Arguments for Abortion and Against Abortion

Abortion has been the focus of many heated debates over the past decades and probably many decades to come. Should it be outlawed or should it remain a legal choice? Is it moral or immoral? Is it ethical or unethical?

There are two opposing sides to the abortion debate. On the one hand, people who take the pro-life position argue that abortion is indeed immoral and unethical and must be outlawed. On the other hand, supporters of abortion (pro-choice) strongly believe that every woman has the right to choose whether or not she wants to terminate the baby in her womb – thus, abortion is a moral and ethical choice and must be legalized. Below are the major contentions of pro-life and pro-choice about abortion.

Pro-life arguments

Anti-abortion individuals believe that the fetus is a living human, thus abortion is a crime since it takes away human life. It straightforwardly violates the idea of the inviolability of human life. They argue that in rape and incest cases, the decision of the woman to have an abortion is a punishment to the innocent unborn child; instead, the one who committed the crime should be punished.

The pro-life standpoint also uses health consequences of abortion to brand it unethical. Those against the practice provide some evidence that women who underwent abortion suffer from medical complications later in their lives. Abortion doubles the risk of ectopic pregnancies and increases the chance of pelvic inflammatory disease and miscarriage.

In terms of economics, pro-life people claim that many American taxpayers do not approve of abortion, so it is unethical to use the taxpayers’ money to fund abortion. They view adoption as a practical alternative to abortion. They counter the unwanted-child argument by pointing out that 1.5 million American families want to adopt a child.

Pro-choice arguments

Advocates of abortion argue that the fetus does not have a life of its own as it cannot be independent of the mother. The fetus is not a separate entity. They also ask: Considering that human life starts at conception, it follows that each fertilized egg in in vitro fertilization is human life, too. But if throwing away unused fertilized eggs is not murder, how come abortion is?

Pro-choice people argue that adoption is not a substitute for abortion, since it is still the woman’s choice to give or not to give her child for adoption. In addition, for them, abortion is a very safe medical procedure when performed by a good doctor. Regarding the funding of abortion, they argue that funding abortion is no different from allocating financial resources to the war in the Middle East.

In rape and incest cases, pro-choice people argue that forcing a woman who became pregnant after being raped would cause psychological harm to her. Moreover, the pro-choice standpoint claims that having control of her own body is vital to civil rights, and taking away the woman’s reproductive choice is like stepping onto a slippery and deadly slope.