Abortion, the termination of pregnancy before the fetus is capable of independent life, can either be spontaneous or induced. It is called “the knowing destruction of the life of an unborn child.” (Mass General Laws Chapter 112 Section 12K) When abortion occurs spontaneously, it is called a miscarriage. However, when the loss of a fetus is caused intentionally, it is regarded as a moral issue. Abortion destroys the lives of helpless, innocent children and is illegal in many countries. An estimate of 1.2 million are performed each year. In retrospect, an estimate 38,010,378 innocent children were aborted since 1973 when the process was legalized.
Abortion is a simple and safe procedure if it is done by trained medical workers during the first trimester. There are four different techniques utilized during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Suction aspiration, also known as vacuum curettage, is the most common surgical means of abortion. This is when a powerful suction tube with a sharp cutting edge is inserted into the womb through the dilated cervix. The suction dismembers the body of the developing baby, tearing the placenta from the wall of the uterus, and sucking blood, amniotic fluids, placental tissue, and fetal parts into a bottle. Although it is one of the safer methods, there are still frequent complications such as infection and tearing of the uterus, causing hemorrhaging.
Dilatation and Curettage (D&C) is another surgical process involving the insertion of a loop shaped steel knife to cut the baby’s body into pieces. The placenta is then scraped off the uterine wall. There is a higher risk of infection with D&C and greater blood loss than with Suction aspiration.
RU 486 and Methotrexate are two similar types of chemical abortion. RU 486 is a pill that can be taken orally only during the five to nine week period. Three trips must be made to the abortion clinic. In the first, the RU 486 pill is administered after a physical examination. During the 2nd, 36 – 48 hours later, the woman is given a dose of artificial prostaglandins initiating uterine contractions. This causes the embryonic baby to be expelled from the uterus. The third visit, about two weeks later, can determine whether the abortion has been completed or if further surgery is necessary. Methotrexate is administered by intramuscular injection. It attacks growing cells of the trophoblast, which functions as the life support system for the baby. This injection causes the immediate disintegration of sheltering environment in which the embryo lives. Without food or fluids, the living, helpless fetus dies. This dangerous method is rarely used because of its unpredictable side affects.
The second trimester includes the thirteenth to twenty-eighth week. Dilatation and Evacuation (D&E), similar to D&C, uses forceps with sharp metal jaws to grasp the parts of the baby and tear them away from the body. The baby’s skull is often hardened to bone and must sometimes be crushed or compressed. The only side affect is profuse bleeding, and impossible cervical laceration.
The rest of the procedures can be done during either the second or third trimester (the twenty-ninth to fortieth week). The first method is Salt Poisoning, otherwise known as saline amniocentesis. A needle is inserted into the abdomen of the mother. Her amniotic fluid is replaced with a solution of concentrated salt. Upon swallowing the salt, the baby is instantly poisoned. This can also cause painful burning of the baby’s skin and deterioration. The baby will die after about an hour. The mother delivers the dead baby after a period of 33 – 35 hours. Some common side affects are seizures, coma, and even death.
Prostaglandins are naturally produced chemical compounds which normally aid in the birthing process. However, the injection of artificial prostaglandins at too early a stage induce violent labor followed by premature birth. Often, various forms of toxins, are inserted to insure dead delivery.
Partial Birth Abortion, also known as Dilation and Extraction (D&E), is used to abort women who are 20 – 32 weeks pregnant. The abortionist grabs the unborn baby’s legs with a pair of forceps, pulling the entire baby, excluding the head, into the birth canal. Scissors are jammed and then opened into the baby’s skull, and the brain is suctioned out with a catheter. The dead baby is then removed from the uterus.
Hysterotomy is a method generally used when others have failed. Incisions are made into the abdomen and uterus, and the baby is removed. Babies are sometimes born alive during this procedure. This method offers the highest risk to the health of the mother because of the potential of rupturing.
Some immediate abortion risks include infection leading to sterility or death, excessive bleeding, high fever, a perforated uterus leading to sterility, shock and death. Abortion also increases the risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, premature birth, and sterility.
The Catholic Church teaches that all humans have a right to live, from the moment of conception until the natural ordained moment of death. According to these teachings, a person is living when as young as an embryo until the last second of life before death. Any of the above stated forms of abortion are morally wrong because they murder a fetus which is living, moving, and breathing. With abortion, we give ourselves dominion over a large part of God’s plan. Our destiny, our fate, and our entire race are intensely affected when we take the decision into our own hands. Playing God by intervening in human life transforms us into murderers. We do not have the capacity to choose life or death for a defenseless fetus.
Pope John Paul II teaches that “life is always good”, a conclusion derived from the handiwork of God in creating man “in the image and likeness of God.” (Gen. I;26) Thus the human being a limited but true mirror of God’s glory, has a sublime dignity and his life is held to be inviolable. When the Commandments were handed down to Moses, they were ordained to be true by God. One of those central values was “thou shall not kill”. Abortion is a direct violation of the fifth Commandment.
Even in hard cases such as rape and incest, Catholics believe there are better options. Only one percent of abortions done each year are a result of involuntary sexual occurrences. Every baby is wanted and loved by God who has a distinct plan for their lives. It denies the child the right to live and society the privilege of the child’s gift and contributions to the world. “God hears the new life in the womb, the heart within the heart, the anguish cry of hostage child sobbing in the dark.”
Many times after having an abortion, a woman will become emotionally unstable. Post-abortion syndrome describes the trauma of the woman who finally feels guilty, understands the repercussions of her actions, and regrets her previous decision. Statistics show that 92% feel less in touch with their emotions or feel a need to suppress their emotions. 82% had greater feelings of loneliness or isolation and 86% had increased tendency toward anger or rage. 53% increased or began use of drugs and/or alcohol. 28% attempted suicide. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and suicide are all common symptoms a woman will encounter after an abortion. Post-abortion counseling is available to aid any woman who is suffering from the pain of death and moral responsibility.
In 1973, the process of abortion was legalized in the United States after the cases of Roe verses Wade and Doe verses Bolton. Norma McCorvey lied under oath, saying that she was gang raped. After her testimony, the jury decided to authorize abortions for only the first three months of pregnancy and allowed abortion until birth if a licensed physician judged it necessary for the woman’s health. In the second case, the United States senate judiciary committee concluded that no barriers of any kind would be put on a woman who chose to have an abortion at any stage of her pregnancy.
Under United States law, murder is illegal and the consequences for any such action would be imprisonment or, in some states, capital punishment. This is so because human have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness according to the Constitution. First and foremost is the right to live. It should not be any different in regards to unborn children. A person is created at the instant of conception. Therefore, every instance of abortion is murder. Even pro-choice activists agree with the scientific aspects of a baby’s development within the womb. They believe that although all the organs of a person are present, it is not a person until its birth. Therefore, in their opinion, the fetus doesn’t have any rights, not even the simple right of existence.
How can a woman go through with an abortion if she knows the following facts? At 0 days old, the egg and sperm unite. A new life genetically distinct from the mother’s is created. At 4 days old, the cells begin to differentiate. From 18-21 days, the heart of the baby begins to beat. At 6-7 weeks, the nerves and muscles work together for the first time. At 7 weeks, spontaneous movement is detectable. One hundred thousand new nerve cells are made each minute. From 7-8 weeks, the palm and finger prints form. At 8 weeks, all of the unborn baby’s organs are formed, the feet and hands have taken form, and it has the shape of an adult brain. At 11 weeks, all the body systems are working and hiccups can occur. At 3 months old, there is a distinct individuality in behavior. At 4 months old, kicks of the feet can be detected, females have all 5 million ova formed, and the mother will start to show. At 5 months old, there is response to sound and light. At 6 months old, if cared for properly, the baby can be born prematurely.
So what exactly is the question? Life begins at the moment of conception, which was established. If it is murder to kill a human being, in any stage of life, there should be no debate. If it is a moral and social sin, why is this paper even necessary? It should be evident, through our own human nature that to kill our own offspring is WRONG. Life begets life. We have an obligation to the world to keep human life sacred. More than that however, we have an obligation to our own bodies not to allow such violence to be committed. Although this deprivation is one in which the child is denied life, it is one in which the mother is denied the joy and opportunity to raise that baby. In the long run, this will inflict pain on herself, and with each year passing, the emotional effects become more and more taxing. Even Norma McCorvy herself, better known as Jane Roe (in Roe vs. Wade) admits that abortion is an evil, as she is presently an active member of the pro-life movement.
Many believe that abortion should be legalized for the extreme cases of pregnancy due to rape and incest. If a child is a product of violence, there is no need to harm another person’s life trying to heal the pain of the woman. This only guarantees further emotional stress for the victimized woman in the future. The disgusting descriptions and pictures available showing the dead baby after the process can change one’s mind. The tiny, innocent looking little babies have suffered a great deal of pain in their last minutes of survival. Because a brain, heart, and nerves have been developed, a fetus is able to feel death just as any other human would. A mother whose child is killed is always devastated with her loss. It is natural for a mother to feel the same way after having her child aborted before having a chance to care for and nurture her son or daughter who is a part of her.
In conclusion, through research and evaluation of data, we have determined that abortion is morally wrong and destructive in all circumstances. God, the ultimate creator who decides the fate of all humans who come into existence, is the only One with the ability to choose life or death for His people. For us to make this decision ourselves, we are taking dominion over God and disregarding the Predestination that He intends for each living person.
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Unknown. Over 38 Million Abortions in U.S. since 1973. [Online] Available: http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/aboramt.html
Filed Under: Abortion, Social Issues
July 17 2000
Pro-life side of abortion
Abortion is defined as the induced termination of pregnancy and expulsion of an
embryo or fetus that is incapable of survival. Abortion can be either a
spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), or a medically induced termination of
pregnancy. The sides of abortion are the pro-life, which is the side against
abortion, and pro-choice, which is the side that supports it. This issue should
be illegal except in cases of rape and danger to the mother, cause the unborn
person should have the rights to live and to have the same opportunities as
anybody else, even though if it doesn t have the love from the mother, it should
be give up for adoption. There should be more education on how to prevent it
from happening from school support groups and from the department of education
as Robert francoeur says in his book tanking sides. The pro-life side argues
that a fetus is a person and should have the right to live. But what does all
this visualization of the fetus tell us about the issue of fetal person hood? If
the fetus looks human, is it necessarily human? Ethics and philosopher Joseph
Fletcher warns that the powerful visual images of the fetus in the uterus seduce
many into a proleptic fallacy; that is, in their anticipation of the future
birth, they describe the fetus as a person and attribute person hood to it as if
it had already been born .
To understand why abortion should be illegal there has to be an overview to the
ethical question of abortion, and the value of a human life. Also the different
aspects and opinions on these issues, those aspects are: It s history, What does
the bible have to say in this issue, the doctor s point of view and should he
know when does a life becomes a human life, a woman s point of view and the
different types of laws that regard this issue.
Even though abortions are legal, there are some laws to regulate it. Bell and
Howell information and learning Critical Issue Essay: Teen Pregnancy says that:
Until the 12th week of pregnancy, medically induced abortion is a matter
between a girl her physician. After the 12th week, some states have laws that
may regulate abortion according to the teenager's health. After the 24th week of
pregnancy, many states have laws, which regulate and even prohibit abortion
except in cases.
There have been a lot of opinions regarding the sides of abortion and at what
part of reproduction does a fetus is considered a biological live. An
overwhelming majority of the experts answered emphatically that biological life
begins at conception or implantation. Pro-abortionist failed to produce even a
single expert witness who would testify that life begins at some point other
than conception or implantation. Some pro-abortionist did present an interesting
alternative point of view, which has become popular over the past several
decades. This alternative viewpoint basically sees all life as a continuum with
no specific beginning. It considers the continuum to run from sperm and egg, to
single-cell zygote, to multi-cell blastocyst, to embryo, to fetus, to newborn,
etc. this view is attractive because it supports the right of each mother and
doctor to individually choose when in the continuum the fetus becomes a person.
Unfortunately, this new approach fails to reckon with the obvious scientific
fact that there is a definite starting point in human biological life. At
conception the sperm and eggs, each of which contains only part of the genetic
material required to form a person, merge to form a new unique biological
entity. Unlike the sperm or egg, the diploid zygote possesses a unique human
genotype and the power of full differentiation, without which no human life can
be expresses. The haploid sperm and egg are only parts of the potential for
human life. The zygote is biological human life. As Bell and howell says in
their essay: Teen Pregnancy. Bioethics refers to the application of moral
reasoning to issues raised by medical treatments, technologies, and the life
sciences. Bioethical decisions are quite simply life choices -choices regarding
the meaning of life, its beginning, the quality of its continuation, and its
end. Bioethical issues include the allocation of health care resources,
life-prolonging treatments, organ transplantation, euthanasia,
physician-assisted suicide, abortion, new reproductive technologies, and recent
advances in genetics diagnosis and therapy. Such issues often prove
controversial and divisive. Occasionally, bioethical questions leave us puzzled
and confused: new medical treatments and technologies often do not come with
sufficient precedents to guide our moral reasoning . where the life of the girl
is in danger. Illegal abortions, although rare in the US, are common worldwide;
they carry a high risk of complications, including perforation of the uterus,
and severe bleeding. Infertility or death often results .
statistics show on Britannica s All sides to the issue that most induced
abortions are performed sometime during the first two months of pregnancy when
the fetus is one inch or less long. Over 90% of abortions are performed during
the first trimester (the first three months); they total about 1.2 million/year
in the US. About 140,000 second trimester abortions are performed yearly; they
represent 9% of the total. One common reason for abortions at the latter stage
of pregnancy is that an amniocenteses procedure has detected that the fetus has
a serious genetic defect. With currently approved technology, these procedures
can only be done later in pregnancy. (An experimental non-invasive blood test is
currently being evaluated in the U.S.) Another common reason is that the woman
is young and in denial about her pregnancy, and does not seek an abortion until
she can hide it no longer.
In the ancient cultures there are a few recorded legal prohibitions against
abortion in antiquity; there are even fewer ancient laws protecting the
practice. Abortion may not have been a prevalent issue in ancient times. Killing
the baby outside the womb after delivery, however, was a prominent subject of
debate much like abortion is today, for most of the same reasons.
Hippocrates, the father of the modern medicine and sopranos the greatest of the
ancient gynecologist, both opposed abortion, though whether this was for
protection of the mother or fetus is not clear. The Hippocratic oath, formulated
around 400 BC and taken verbatim by U.S. physicians until recently, clearly
prohibits abortion; however, it has been contested on almost all points since
the day it was written.
The Bible never mentions the word abortion , as a result some people wold say
that this practice is not prohibit, but the Bible appears to be silent on the
topic of abortion. There are some quotes of some anti-abortion authors on the
opinion of the Bible in this issue: John T. Noonan said: the Old Testament has
nothing to say on abortion. And John Connery said: if anyone expects to find
an explicit condemnation of abortion in the New Testament, he will be
disappointed. The silence of the New Testament regarding abortion surpasses even
that of the Old Testament .
Spontaneous abortions, or miscarriages, occur for many reasons, including
disease, trauma, or genetic or biochemical incompatibility of mother and fetus.
Occasionally a fetus dies in the uterus but fails to be expelled, a condition
termed a missed abortion.
Illegal abortions, although rare in the US, are common worldwide; they carry a
high risk of complications, including perforation of the uterus, and severe
bleeding. Infertility or death often results.
The woman point of view is very important, since she is the one going through
the thought process of deciding if the child should live or not, as Caroline
Garage says in her home page: that basic fact is simple: life begins not at
birth, but at conception. The beginning of human life is not religious, moral or
philosophical issue: it is a scientific and biological one. From the time those
23 cromozones become 46 onward, the unborn is a living, developing individual
with a unique genetic makeup . Some woman feel that the medical community
should emphasize on finding safe and effective birth control that would
eliminate the need for abortion. That would be the easiest solution, because the
debate will still rage on, and some abortions will still occur. But before
effective birth control is found, before society changes its attitude toward
pregnancy, and makes it more acceptable for woman or young girls to be pregnant.
The law opinion of the subject is based on the English law. Henry Bracton, the
father of the common la , apparently regarded abortion (at least after 5 or 6
weeks) as homicide and it seems that at early common law abortion was a felony,
and, therefore, a hanging offense. Later commentators, Coke and Blackstone, held
expressly that abortion after quickening was not the crime of murder, but a
The American law, before general codification of law became commonplace in the
19th century; criminal law was based on the common law inherited from England.
Therefore, states followed the law, as it existed in England. Exactly what this
was could vary depending on when the state is said to have received the common
There have been some judicial cases involving abortion the most popular one was
the case of Roe v. Wade. Even though the court legalizes abortion in all 50
states after this case I m opposed to the legalization of it, To summarize this
case, (Roe v. Wade: First step or misstep)
A pregnant single woman brought a class action challenging the constitutionality
of the Texas criminal abortion laws, which proscribed procuring or attempting an
abortion except on medical advice for the purpose of the saving the mother s
life. The plaintiff s assertion was that prohibiting abortion at any time before
birth violated a woman s constitutional right to privacy. In deciding the case
the court attempted to avoid the issue of when life begins. Justice Blackmum,
writing for the majority, asserted, we need not to resolve the difficult
question of when life begins this judiciary is not in a position to speculate as
to the answer. The court then ruled the constitutional right of privacy was
broad enough to encompass a woman s decision whether or not to terminate her
pregnancy. In other words, abortion should be a private matter between a woman
and her doctor. However, the court also ruled that the privacy right
involved cannot be said to be absolute. In particular, a state may properly
assert important interest in safeguarding health in maintaining medical
standards, and in protecting potential life (abortion perspective).
This ruling has several significant flaws, because the court ruled that the
constitutional to privacy protected abortion in part because it was not possible
to reach agreement on when life begins, asserting that a woman should be allowed
to make her own choice in this matter at least up to a certain point. But in
defining that certain point the court introduced the viability s the beginning
of meaningful life. This is illogical, causes on the one hand on the idea that
life is beginning is indeterminate and on the other hand on a definition of when
meaningful life begins. Also, it raises the obvious question of the validity of
the court s definition of meaningful life and their determination of its
starting point. With regard to the former, nowhere in the ruling does the court
ignored modern scientific evidence concerning the beginning of biological life.
In conclusion, there has been a lot of opinions on this side of abortion, that
have been stated in this paper, those where, the laws from the Bible, the
Ancient history and the medical viewpoint. Some of these opinions may have been
on the other side of abortion, but that still doesn t gives the right to nobody
to play the role of god and decide who is going to live and who is not.
Pro-life gives a change to the unborn without evens knowing what kind this child
accomplish during his live. Since the fetus is not capable of speaking his mind
this side tries to defend him and stand up for him in does life changing moments
when a mother decides to have an abortion or (the best alternative)not having
Pro-life groups are very active at the state level and have successfully
influenced legislators and governors into creating many laws that restrict
abortion. Many of the laws have been ineffectual; they are so broadly worded
that they are usually declared unconstitutional shortly after having been signed
into law. Those laws that survive are not particularly effective; they often
merely deflect abortion seekers to nearby states. At this time, compromise
between pro-life and pro-choice supporters appears to be impossible.
Scientific research has successfully shown that abortion causes many
psychological side effects. It leaves the woman with many strong feelings about
their decision. They feel sadness, wishing things could have been different and
grief for a lost life. Guilt arises because they know a fetus represents an
independent life. Anger builds up towards other people having to do with their
decision. Sometimes the mother may feel that she has in fact been abandoned.
Most of the entire mothers feel ashamed and embarrassed about her action. People
close to the mother may be angry with her for ending her pregnancy and make it
difficult for her to deal with. Even years after the abortion, women tent to
remember the regretful experience.
Word cited page
Abortion perspective Bible. What the Bible has to say about abortion? July 14
Abortion perspective law. Roe v. wade: first step or misstep July 12 2000.
Abortion perspective medicine. Shouldn t a doctor know when life begins? July
12 2000. http://potterschool.com/abortion/law.html.
Abortion perspective history. Interpreting the past July 13 2000.
Bell and Howell information and learning Critical Issue Essay: Teen Pregnancy
Britannica online encyclopedia. Abortion, euthanasia, and the value of human
Britannica online encyclopedia. All sides to the issue July 15 2000.
Howell, Joseph H and Sale, William Frederick. Life choices. Washington, D.C.:
Town university, 1995.
Riddle, John M. Eve s Herbs. Massachusetts: Harvard university press, 1997.
Francoeur, Robert t. Taking sides. Dushkin publishing group, 1996.
Risen, James & Thomas, Judy L. Wrath of Angels the American Abortion War. Basic
Weir, Robert F. Physician assisted suicide. Indiana: Indiana university press,
State abortion laws. State abortion laws