What Is Abortion?
What is abortion? Is it the killing of a defense less child or is it
the freedom of a woman. In the case of the latter, it is easy to see how
abortion can be very beneficial for the mother. Perhaps she is a teenager who
is too young and too scared for such an awesome responsi bility or perhaps she
simply does not have the resources for or want another child. The situation
becomes more complicated when the father of the fetus wants the baby. Does the
father, whose very DNA was transferred to the fetus, have any right to determine
whether the mother receives an abortion or is the decision totally that of the
mother, who must endure the nine month pregnancy and the birthing process as
well as any lingering physical or psychological effects.
Even if abortion is considered the killing of a defenseless child, serious
and difficult questions cannot be avoided. Certainly, it is illegal and immoral
to kill a week old baby; but can the same be said of the termina tion of a week
old fetus? When does a fetus become a life entitled to the same protection as a
newborn baby or when is it too late to end a pregnancy? Some would say at any
point before birth; however, a fetus can be viable and live outside its mother’s
womb quite some time before its natural birth otherwise would occur. Is that
the point at which abortion is inappropriate and, thus, illegal as well as
immoral? While there are those who would answer in the affirmative, many would
argue that a life entitled to protection began at the time of concep tion, the
entry of a sperm cell into the egg.
In any event, abortion must be viewed as an issue with many angles. If a
person is pro-life, is he or she opposed to abortion altogether, is there a
period early in the pregnancy that the fetus may be appropriately terminated, or
are there circumstances, such as rape, incest, or danger to the life of the
mother, that justify ending a pregnancy? If another person is pro-choice, is he
or she in favor of abortion on demand at any time, regardless of the fetus’
viability. As is true of most complex issues, the matter of abortion raises a
multitude of questions that elicit a variety of answers and opions.