of the camp, but pro-life positions appear to be on the moral side as they oppose abortion under any circumstances to accepting it in conditions of rape, incest or during situations when the women's life is at risk. (Abortion Procorn, 2012)

Thesis Statement: "Abortion should not be legalized on the grounds that it is immoral to take the life of a fetus as it has a life of its own and is on the path to be a complete human being."


(i) The opinion poll:

Gallup conducted a poll on people's view regarding abortion should be 'legal under any circumstances', 'legal only under certain circumstances or 'illegal in all circumstances'. About 62% of the pubic were of the opinion that abortion should be either illegal or legal in a few exceptional cases. According to a Los Angeles Times poll conducted in January 2005, 53% of public are of the opinion that abortion should either be declared illegal without exception or illegal with a few exceptions. Extensive majorities of people support compulsory waiting periods, laws relating to parental-consent, needs relating to spousal-notification and embargo on abortion following the first three months of pregnancy. A small portion of the public states that it perceives that life initiates at conception and almost 50% of the public view abortion on the same footing as murder. (Ponnuru, 2006)

Small majorities also believe that abortion should not be used as a tool just because the mother is single, poor and is unable to afford more children. When asked people whether the abortion decision should be between the woman and her doctor, nearly 55% of the public support the view. However, three-fourth of the public is of the viewpoint that there is right to abortion when there is serious likelihood of a stern defect in the baby. A somewhat higher percentage support abortion when the pregnancy is the outcome of a rape incident. Hence the pro-life supports are right in their viewpoint when they advocate that abortion should definitely be illegal with at most few riders. (Ponnuru, 2006)

(ii) Destroying life at any stage is destroying an individual:

During 1827, Von Baer found fertilization as the beginning of individual human life. Thereafter during 1850s, medical communities were debating for laws for the protection of human unborn. Therefore a cogent case for the rights of the human unborn can be proposed since individual life is a continuum from the point of fertilization until death. From the medical point-of-view the pre-birth states like zygote, embryo, and fetus have life and thereafter the post-birth stages like infant, toddler, and childhood, adolescent and adult are all various stages of human development. As destroying life at any stage of development is destroying an individual, in the same vein, destroying life during the pre-birth stage is also...


(Murthy, 2006)
The key issue in the ongoing abortion debate is not the apparently bizarre situation of granting complete human rights to zygotes, instead the tricky question of the manner in which to legally safeguard those rights without infringing upon a new mother's privacy and civil liberties. This brings us to the status of humanity of the unborn. Are the yet to be born human? Well yes! From the biological point-of-view, the unborn are not just humans, they have an individual genetic makeup and hence an identity. Interestingly, medical authorities i.e. physicians, biologists subscribe to Ashley Montagu who stated that life begin at conception. The same view is also aired by Prof. M. Matthews-Roth of Harvard University who believes that it is scientifically appropriate to state that individual human life initiates at conception and hence abortion should not be legal (Murthy, 2006)

(iii) The pro-life as the strongest argument against abortion:

The pro-life argument refutes the feminist quality of life argument which supports abortion to preserve and progress the quality of life of women in order to guarantee the fundamental equity of both sexes in the society. Rightfully according to the pro-life theory it is wrong to take away the life of a baby in order to achieve the goals of quality of life. The pro-choice general quality-of-life debate hinges around the view that abortion is acceptable in order to preserve and promote the quality of life of individuals in general, inclusive of the insurance that each and every child will be a desirable and healthy child and make certain that humankind is not inundated by overpopulation. (Latimer; Schwarz, 2012)

Pro-life once again refutes that these are definitely laudable objectives, but in the ultimate analysis it is never right to kill a baby to achieve these goals. This once again begs the question as to whether abortion should be legal or otherwise. Accepting the pro-life position as the most reasonable one, abortion in its every form should be illegal so that we are able to safeguard the child's right to live. Taking away the life of pre-born babies must be viewed in the same light as killing born babies which is abjectly and morally incorrect as well as illegal. The pro-life theory in its entirety states that every child ought to be respected and safeguarded and there should not be any exceptions to this. Essentially, abortion never really help women, it even injures them to a greater extent. (Latimer; Schwarz, 2012)

Hence it is altogether not safe for the woman as well as the child as it kills the child. In all its form, abortion is an invasive procedure which has every arsenal to injure the woman physically and in extreme cases it has been found that a lot of women have lost their lives during the process of abortion. Besides, it also damages the emotional set-up of a woman. It has been seen that a lot of woman who have undergone abortion procedure have later regretted their decision that they have killed their own baby. It has gone on to haunt them for the rest of their lives brining a severe emotional turmoil on the mother. Hence abortion is destructive, unsafe and hence it must not be permitted legally. (Latimer; Schwarz, 2012)

A fetus has its own rights and interests since it has consciousness and is on the path of becoming a complete human being. Biological evidence implies that the human embryo or the fetus is an actively growing unitary life almost identical with the organism which is later going to be born; identical with organism which will later walk and also identical with the organism which will later talk etc. This is because a human embryo is an actively developing organism which bears resemblance with the organism which will at a later stage perform every conceivable action which is characteristic of other mature members of the human species. It can be argued that the body parts are more analogous to the sperm and the ovum. It can be safely assumed that human embryos and fetuses are subjects of rights and hence it is wrong to take away life from them for the simple reason that it is not right to kill any individual. (Patrick, 2010)

It is gradualist position wherein the embryo or the fetus gradually gets a moral standing and that early abortions are not in any manner different compared to later abortions and hence should also be made illegal. It is interesting to note that what makes good things as they are is never a quality or type of experience, rather real fulfillment, a point which provides additional support to the stand that some things in itself, as opposed to merely their states or properties are basically of value and are thus from the period they come into being. The benchmark of moral standing is being a rational and free agent. As this is a category of thing or a substance, it never admits of degrees and human embryos or fetuses correspond to this standard from the period that came into existence. Hence all objections to abortions are based not on the rights of the unborn, rather on their sacredness or intrinsic value. Fetuses are of course fundamentally valuable, but in such a manner to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Abortion Procorn. (2012) "Should abortion be legal" Retrieved 3 July, 2012 from http://abortion.procon.org/#Background

Latimer, Kiki D; Schwarz, Stephen D. (2012) "Understanding Abortion: From Mixed

Feelings to Rational Thought" Lexington Books.

MacKinnon, Barbara. (2010) "Ethics, Theory and Contemporary Issues"

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