AbortionWhat is your opinion on the de-criminalisation of abortion? Should abortion be legal? I personally believe abortion should be fully de-criminalised and available upon request. To be...


What is your opinion on the de-criminalisation of abortion? Should abortion be legal?

I personally believe abortion should be fully de-criminalised and available upon request. To be succinct, I believe it isn't my place to direct another person's life, and in this day and age, to restrict one's rights is plainly immoral and somewhat un-ethical. Of course, there's the issue of murder, the baby not having the opportunity to thrive in our civilisation when there are things like adoption are available, but if it is not wanted by its birth mother and/or father, I believe its only morally and practically correct to let the mother assume her rights as a woman to terminate her pregnancy than to have to force her to go through the burden of pregnancy, just to satisfy a few. I also believe the issue of overpopulation needs to be addressed, as abortion does play a very significant and major role in controlling humanities clear growth.

So, what are your views?

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When making a logical argument, you have to be careful to avoid dogmatism. You do make an attempt at a concession by acknowledging the adoption option, but you have to present your concession and counter it thoroughly if you want to present a convincing argument.

If you are writing this argument for a class, consider what your opponent might offer as his or her primary points and who your audience is. For example, the overpopulation point might be a valid one, but not if you are arguing strictly about the United States and to an American audience. The U.S. does not have an overpopulation problem; in fact, some researchers are concerned about the lack of a youthful population to make up the working force as more and more Baby Boomers reach retirement age or face health problems. Similarly, in countries which do have significant overpopulation (China), abortion has been legal for years and has done nothing to alleviate their problems. Instead, China is facing a major crisis because so many female babies have been aborted that the nation has a very poor ratio of males versus females.

Finally, your opponent will also most likely argue that each point you offer about ethics and morality and rights also applies to the life being aborted. What are his or her rights? This then brings you into another argument about when human life begins, etc.

lffinj eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although a number of interesting issues were raised in the initial question, I'm gong to address just a few.  First, the issue of morality and that is "morally correct to let the woman terminate her pregnancy."  I would ask what about the rights of the father and the unborn child?  And, the original poster seems to presume that is a burden to be pregnant.  Many women do not find it a burden, but an absolute joy.  This is why some women are said to "glow" while they are preganant.  Also, I would be interested in knowing who the "few" are that are going to be satisfied?  Second, if a parent can take care of their children, why is anyone allowed to control how many children someone has?  I believe that the number of children/couple has decreased in the United States, without any involvement from an outsider.  Rather, it is due, in part to women waiting longer to conceive and also, having a career.  Many people also believe that abortion is murder.  It is intriguing that in some cases when a pregnant woman is murdered, the murderer is charged with killing two people, but when an abortion is performed, it is viewed differently.  Lastly, it is a difficult and complicated topic and one that does not have an easy answer for some.

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is nothing sadder in the world to me than an unwanted child.  There is no guarantee that a child will be adopted, and most women end up keeping children they did not want, children they cannot properly care for, and children who are condemned to reprehensible parenting and poverty.  This is what people want to save?  How many anti-abortion people are busy adopting children?  How many anti-abortion people are voting for funds for education, food, housing, clothing for unwanted children?  My body is my own, and it is not the place of the government, a male who had sex with me, or people whose religious or moral ideas differ, to tell me I must carry an unwanted child to term. 

As we speak, the sole provider of abortions in Mississippi is about to be shut down, subject to state regulations specifically and openly designed to make Mississippi a state in which women may not exercise their constitutional rights. 

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While I do not believe that abortion should be illegal, I do believe that there should be stipulations made for women seeking abortions.

Like another post stated, I have no problem with abortions conducted for women who are the victims of rape, incest or molestation. That said, I do not think that women should be able to use abortion as a preventative method when they failed to take precautions (repeatedly).

Medical science has many different options for unplanned pregnancies (like emergency contraception "the morning after pill").

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to legislate morality as proven by the attempt to prohibit Americans from consuming alcohol and the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Quite simply, people will act according to their own wills.

Now, some people argue that abortion is not just an attempt to legislate morality; it is murder of an unborn child.  Herein lies the dilemma of legislation:  How does one define abortion?  You will, then, wish to examine the arguments on this part of the issue.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would agree with you only if you are talking about the earliest stages of pregnancy (perhaps through the first trimester).  After that, it is much harder to blithely dismiss the issue of "murder" the way that your statement does.  There is surely a point at which an unborn fetus is a human life.  I do not know what point that is, but it must exist given that many unborn fetuses are capable of life outside the womb.  

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with #3 posted above.  To me, sex has responsibility and risks to go along with the enjoyment of the act.  Someone who has sex and doesn't accept the responsibility of everything it entails is just getting bailed out.  Now, someone forced into sex got that decision taken away from them, and I am not nearly as troubled by that action.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, the most obvious situations in which abortion would be a very reasonable course of action are those in which the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest. Requiring a woman to continue a pregnancy and raise a child conceived under those conditions strikes me as unfair to the woman and to the unwanted child.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In response to post #9--  Mississippi has had a long, troubled history with supporting women's rights.  Remember, they were the last state to ratify the nineteenth amendment (women's right to vote) in 1984!  It's depressing to think that even now, in 2012; women's rights are still being challenged.