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Abortion - Pro-Choice or Pro-Life

Essay by   •  February 15, 2011  •  Essay  •  779 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,170 Views

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With the advancement of technology a number of serious ethical questions arise. One of the oldest and still most contested issues is the idea of abortion. Usually people are identified as "pro-choice," in favor of abortion, or "pro-life," against abortion. These classifications are very broad and do not allow for the expression of the numerous ideas that people have. Although some people may support abortion, they may only support it for early pregnancy, such as through the first trimester. The basic life-cycle of a baby consists of many discrete stages of development most of which are agreed upon by both pro-life and pro-choice activists. The area under scrutiny is whether a baby is alive and considered a human upon fertilization or when it can sense pain, which is much further along in development. This understanding of life can ultimately determine whether one is pro-choice or pro-life, but within this general categorization there are many different views.

Many medical specialists believe that a fetus cannot feel pain until late in pregnancy, which is about 26 weeks. These statistics are what pro-choice supporters believe and designate as factual. This understanding of "when life begins" is also the basis for the laws in regulation by the United States government. Currently abortions are legal up to the 24 weeks in pregnancy, which is before the medical stated time when a fetus can feel pain. Although many medical specialists agree on when a fetus can feel pain, there are others who feel that when the pain receptors begin to form 7 weeks into pregnancy, a fetus can feel pain. This leads others to believe that a baby fetus can feel pain very early in pregnancy and furthermore that it is a human 7 weeks or earlier in pregnancy.

The two strongest beliefs for pro-life supporters are that an unborn fetus is a human and deserves all human rights, and that the bible outlaws acts such as abortion and should be strictly adhered to. The difficulty in the argument of abortion is that it is impossible for one to distinctly determine when a fetus becomes a human and in doing so obtains all of a human's natural rights. This means that the issue of abortion will never be completely answered because it is strongly based on opinion as opposed to fact.

Pro-choice supporters have many reasons to believe that abortion is legal but some are more influential than others, such as a fetus isn't a human until it can feel pain and function. As stated, the determination of whether a fetus is a human or not is the main distinction between pro-life and pro-choice supporters, and no one can simply be forced into believing one side or the other. Furthermore they tend to believe that bringing an unwanted child

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