Abortion Arguments Deconstructed
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Abortion Arguments Deconstructed

The child should not be punished for the mistakes of adults.

Abortion Arguments Deconstructed

It's been over one month since Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed New York's Reproductive Health Act, protecting Roe vs. Wade. This act decriminalizes abortions and allows legal access to them. Although the controversy of abortion is nothing new, another part of this act is what is making headlines. In addition to abortion access and decriminalization, the law also addressed late-term abortions. Under this act, they may be performed after 24 weeks, so long as the fetus is not viable or the life of the mother is compromised. While many cheered at the passing of this new law, it has also received much backlash.
Today I will be deconstructing liberal viewpoints on abortion in a simple Q and A similar format.

"Reproductive choice empowers women by giving them control over their own bodies."

This argument is looking at abortion as a contraceptive method. It is not empowering to women (or anyone) to kill an innocent human being. Women are not making choices only for their own bodies, but for the body of another human. The Guttmacher Institute reported that 45% of all women having abortions every year have had at least one previous abortion, while 8.6% of abortions reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014 were undergone by women who had three or more previous abortions. Reproductive choices can be made before pregnancy.

"Personhood begins after a fetus becomes "viable" (able to survive outside the womb) or after birth, not at conception."

While this is a common argument, predominant biological research confirms that life begins at conception. Each person in the womb has a unique genetic makeup. By just week 8, the American Pregnancy Association states that "Everything that is present in an adult human is now present in the small embryo." We must decide when a person has moral value. Do only those who can survive independently have moral value? If so, we must apply this same logic to infants/children, people with disabilities, and the elderly.

"Fetuses are incapable of feeling pain when most abortions are performed."

Two-thirds of abortions are performed by 8 weeks gestation, with the remaining third occurring post 8 weeks. Maureen Condic, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine, explains that the "most primitive response to pain, the spinal reflex," is developed by eight weeks gestation, also stating, "There is universal agreement that pain is detected by the fetus in the first trimester." Bernard N. Nathanson, MD, the late abortion doctor who renounced his earlier work and became a pro-life activist, stated that when an abortion is performed on a 12-week-old fetus, "We see [in an ultrasound image] the child's mouth open in a silent scream...This is the silent scream of a child threatened imminently with extinction." What I'm gathering from this is that tiny humans inside the womb feel extreme pain when their bodies are being ripped apart.

"Access to legal, professionally-performed abortions reduces maternal injury and death caused by unsafe, illegal abortions."

I hear this one a lot. Pro-choice advocates assume that pro-choice advocates would like women to "go back to coat hanger abortions" rather than ones performed in a doctor's office. This is not the case, as pro-life supporters are "pro-life" (hence the name). Abortions are not the answer to a problem, no matter how they are carried out. While it is true that an abortion done by a medical professional is likely to be much more "successful" than one done at home, abortion should not be used as a contraceptive. The (original) Hippocratic Oath also forbade doctors to perform abortions "I will not give a woman a pessary [a device inserted into the vagina] to cause an abortion." The modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, still effectively forbids doctors from performing abortions in the line, "Above all, I must not play at God."

"Modern abortion procedures are safe and do not cause lasting health issues such as cancer and infertility."

The International Journal of Epidemiology estimated that about 15% of first-trimester miscarriages are attributed to a prior history of induced abortion, and stated that "Induced abortion by vacuum aspiration is associated with an increased risk of first-trimester miscarriage in the subsequent pregnancy." A Chinese study found that breast cancer is associated with induced abortions. In addition to this, Cancer Causes and Control found that abortion "is significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer" and that "the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of [abortions] increases." It should also be noted that abortion law also now allows medical professionals who are not doctors to perform abortions in New York.

"Women who receive abortions are less likely to suffer mental health problems than women denied abortions."

The Scandinavian Journal of Public Health found that "Young adult women who undergo...abortion may be at increased risk for subsequent depression." BMC Medicine found that women who underwent an abortion had "significantly higher" anxiety scores on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale up to five years after the pregnancy termination. A study published by the Southern Medical Journal of more than 173,000 American women found that women who aborted were 154% more likely to commit suicide than women who carried to term. A study published in the British Medical Journal reported that the mean annual suicide rate amongst women who had an abortion was 34.7 per 100,000, compared with a mean rate of 11.3 per 100,000 in the general population of women. A Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology study of men whose partners had abortions found that 51.6% of the men reported regret, 45.2% felt sadness, and 25.8% experienced depression. See this link for more problem affecting women who've had abortions.

"Abortion gives pregnant women the option to choose not to bring fetuses with profound abnormalities to full term."

Disabilities do not make a person any less human. It is a gross form of discrimination to murder someone simply because they have a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that people with disabilities are not discriminated against in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications. People with disabilities, even significant ones, still possess the ability to live a fulfilling life. Abortion, in this case, is an act of convenience for the parents rather than an attempt to prevent inconvenience for the unborn child.

"Women who are denied abortions are more likely to become unemployed, to be on public welfare, to be below the poverty line, and to become victims of domestic violence."

The child should not be punished for the mistakes of adults. Adoption is an option for women who are unable to care for their child. This statement also overlooks the potential of a human being's contribution to society. According to Tim Tebow, "the reason I'm here" is because his mother ignored the advice of doctors who recommended an abortion. This is just one example. This statement also overlooks the mental and physical problems women face after abortion.

"A baby should not come into the world unwanted."

While the unborn child may be unwanted by his or her biological parents, there are many couples who are willing and desire to adopt, some of who are unable to conceive their own children. It's estimated that there are as many as 36 couples waiting for every one child who is placed for adoption.

"For women that do get an abortion, what do you think the punishment should be?"

From my understanding, the New York law protects doctors or medical professionals who perform abortions from criminal prosecution. If anyone was getting punished, it was the doctors, not pregnant women.

As far as specific tactics leftists use in debates, here is a great article.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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