I've always considered abortion wrong. Too many times women use abortion as birth control, and while that is but one reason it is a strong one. I believe that God grants life, and from the moment of conception life is taking place. However, when the news told of a 9 year old girl who had been raped and became pregnant by her mother's boyfriend, I had to reconsider my stance. This 9 year old doesn't even understand the facts of life, and all of a sudden she's carrying life? Does that make sense?
I agree with much of hat has been said here, and this is truly a very personal and difficult topic. I agree that abortions happened before they were legal, and would continue to happen if they were legally prohibited tomorrow. It is an important conversation for anyone who is sexually active to have with their partners, before a pregnancy has a chance to occur. My wife and I decided we would not have an abortion if she were to become pregnant, even though we planned not to have any children. At the same time, we both do not believe we have the right to choose for anyone else what they should or shouldn't do. We very much prefer to keep the topic and the decision in the realm of personal debate rather than legal or national debate.
The morality/legality of abortion is one of those debates that has been fought for so long that I think many people have stopped paying attention to it.
One idea within this topic that often gets overlooked is the fact that women will continue to have abortions, whether they are legal or not.
The Cider House Rules painted a pretty good picture of a doctor who struggled with the morality of abortion. He realized that he could perform them SAFELY and save many women from death - or choose not to and these women would inevitably go somewhere else and have them done at a higher risk.
This angle, as well as the "population control" argument (especially in other countries) could be two considerations that would take you away from writing an essay that has been written countless times before.
I appreciate your sharing your story, theten. I, too, think one's views on abortion are shaped by religious beliefs and convictions. As a Christian, I believe God creates and knows each life in the womb; therefore each life should have the opportunity to live. I certainly understand the reasoning behind a story like theten's mother's ordeal; it had to be traumatic in so many ways. I also understand that too many girls and women opt for an abortion for reasons of convenience. If you look at the statistics which list the reasons women have abortions, only a small percentage are related to health and other such compelling factors. Most are literally for convenience, at least on paper. I fear that this kind of casual approach to life and death will have consequences later; what most concerns me most about this issue is a general sense of carelessness about life and the taking of it.
This is a very difficult topic, often closely linked to one's religious beliefs. I've heard people disagree with abortion "as a form of birth control". Yet my mother once told me that the only people who would think something like that were people who didn't understand the emotional, physical, and spiritual stress of the procedure. My mom said that anyone who had ever had an abortion would never consider it a form of birth control, which we tend to think of as casual now (for example, condoms or the pill). Instead, she said it was one of the most traumatizing experiences of her life. However, she has always felt that she made the right decision, because she felt the consequences would have been worse. See, my mother was raped when she was 13. And yes, she was impregnated. For her, the choice to end the pregnancy was less terrifying than bringing the child to term at 13 and raising the child afterward. My mother went on to have 5 children, and she has never regretted her actions.
There are many who would consider my mother a murderer. While I don't agree with them, I can see where one would believe that life begins at conception, and should be protected. But if the mother's health is threatened, whose life is more important? Should a woman be forced to willingly sacrifice herself in order to bring a child to term? Of course, many women wouldn't think twice about it, and would be quite willing to take the chance to raise their child. But some, like my mother, did not have a choice in the first place...it's almost as though being forced to bring a child to term would be another kind of rape.
Again, this is a issue that I don't think will ever be settled. It's too tied in with issues of faith and personal choice for anyone to be truly satisfied with the situation. It may be especially tough for women to hear men discuss their (the womens') rights, or lack thereof. Pregnancy is such a complicated situation. Who has more claim: father or mother? What if the father wants the child, but the mother doesn't? Can a woman be forced to carry a fetus she doesn't want because the father does? What would that do to someone's life (mother, father, and child)? There's too much at stake in any case for any one person to decide for anyone else.
In my opinion, it depends 100% on when life begins. Unfortunately, I don't know when it does. If life begins at birth (or at month 6, or whenever), then abortion up to that point should be legal -- you would not be killing an actual human being. However, if human life begins at conception, then abortion is truly murder.
If you believe in this second idea, however, it brings up a whole can of worms beyond the issue of abortion. For example, should there not be investigations of every miscarriage? Should women be forced to maintain their health during pregnancy (after all, they are harming another human being if they drink, smoke, etc...)?
Abortions some time occur due to medical problems. The patient or the doctor have no say or role in such abortions. We must accept such abortions. Rarely are such abortion welcome by the lady facing such situation or her near and dear ones. All that we can do is to take care to avoid thins that cause such abortions.
Voluntary abortions can be classified in two categories. One is on medical grounds in face of some complications for the foetus or the mother. The second one is to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Abortion on medical ground is fully justified. However, use of abortion for terminating unwanted pregnancies in most of the cases is the result of gross negligence on part of both the would be parents. There in no excuse for not taking adequate care to prevent the pregnancy in the first place.