Abortion is a very sensitive issue. Many people are constantly debating whether or not abortion should be allowed or not. Some people think abortion is very bad and that it should not be allowed at all. They think abortion is like committing murder as it is killing the human fetus. Others feel that the parents should have the right to choose and it is not murder until the baby is born. People who think it is bad say that the fetus is something alive, a human being who is partly formed and to do abortion is to kill it and commit murder. The people who think it is ok say that it is not murder until and unless the child is born. I think that abortion has to be seen about which stage the fetus is in. If it is in the very early stage, then it is not murder. But if it has already developed into a larger fetus, it can be considered as murder.
There are other times when abortion is also fine. For example if there is a complication in pregnancy and the mother can suffer because of the child, I think it is ok to do abortion. It is important to understand the various ideas that go behind abortion. The right of an abortion for a mother should be left on her own decision as the mother knows best about her condition. She is going to be the 'host body' for the baby, even though her own, for nine months and according to Thompson, the mother should have the right to decide if she wants to foster and go through with the ordeal.
Abortion should not be considered as murder in the early stage, which is the first ten to twelve weeks. Scientific research has proven that even though the fetus starts to develop a face, arms, legs, etc by the tenth week, it does not have a consciousness and it does not constitute as a human being. There have been many arguments over what is right about abortion and what is not. The Pro-Life activists claim that it is an absolute crime to have an abortion at any stage of pregnancy while some of the extreme pro-abortionists believe that the mother should have the right to kill her baby even a week before full birth. These two extremes form the continuum over which all the debate has been made over the past few years over the topic of abortions and no concrete decision has been derived out of them. It is, however, common sense that prevails and leads a person to hold a position that a fetus is not exactly a human being during the first few weeks of conception and that a mother is morally, ethically, and medically permitted to undergo an abortion if she wishes as such (Niebuhr).
People who think like this, such as the National Organization for Women, want abortion to remain legal and allowed as they think that everyone has a right to choose whether they want to keep the baby or kill it. I think it all comes down to realizing when exactly the act of abortion can become murder. For this, many people think of the ideas about exactly when the human fetus becomes a human being. Many people, those who are pro-life and against abortion, consider the fetus as a human being, as a person from the moment that the cell is conceived. Thompson writes there are many people in this world who think that a fetus is a human being as soon as it is conceived, but that is not the case. A fetus is not human until very late in the pregnancy and in the first few weeks it is only a biological entity that is amidst its developmental stage.
It can be very difficult to exactly state at which point the embryo becomes human being. However, many people agree on the fact that the fetus takes up human form and becomes a human a long time before birth. If they think of the fetus as a human being right when it is conceived, then abortion at any stage would be considered as murder. But even then, is the baby not part of the mother? And does she not have the right to choose to kill her baby if she wants to?
Overall, throughout the many years of American history, a constant debate has been made on finding out whether abortion is good or bad. The people who think that abortion is good are called abortionists and those who think it is bad are called non-abortionist. They have been debating for a very long time and they have protested strongly. In 2003, President Bush signed a law to prevent abortion procedures through out the country. This sparked a lot of controversy and organizations like National Organization for Women opposed this strongly. They think it is the invasion of the rights of women. This group wants abortion to remain legal and accessible as they think that everyone has a right to choose whether they want to keep the baby or kill it.
So, even though many people want abortion, and others do not want it, it is not a clear line and no one has been able to find a decisive definition of when abortion becomes murder and when it should be allowed. All in all, it should be left up to the mother and the father to decide if they want to go abortion. But the choice should not be left up to them after the embryo has developed to a stage where it gets the human traits. They should only be allowed to do abortion in the first ten to twelve weeks of pregnancy and doctors should not allow them to do abortion if the fetus is in the later stages of development. This should be the law in all states and it should be put into effect everywhere at once. This would make it equal in all states and no parents could cheat the law by driving to another state and getting abortion done there. Abortion is a serious issue and it should be researched upon more. The problems with the abortionists and the non-abortionists should be solved with active dialogue.
Niebuhr, Reinhold. Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics. Charles Scribner's Sons. 1932.
Thompson, Judith Jarvis. “A Defense of Abortion.” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1, (1). 1971