Against Abortion

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I believe that too many women have abortions for reasons which are not just enough for the killing of a human being.
Abortion has been seen as a controversial issue for hundreds of years. As more people discuss it, new dimensions are added to the argument and this may be why laws vary from country to country and have changed so many times.
Abortion in England and Wales was first made illegal in the 19th century. Before then, English Common Law had allowed abortion provided it was carried out before the woman felt the foetus move. At this time, if the abortion law was broken there were no fixed penalties and the woman having the abortion was not necessarily held responsible. In 1803 the law changed and abortion became a criminal offence from the time of conception with penalties of up to life imprisonment for both the pregnant woman and the abortionist. In 1929 "˜The Infant Life Preservation Act´ amended the previous law so that abortion was no longer a felony under certain circumstances. The new law made it illegal to kill a child "˜capable of being born live´. 28 weeks was the age set at which a foetus was assumed to be able to survive. In 1967 "˜The Abortion Act´ was passed, it permitted the termination of pregnancies subject to certain conditions. Regulations under the act meant that abortions must be performed by a registered practitioner in a National Health Service hospital or a clinic approved by the Department of Health. The last law to be passed was called "˜The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990´. It introduced a time limit of 24 weeks for the termination of a pregnancy as opposed to the previous limit of 28 weeks. The act also confirmed that when a woman had a multiple pregnancy it was legal for a doctor to terminate the life of one or more foetuses leaving others alive.
I think that the earlier laws were too harsh and impractical and the more recent laws are too lenient and vague. A balance between the two must be established.

Some people believe that a woman has the right to choose whether she will have an abortion or not, but I think that this belief is selfish. Our right to choose is limited by the rights of other people. For example, if this "˜right to choose´ were applied to another situation it would not be appropriate; very few people would say that an employer has the right to employ someone on the basis of their gender or the colour of their skin. Also, the woman is not the only one affected by an abortion, family members and the father inparticular are greatly affected. It is has been said that the woman is the only person who should decide whether she should continue her pregnancy or not and that the woman´s partner has no right to prevent her having an abortion. It can then be said that the woman then has no right to call on her partner for support and that both parents have the mutual right to abandon their responsibilities.
It has been said that a foetus is not a human being, it is merely part of the woman. Whereas, medical science has proved that the foetus is biologically separate from its mother. From the moment the embryo is formed a new individual comes into existence, genetically different from its parents. The development of vitro fertilisation has proven that an embryo can exist outside a female body. All these scientific advances confirm that the unborn is a separate human being. The terms "˜embryo´, "˜foetus´, "˜baby´, "˜child´ and "˜adult´ are just different words for a human being at different stages of life. Given the necessities, a foetus has the potential to grow into an adult.
Many women think that they would have to give up their job or education if they were to have a baby, but now this is not true. There are laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Even though a woman may have to postpone some of her plans, the unborn´s right to live should take precedence over the mother´s right to a certain lifestyle.
Some may argue that the law should not interfere with what goes on in the privacy of a woman´s womb. I believe that inside a woman´s womb a human being is undergoing the process of growth and development and is entitled to the protection of the law. This can be applied to a completely different situation; for example, the law can interfere with what goes on in the privacy of someone´s home if violence is involved.

I believe that many of the reasons for having abortions are totally unacceptable. For example, there have been reports that some pregnancies were terminated because parents decided that their child was the "˜wrong´ sex. I think that too many women do not look hard enough to find the possible solutions of the problems that arise with pregnancies. Parents must take more responsibility as the situation has only arisen because of the parents´ carelessness whilst having sex. In my opinion, if a woman does not feel she is ready to bring up a child, the best option is to give the child up for adoption as there are thousands of people who are desperate to foster or adopt children. But I do believe that there are circumstances and situations in which abortions are the best option. For example, if the child will have severe disabilities or if the continuation of a pregnancy will cause a high risk of severe injury to the mother or even death. I also believe that it is right to terminate the life of one or more foetuses involved in a multiple pregnancy to preserve the life of other foetuses. Finally, I think that although doctors should consult other doctors, they should not be prosecuted for carrying out an abortion in extreme circumstances. For example, in 1938, Dr Alexander Bourne performed an abortion on a 14 year old girl after a gang of soldiers raped her. Dr Bourne informed the police and was prosecuted.
My main feeling about abortion is that it denies the most fundamental human right, the right to live.

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