Since the Supreme Court declared that abortion is a fundamental human right, this issue has continued to generate a debate for over 3 decades. The proponents have until now Identified themselves as pro choice. They contend that abortion is a privilege that should not be limited by either the government or religious groups. On the other hand, opponents claim that life begins right at conception and therefore abortion by any standard is killing of innocent human being (Carrick, 2001). Despite all this, the debate still carries on without indications of relenting. The big question is; “should abortion be legal?” The reality is that the authorities should allow pregnant mothers to make the personal choice of having or not having a baby. This should be a personal choice and should be left to the family and the medical practitioners to make this critical decision (Ahman, 2010).
An estimated 1.2 million women every year used to procure abortion from unqualified personnel (Ahman, 2010). This resulted into many complications and in some cases death. This though has changed drastically because many women are able to access quality abortions by qualified doctors. In addition, this has gone ahead in improving the lives of women. Mothers are getting children at much later stages in their lives when they are more educated and employed. Consequently, they are able to bring up healthier babies with better lifestyles (Sedgh, 2007).
Women have abortions for numerous issues and even though it is not possible to agree on all of them the consensus is that abortion is a private matter. Women should be allowed to make this decisions based on their religion or value. If we purport to care about life then it is important to note that children should be brought in this life by ready mothers for them to have quality lives.
As a matter of fact, personhood begins at birth and not at conception (Culwell, 2007). Scientist, argue that when a child is in its mother’s womb it cannot be called human, as it does not have most of the senses. A child only becomes human once it leaves its mother’s womb. In real sense abortion is termination of a pregnancy and not human life (Culwell, 2007).
Furthermore, most of the anti-abortion arguments are based on religious ideologies and have no proven fact. The laws set by human cannot be based on religious doctrine as different people have different doctrine including the atheists. If everyone were to do according to his/her religion then the world would be thrown into anarchy as different religions have different teachings.
Finally, it is wrong to subject a child to a lifelong of acute disability. Abortion gives a couple the chance of not bringing a child with a life threatening medical condition in this world. Scientists have discovered that the fragile X gene is responsible for most of the mental retardation cases in children. If this gene is detected before the child is born, the pregnancy can be terminated to avoid the aguish of the child and the family.
Opponents on the other had have come out strongly to challenge this law. They argue that women should either avoid having sex during their fertile period or use contraceptives. While this is a good way of avoiding pregnancy the reality on the ground is very different. Most women from poor background cannot afford to access some of these contraceptives due to the high price and the availability in their locality (Sedgh, 2007).
An abortion kills a human being; this contravenes the teaching of religion. God is the sole custodian of life and is the one who can take or create life. The six commandment in the bible says, “Thou shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13). This however cannot be relied on when making the laws that govern citizens of a country. The law relies on the parameters of reason and value. There are times when the life of the mother is in grave danger and it is only reasonable to save the life that is already in existence. In some other instances, a woman is pregnant from a rape ordeal or from incest. In these instances, it is critical to save the mother from the psychological torture she would have to undergo knowing that she was completely not willing to get the child. In any case, the child is also saved from future taunting and bullying by other children.
The quality of life is most important. For a child to come to be brought into existence a lot of preparation is needed for its well-being. It is evident that mothers who are well-prepared give birth to healthy children and are able to give them quality lives. It is therefore important to respect the wishes of mother to live a diligent and honorable life.
Ahman ,E., Sedgh, G., Henshaw, S., Singh, S., &Shah, I.H. (2007). "Induced abortion: estimated rates and trends worldwide". Lancet. 370(9595), 1338–45.
Carrick, Paul (2001). Medical Ethics in the Ancient World. George town, GA: Georgetown University Press.
Culwell, K.R., Vekemans, M., De Silva ,U., & Hurwitz, M. (2010). "Critical gaps in universaaccess to reproductive health: Contraception and prevention of unsafe abortion".International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. 16(7), 12-18.
Sedgh, G., Henshaw,S.K., Singh, S., Bankole, A., & Drescher, J. ( 2007). "Legal abortion worldwide: incidence and recent trends". Int Fam Plan Perspect . 33(3), 106–116.