Stephanie Solis
Period 6
Controversial Issue

Abortion

Today in California, it is legal for a woman to abort her pregnancy only up to 6 months after the fetus is conceived. Some say you shouldn't do the crime if you can't do the time, but I say, "Should a child be raised in a home where its entire upbringing is in an environment where the parents have them simply because that's the price you must pay for unsafe sex?" Motherhood should never be punishment for having sex; forcing a child to be born to punish its mother is the ultimate in child abuse. Unwanted children end up abused, battered, neglected, and even killed. Abortion should remain legal because it helps the minority children who usually do not get adopted and are tossed around foster homes until they reach adulthood where they usually become criminals if they haven't started with juvenile crimes; it helps the victims of rape who have to live 9 months with a part of the abuser inside them and the child that would have to grow up being resented by their mother; it helps children who would live in a home where they're not loved and will eventually grow up to be hurtful to our society more often than not.

While a fetus is in its mother's womb, it is a part of that woman's body and she should have the freedom to do whatever she wishes with her own body. Anti-choicers argue that human life begins at conception and therefore, abortion is murder of a person. Personhood at conception is a religious belief, but it is not a provable biological fact. Within the religious community, there is much disgreement as to when a person is a person, and an agreement will never be reached if it is left to religious groups. The fetus is not a human- it is totally dependent on the body of the woman for its life support and is physically attached to her. The health of the fetus is directly related to the health of the pregnant woman, and they are separate only at birth.

I use the term "anti-choice" here rather than "pro-life." The term "pro-life" is used to make anti-abortion and anti-choice seem positive and goodl; their concerns of only for fetal lives, not the lives of women or unwanted babies. Anti-choicers appear to be advocates of life as a whole, and yet they don't take the fully developed lives of pregnant women into consideration, which could potentially be destroyed by an unwanted pregnancy. They trivialize motherhood by dismissing pregnancy as a mere inconvenience, and ignore or the needs of the woman and the conflict in making her decision. Anti-choicers inflicted guilt when compassion is what is needed.

Ironically, the majority of anti-choicers also support the death penalty; the argument could be made, "Do you believe that, after commiting a murder, a person is no longer human?" They force their hypocritical beliefs onto people by instilling guilt, using terms such as "ethics" and "morality." The truth is, most Americans reject the absolutist position that it is always wrong to terminate a pregnancy, and believe that abortion may be the morally right choice under certain circumstances. Only 19% of Americans believe that there should be no abortions under any conditions. Anti-choicers sway people's beliefs, and then urge them to support their cause. They say that if you're opposed to abortion, you must join in to make it illegal. As the saying goes, "Against abortion? Don't have one." Many people who are personally opposed to abortion for religious or moral reasons also believe that it is wrong to impose their values everyone. You don't have to like abortion to respect the right of choice. Those who oppose abortion go to great lengths to get others to agree with them, to jump on the bandwagon. Propaganda is widely used in their tactics. The present pictures of highly-developed fetuses, bloody abortions, and fetuses in garbage cans. These are usually grossly enlarged, undocumented and mislabeled. The images are cleverly designed to evoke emotions of revulsion against abortion. Anti-choicers want the public to latch on with sympathy toward the fetus. They also throw around ideas such as that Beethoven's mother nearly had her pregnancy aborted; with thinking like that, it could be said that Adolf Hitler's mother could have had him aborted as well.

It is spread that legalized abortion is a sign of the moral decay that is destroying America, that the availability of abortion only urges teens and other unprepared parents to have sex. Abortion doesn't cause sex, but reality dictates that they be available to help prevent teens from becoming parents. It is unrealistic to believe that laws can create morality. To deter teenagers from having sex in the first place, some have presented the idea of mandatory parent-notification abortion laws. Parental involvement laws are simply anti-abortion laws targeted at teens, preventing exercise of the abortion right. These laws are bad for several reasons: they cause girls to delay seeking medical care until later in the pregnancy, if ever, and they do not exempt girls with abusive, absent or anti-abortion parents. As it is impossible to impose morality upon the public, it isn't possible to legislate good family relations.

Through Medicaid, abortions are provided to poor women through the government. Anti-choicers have said that they don't want my their money used for abortion. They argue that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for what they believe is immoral, but everyone must support some government spending we don't like. Pacifists' dollars support the military, and "Christian Scientists" help pay for medical programs. The government would be in chaos if everyone could dictate how our tax dollars are used. Our statements are made on election day, when we choose those who decide how tax dollars are spent.

Anti-choicers believe that they are pro-family, that pro-choicers are anti-family, that abortion destroys the American family above all. It is just the opposite: legal abortion helps parents limit their families to the number of children they can afford, both financially and emotionally. Anti-abortion laws only create new families consisting of a child and her child, living at the lowest levels of society. Pro-choice is definitely pro-family.