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Abortion: Taking a Stand

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I am your Creator, you were in my care even before you were born, Isaiah 44:2(CEV).

You are not a mistake.

Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact, he expected it. Long before you were conceived by your parents, you were conceived in the mind of God. He thought of you first. It was not fate, nor chance, nor luck, nor coincidence that you are breathing at this very moment. You are alive because God wanted to create you! The Bible says, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.” Romans 122:2 (NIV)

Abortion is the termination of pregnancy before birth, resulting in, or accompanied by, the death of the fetus. It has become one of the most widely debated ethical issues of our time.

Considering what is ethical and what is legal in terms of abortion becomes very complex. The ethical concerns that revolved around the abortion issue are those that encompass a great many ideals вЂ" both religious and personal вЂ" that have to do with an individual’s concept of right and wrong. To some, the ethical implications mean allowing the woman her right to choose; to others, it is no different than murder.

Do you consider something with a beating heart a living creature? Likely, before a woman even has knowledge of being pregnant, at five weeks, a baby’s heart forms and starts beating. Therefore that would make abortion a form of murder. Murder is classified as taking another human life. The baby that is growing inside of a woman is dependant on her, so when she makes the choice to end the baby’s life, she is making the choice to murder another human. Our federal government must take a stand against the murder of an innocent human. Allowing abortions, including partial birth abortions and embryonic stem cell research is a step in the wrong direction.

All of the controversy around this issue is because it encompasses a vast combination of one's constitutional rights, moral issues, religious beliefs and political preferences. Though the legal history of abortion is relatively short, it is complicated and continues to be actively debated and pursued by activists on both sides of the argument: pro-choice activists are refocusing their fight to achieve greater access to abortions for all women and pro-life activists, while combating these new pro-abortion pursuits, continue to fight for an overturning of the original decision that led to the legalization of abortion, Roe vs. Wade.

Few Americans had any knowledge of the Roe vs. Wade case until the Supreme Court announced its decision on January 22, 1973. Most lawyers would date Roe’s beginning to March 3, 1970, when a young lawyer named Linda Coffee (Irons, P. 2006) entered the federal courthouse in Dallas, Texas, and filed a complaint for “Jane Roe” against Henry Wade, the county’s district attorney, seeking to block enforcement of the state’s abortion law. Historians would look back to 1854, when the Texas legislature made abortion a criminal offence except to save a pregnant woman’s life. Another perspective looks back at July 20, 1962. On that day, a twenty-nine-year old pregnant woman named Sherri Finkbine received a call from her doctor, warning that she faced a high risk of having a badly deformed baby. She had been treating daily headaches with pills that her husband had brought back from England. Sherri had recently read an article about an epidemic of deformed babies in England. Their mothers had taken a medication called thalidomide for headaches and morning sickness. She wondered if the pills she had been taken could be the same.

She checked with her doctor and he confirmed her worst fears. Her doctor showed her and her husband pictures of thalidomide babies with no arms or legs. These pictures led her to her decision to have an abortion. Arizona’s law only allowed abortions if continuing the pregnancy might endanger the mother’s life. Her doctor convinced the Good Samaritans Hospital that she was at risk and scheduled her abortion. The story got out and showed up in the headlines of the Republican.

The story did not mention her name, but the hospital cancelled her abortion. Pictures and articles surfaced in Life magazine, Newsweek, and the Jesuit magazine America. The Fickbine’s decided to seek abortion outside the country. They traveled to Sweden. She was quoted as saying, “We don’t believe in abortions, really. The main thing is to do what is right for the baby. I don’t feel it morally right to bring a deformed child into the world.” Sherri finally ended her pregnancy on August 18, 1962. The Roman Catholic Church called her abortion a “homicide” and the victim was a human being” (Irons, P. 2006).

This case and others preempted Linda Coffee’s complaint in 1970. The panel of judge’s opinion came down on June 17, 1970. All three judges agreed that the Texas abortion laws must be declared unconstitutional because they deprived single women and married couples of their right, secured by the Ninth Amendment, to choose whether to have children. This ruling signaled lawyers that either side could ask the Supreme Court to review the case.

Thirty years after Roe vs. Wade, on June 28, 2000, in Sternberg vs. Carhart, a 5-4 decision, the court rejected a ban on so-called partial-birth abortion. President Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act into law on November 5, 2003. The bill represents the first direct national restriction on any method of abortion since the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in 1973 ( Partial-Birth Abortion refers to a late-term abortion method which induces a breech delivery and collapses the fetal skull before completing delivery. This procedure is banned in 24 states, but pro-choice advocates, including President Clinton, have sought to overturn state laws with a federal ruling. In April, the Supreme Court rejected a Nebraska law banning partial birth abortions.

On April 18, 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Several Presidential candidates made statements regarding this decision. John McCain commented that this ruling was a victory for those who cherish the sanctity of life. “The ruling ensures that an unacceptable and unjustifiable practice will not be carried out on our innocent children.” Rudy Giuliani said, “The



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