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Abort abortions?

(or) The underlying issue of the “pro-choice” movement.

These concerns (for orphan children in India and elsewhere in the world) are very good, but often these same people are not concerned with the millions that are killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today, Abortion…For the pregnant women who don’t want their children, give them to me.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Outwardly endless and stationary controversy around the abortion question accompanies us ever since we discovered we are able to perform this operation. Many arguments were invented that were supposed to resolve this conflict once and for all; nonetheless even today none of them achieved what it has aimed for. Was this effort then worthless? In this paper I will unravel several of the usual arguments that came up over time, and while still pointing out the rational issues of the pro-choice movement my primary goal is to implicitly expose their driving motives that step by step became more and more evident.

Only about 40 years ago a concept of abortion was spotted among general public and started to march its way on the top of currently discussed topics, being the second most common surgical procedure in the U.S. Even though abortion was in some form always present it was never so common and widespread as it is today; besides when it appeared it was mainly considered being a crime, for it was inconceivable to willfully kill one’s own child. However there were cultures such as Greeks and their notable Spartans who favored election of their little ones, according to their predispositions to be strong men and warriors. If they did not fit the required parameters they were doomed to a place called “Apothetae” by elders of the society where they were abandoned and left to die. The basic idea behind it was suggesting that it was better both for the child and the society not to proceed in upbringing of a child which is right from the start poor in health and strength.[1]

Definition of abortion

Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary clearly speaks about abortion like this: Abortion is “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus”. What I found interesting was that right after this first wording a second, quite short and expressive version was offered – “Monstrosity”.

Likewise the dictionary further indicates there are two essential variants for abortion:

  1. Spontaneous abortion(unintended)
    1. Fertilized egg never settles in the uterus, but simply goes through mother’s body in her monthly period.
    2. Fetus that is not yet viable is expelled from the body. This is also called Miscarriage. It occurs prevalently before the end of first trimester (13 weeks) and it is considered to be purely accidental (as opposed to –“induced”).
  2. Induced abortion is intended termination of pregnancy executed by one of the at present known specialized methods for aborting a fetus such as D&C, Suction, Saline injection, Hysterotomy, Prostaglandin, D&E or a Partial birth abortion(their detailed definition goes beyond scope of this paper). Generally three conditions under which induced abortion is performed are recognized.
    1. Therapeutic– Mothers life is endangered due medical difficulties. Consequently the fetus is aborted for the purpose of saving mother’s life.
    2. Eugenic – Fetus has a risk of physical or mental handicap (e.g. Down’s syndrome) which would severely influence his own quality of life and would bring a heavy strain on the other members of family as well.
    3. Elective – No inward hazard is present (mother & fetus are both healthy and no significant pregnancy problems arise); yet external decision determines whether abortion will come to pass or not based on convenience of a current situation (e.g. economic situation, age of parents, regulation of family size, mistiming…)[2].

The Beginnings

It all started by discovering the human ovum in 1820. In the same time solid laws regarding abortion were adopted. This means that only cases that met serious requirements were admitted to have an abortion. In 1973, by feminists exalted, case Roe v. Wade have secured abortion on demand for Supreme Court in US have given a green light to this new convenience of 20th century. Prior to this case only several states in America had reduced their requirements for abortion in order to make them more accessible for people, however this event had set about a wave of concessions that resulted in at the moment executing of 42 million of legitimate abortions worldwide every year. Interestingly, only 17% of all abortions now take place in developed countries, the rest is done in developing countries such as India or China[3]. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Ethics, Podcast


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