The History of Abortion in the United StatesAbortion is a topic that has been around since the beginning of time. Each person has their own viewpoints, but the problem is the majority of society has little knowledge about abortion.
Abortion in teens is only increasing every year, since the morality factor seems to apply no longer. There are many medical hazards that also exist in procedure with an abortion. Americans feel that it is only the mothers choice whether or not to abort the fetus.The legalization of abortions occurred in 1973 after the Roe v. Wade case was won by Roe1 . Norma McCorrey, Jane Roe, claimed to have been raped and filed a lawsuit against Dallas County District Attorney, Henry Wade, for not allowing Roe to get the abortion that she wanted (Radl 46).
When the case went to trial on January 22, 1973 a seven to three vote allowed Roe to proceed with the abortion ( 46). Later, after the verdict, Roe stated that she was never raped and only wanted an abortion for her own convenience. On January 11,1973 Doe v.
Bolton and Roe v. Wade cases ultimately stated, that an abortion, even when the unborn is seven, eight, or nine months old (after conception), can be performed for virtually any reason, including the mothers emotional stress caused by her pregnancy as long as it is done by licensed physician,Before 1973 the American Law Institute (ALI) held three conditions for legal abortions; rape or incest, fetus would be deformed, and womens mental or physical health was in great danger (Radl 33). Websters Dictionary defines execution as, to put to death in accordance with a legally impose sentence, which murder is defined as, to kill a person unlawfully with a malice, (Bender and Leone 34). When people ignorantly say that abortion is murder that is an untrue statement because abortion is execution. No matter what people refer abortion to it as it is still killing a living human fetus. In Roes case the Supreme Court was blind to all aspects or moral limitations. About one million illegal abortions were performed in the United States in 1972 (174).
The number of illegal abortion has increased to twelve million abortions a year. One woman changed history forever after a simple lie that she told just to save herself from having an unplanned child. If the law of 1959 still existed today with mandatory court cases for each abortion situation the teenagers and the women who do not desire a child would become more careful by using protection and avoiding pregnancy at all costs.A childs life begins from the very moment of conception (Radl 90-91). The right to life of neither the mother or the fetus can take precedence over that of the other (Callahan 439). The fetus contains the same value as its mother in the Human Life Amendment.
This amendment conflicts with many moral issues since many religions feel that if a mothers life is in danger of dying then the child should be aborted causing the mother to have precedence over the fetus. The Human Life Amendment also states that abortion under any and all circumstances would be considered murder. Even to preserve the life of a mother or in the case of rape or incest abortion would be against the law of the land (Radl 90-91). If the people voted on this amendment it would be thrown out . There is only a very small number of people who support the passing of the Human Life Amendment.
Only the mothers life should be weighed against the childs. Mostly because the mother has experienced life and the child has not. In society people consider it cruel to kill a fetus at seven months old, but they consider it moral to kill a fetus at only two months (Mensch and Freeman 44). There is not the least bit of difference between a two month old fetus; and a seven month old fetus, each is a living human life and has the same exact value. All embryos are babies and all babies have a right to live. Some people feel that the fourth amendment excludes the protective rights of killing a fetus (Beckwith and Geisler 41). This belief is untrue, because if it was that it would allow United States citizens to kill anyone who was born outside of the United States.
Although the fetus is not born there is no excuse to kill it. This amendment clearly extends the right to life, to any person within jurisdiction including the unborn (41).Many people need an assurance that abortions are moral and the law completely condones them causing the women who are pursuing the abortion do not have a feeling of guilt after they decide to have an abortion.
The morality factor in abortion depends solely on the individuals own definition of morality. The morality of an individual weighs on what religion, if any, is the woman. The United States Presbyterian Church agrees with abortion if it would be irresponsible for the women to bring a child into this world (Mensch and Freeman 169).
If morals or at least values were installed into our laws and amendments then all Americans would have a basic moral status instilled in them. Society has called those women who do not abort their inconvenient pregnancy foolish (Reardon 319). The right to life is a narrow basis in determining the morality of abortion but also the rights of women is equally narrow (Callahan 448). The only thing that can cause the United States to have at least a basis moral guidance is the government. If the government does not realize this soon it will just continue to get worse from generation to generation.The technological medical procedure over the years continue to make the abortion procedure more and more safe.
Although we have new technology, hazards still exist in having an abortion. Most hazards occur because of untrained and illegal abortions. After the twelfth week into a pregnancy a mini hysterectomy occurs (Callahan 32). A needle must be inserted into the amniotic sac to draw out some of the amniotic fluids and replace it with saline or glucose to induce contractions (32).
After that procedure twenty hours later the fetus is finally expelled (32). This procedure was common in the early 1990s. Since then the procedure has been shortened to only a couple of hours and is less painful because of the usage of prescription drugs.
The abortion procedure can make you feel fine and your normal self with in less than a week. The most hazards in abortions are those that occur by unqualified people and induced abortions. Some of the main early complications were: bleeding, adnexitis, fever, perforation of the uterus, rupture of the wound, and phlebitis ( 36 ).
Many of these complications that occurred have been solved and now are extremely rare. To the women who had illegal abortions before 1973, the greatest tragedy of legalized abortion is that now it is only easier for women to be deceived or pushed into the false solution of abortion for one reason or another, ( Reardon 301 ). Although abortions are virtually painless to the mother the fact is it is not painless to the fetus, and there is always a chance that something could go wrong in any type of an operation.Teenage abortions have increased and have now become one of the newest fads. Birth control is not the solution, it seems, anymore, and abortion is what takes its place. About 60% of pregnant teens tell their parents about their pregnancies ( Bender 97 ).
When the states parental consent law in affect botched illegal abortions increase ( Bender 97). Many teenagers and Americans feel that the parental consent law is wholly unconstitutional ( Bender 98 ). There are only three items that a minor under the age of eighteen can have medical treatments for; contraceptive services, having an abortion and medical treatment for venereal disease(Luker 228 ). At sixteen someone can not buy cigarettes but they can eliminate their unborn child, without even consulting their parents.
In the U.S. ninety-six of one thousand girls aged fifteen to nineteen became pregnant in 1985 ( McKeegan 113 ).
In Canada only forty-four and in the Netherlands only fourteen girls became pregnant in the same statistic in 1985 ( 113 ). A small number of the states require to receive counseling that must and be accompanied by and adult over the ages of twenty-one or twenty-five (Kaufmann 41). Each state varies on how old an adult must be (41 ). The counseling must occur before the abortion and the parent does not necessarily need to be notified, unless the teenager decides to tell them on their own. Parental notification laws are the third way that states help control teenage abortions. The parents will be notified by mail or phone and the abortion will not take place until the parents have been notified.
( 40 ) The permission of the parents does not have to occur only notification ( 40 ).It has become immensely easy to get an abortion in modern days. The general cost of an abortion is $250. Loans are offered to those who have a financial difficulty. Someone over the age of twenty-one must sign for the loan only if the teenager is under eighteen years in age (Radl 61). Teenagers over the age of sixteen can take responsibility for killing a life and take responsibility for their own life being in danger.
Now in America there is another type of abortion being performed. This abortion is in the form of prescription drugs, called RU-486, also called mifepristone, but more commonly known as the abortion pill. In Simons Article, in the Los Angeles Times, she states that:The National Abortion Federation already has trained 1,800 health-care workers in the administering of RU-486, including 400 who do not perform surgical abortions. And a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that thirty-one percent of gynecologists who dont perform abortions now were at least somewhat likely to offer mifepristone. (A12) Since the U.S.
Supreme Courts historic 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, the issue of abortion in the United States has resided squarely in the judicial system. A sequence of legal actions in state and federal courts has shaped the debate and ultimately set the bounds on public policy (Flanders 59). Beginning in 1965, there has been as series of twelve court cases that shaped abortion as we know it in the United States. The cases began with Griswald v. Connecticut in 1965. All the following cases were: United States v.
Vuitch, 1971; Roe v. Wade, 1973; Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 1976; Beal v. Doe and Maher v. Roe, 1977; Colautti v. Franklin, 1979; Bellotti v. Baird, 1979; Harris v.
McRae, 1980; H.L.V. Matheson, 1981; Akron V. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, 1983; Thornburgh v.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1986; and Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 1989.2 Legislation that occurred in the United States led to the legislation that occurred in the state of Arizona.
The legislation passed is why abortions are happening the way they are in Arizona.The History of Abortion in ArizonaIn his research, Mrela found that in 1994 alone, 13,390 abortions were performed in Arizona – with 12,260 or 91.2% of those performed on Arizona residents ( 12). Almost 14 (14.
7%) of every one hundred pregnancies in Arizona in 1994 were reported to end in abortion (22). In each age group, these are the numbers of abortions that were performed during 1994: under the age of fifteen: one, ages fifteen to nineteen: nineteen, ages twenty to twenty-four: twenty-seven, ages twenty-five to twenty-nine: eighteen, ages thirty to thirty-four: ten, ages thirty-five to thirty-nine: six, and age forty plus: two (31). The highest of all abortions were performed for girls between the grade levels of nine and twelve (Mrela 32). Per one thousands live births in 1977 in Arizona, there were 141.7 abortions, compared to 324.5 in the U.S.
; in 1987: AZ- 246.6, US- 356.1; in 1992: AZ-187.
7, US-335.0 (37).Most of the abortions(per 1,000 live births) performed on Arizona residents were performed on african-american women and the number was 55.5% higher than the national average(Mrela 37). The number performed on the african-american women was 5.
5 times higher than the number of abortion performed on Native Americans (48.6% of all abortions performed in Arizona). The next closest amount was performed on non-hispanic white girls and their number was 13.2% higher than the national average. Sixty-two percent of women who received an abortion said it was their first, thirty-eight percent said they had received at least one before 1994 (39). Legislation in Arizona was passed that says:A. A person shall not knowingly perform an abortion on a pregnant unemancipated minor unless the attending physician has secured the written consent from one of the minor’s parents or the minor’s guardian or conservator or unless a judge of the superior court authorizes the physician to perform the abortion pursuant to subsection B.
..3 In another legislation, it was passed that:A. Before a physician performs an abortion of a viable fetus, the physician shall state in writing that the abortion is necessary to preserve the life or health of the woman, specifying the medical indications for and the probable health consequences of the abortion..
.4 Currently, abortion is not a big issue in the legislature. It is, however; constantly changing in the state of Arizona. Just last year, much of the legislation concerning abortion was passed. Abortion in Arizona is more pro-life than pro-choice. More legislators believe that it is the states decision and not the mothers.
Recently there have been court cases to determine whether or not women are eligible to receive an abortion in the state of Arizona.The People Involved in the Abortion Issue in ArizonaBecause there is not any real debate on the abortion issue at the current time, I had a very difficult time trying to find someone to interview and also to find which side of the debate everyone was on. I do know that J.D.
Hayworth and most of the Republican are pro-life. Many of the Democrats, but not all, are pro-choice. In my own research I discovered that when there is debate over abortion, they are pretty heated. It is tough to get any legislation, concerning either side of abortion, passed.Arizonans are lucky that at the current time, legislators are more on the pro-life side than pro-choice side.
Abortion, in my opinion is the most wrong and sinful act that is taking place in the world today. A child is a child no matter how many seconds he is old. Killing is killing, whether the person has actually been born or not.
How can a man be convicted of double homicide if he kills a mother and her unborn child if, as the world says, the child is not a person yet? How can we as a moral people continue to allow murder to be committed everyday – legally?At my mothers first ultrasound of me, she could have legally have aborted me. But she knew that I was a living child because when the nurse put pressure on her stomach to turn me over, she in effect, popped my thumb out of my mouth. At that moment, my mom knew that she was in trouble and that I was a living human being.
She never once doubted that I had been a living person from the time I was conceived. When ultrasound in the early 1970s confronted me with the sight of the embryo in a womb, I simply lost my faith in abortion on demand…abortion is a blind procedure.
The doctor does not see what hes doing…
I wanted to know what happened…I said to a friend of mine, who was doing fifteen or twenty abortion a day, Look, do me a favor, Jay..
.put an ultrasound device on the mother and tape it for me. He did, and when he looked at the tapes with me..
.he was so affected that he never did another abortion. (Nathanson 140-141)5 . This comes from an ex-abortion doctor who use to perform hundreds of abortions in one month. If a doctor who use to perform the abortion procedure and now lobbies against it, thinks that abortion is the worst crime against nature, why can no else understand and see that? In my research I found a book about a girl who was aborted but she lived through it. She is now an inspiration to thousands of people.
Her mother loves her more than her own life. What would have been if the procedure to abort this girl would have been a success. The world would not have been blessed by her talents and her ideas.
For all we know, the mother who was going to give birth to another Einstein or a child who at the age of seven could solve world hunger. The world might have been saved from the troubles that we are going through right now. In his book, Common Sense About Abortion, Molk writes on his dedicatory page:This book is dedicated to all people who express their humanness by making intelligent life choices. In particular to my mother who chose not to abort me. My eternal bodiless soul (namely, the poor would-be or unmaterialized me) would have forgiven her, though, had she made the alternative choice. Not just my life, but even my right to life was won through her will and not merely by conception.If Molks mother had not conceived him, I would not have had his book to receive information for my research.
Further, I would not have to write this research paper had Dr. Smiths mother aborted him. Julie Atkins would not have to read this paper, because she would not exist if her mother had made the wrong choice (maybe it would have been good for her in one way – smile). Any number of people would still have the same chances or better, if their mothers had put them up for adoption.Why cant a mother, as opposed to abortion, put her child up for adoption? I can understand abortions taking place in cases of rape, endangerment of a mothers life, or incest, but I still think that I would have a problem with having to abort my own baby – even if I was raped.
Rather than aborting their child, mothers have the alternative to go through with the pregnancy and then give the child up for adoption.In 1992, the National Council for adoption stated that two million families in the United States spent an average of 2.5 years looking for a baby to adopt (Jones 141).
About 10,000 American infants are available for adoption each year (141). There is mental stress that is cause by giving a child up for abortion. After abandonment of a child the mother can face four years or more in psychiatric care (Callahan 81). Children are saved by the thousands when they are given up for adoption.
There is about the same number, 1.5 million, of abortions each year as there are families waiting to adopt in the U.S. (Bender & Leone 61). The number of babies actually released for adoption in 1992 was only 5,000 (112).
Adoption is not the same as abandoning your child. Many women feel they are synonymous, but that is a complete lie. Abandonment is when your child is left completely with no care – and abandonment is killing your child before he or she has a chance to live.
Adoption agencies try to find suitable parents for the child and the parents who are giving the child up for adoption can also go through an open adoption agency.There is the argument that many mothers abort their unborn children due to the fact that their child would be born with some sort of a defect or disorder. I think this case is one of the more disgusting and selfish arguments. Mothers say they would not want a child to live like that, when in reality they just would not want to take care of a child who was living that.
The mothers who make arguments such as that should never have had the right to have the components that make a child. Children with difficulties often teach everyone around them a better way to live. In Burtchaells Book, he relates a letter that was written to him by a women in Detroit:…we cannot emphasize too strongly the evil of destroying an unborn child who may be deformed.
I can give personal witness to the fact that such unborn sick children do want to live. I am a Marfans Syndrome and Spina Bifida person, happy that my parents loved me enough 56 years ago to give me my right to live…
I would still want to live if I had been a more severe case. When I did volunteer work in a local nursing home, I was struck by the cheerfulness and the will to live of the patients there, all poor, many black, whom many would say should never have been born — how un-Christian and hard-of-heart we as a nation are. (xii)Abortion is wrong. If abortion is not wrong, then nothing is(Abortion). Abortion is morally and ethically wrong. There are no, in my opinion, sound arguments for killing an unborn child. Let me emphasize the word KILLING! Roleff restates in his book, Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints, what the Pope John Paul II said:The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder and, in particular, when we consider the specific elements involved. The one eliminated is a human being at the very beginning if life…He or she is weak, defenseless, even to the point of lacking the minimal form of defense consisting in the poignant power of a newborns babys cries and tears. The unborn child is totally entrusted to the protection and care of the women carrying him or her in the womb.(18)6 The unborn child completely trusts the mother to take car of him or her and the mother takes it in her own responsibility to destroy that trust and destroy her baby. I feel sorry for a mother who is going to have to face her aborted child as well as God someday. She is going to have to explain her reasoning and I just hope that God will forgive her for her unforgivable and most grievous sin. I hope someday all women, everywhere, will figure out that abortion is wrong,it is committing murder and it is against Gods set commandments7 .I found this letter in internet site www.abortion facts.com and it sums up my reasoning behind my argument:I am writing this letter to thank the one who put the poem by Karen Sullivan Ables in print. It is about her abortion and is called, “The Acquittal-God’s Infinite Mercy”. I would like to tell you that we had the joy of adopting a healthy baby girl after years of looking, and all because of this poem! Our daughter is a wonderful little angel from heaven! She was handed to us along with a letter from her real mother. It read:”To my baby, I now give life. I never knew your father’s name. I made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I want you to know that I never had anything to give anyone before. You had a right to stay alive, but before your were born I wanted to run from you, to hide, to abort you because everyone said it was the only way. Then one day before your death I found an old, worn copy of a poem by Karen Sullivan Ables in my roommate’s desk. I cried for the first time for someone other than myself! I wanted this lady’s (the author’s) baby to come back. I finally found something I wanted to do… I wanted to give this child… I wanted to give YOU life in place of the one killed by Karen.. I wanted to save your life to make up for this woman’s pain! I felt your life was a kind of giving that I’d never again have a chance to do. Baby, take this copy of your poem please. It’s the reason you’re here!”Love, Your MotherThank you for our new adopted daughter! We framed her poem in her nursery and in thanks to this lady we are raising Karen Sullivan Stewart.The Poem also made us cry for the little aborted baby that our little Karen owes her life to!The Acquittal — God’s Infinite Mercyby Karen Sullivan Ables In a far away place and a different timeI Killed my first child, a most heinous crime.The state didn’t come, and I didn’t stand trial. Judge Blackmun was calm when he said with a smile, “Killing is legal, say we the High Court.But don’t call it murder. Just call it ‘abort'”The judge in my heart would not let the case rest.I had no defense when once put to the test.Found guilty I was by my heart’s Supreme Court. “You murdered your baby!” they screamed in retort.With tears on my cheeks it was too late, I knewto bring back the life of the child I once slew.The gavel slammed sown, and it rang in my head, “You are guilty as charged, and deserve to be dead.””We now give you torment to pay for your sin,”was the sentence passed down from my own court within. “You will never escape. You’re branded. Don’t hide.Your just due is death. You should try suicide.” I was beaten in prison by daily attack.I was paying a debt, so I never fought back.No hope of escaping, and this I knew well.I cried out to God from my own self-made hell.That day I met Jesus; He smiled in my face.He said, “I forgive you. Come walk in my grace.” “Lord, I believe you forgive me and yet,Blameless you are. Can you pay for my debt?” “And, Lord, please don’t touch me for:I am unclean.I’m filthy with murder, a most wretched being.”I poured out my story. He showed no surprise.I gazed up with awe at the love in His eyes. He said, “I paid for your crime, yes, was nailed to a tree.There’s no condemnation if you’ll trust in Me.I took on your blame, and your curse on My soul So you may be free without judgment and whole.”I sputtered, “Dear Lord, where’s the justice in this?Baumann 15I killed my first son, and you offer me bliss?”Tears blurred my vision, yet there in His facewere eyes of compassion, blue oceans of grace. I thought to myself, “Now the past has been buried?I’m free of the guilt that for years I have carried?” He said to accept. It’s a gift that is free. This is atonement, not justice for me!My judge was dismissed, my accusers, and jury.The truth of His love made them leave in a fury. He smiled, “Walk with Me and come learn of My way,” and grasping His hand I began a new day.Even after going through all the history of abortion in the United States and in Arizona, and studying both sides of the issue, abortion is and always will be wrong. Abortion was actually legalized in the United States due to the court case Roe vs. Wade. The entire reasoning for the approval was the fact that she was raped, but years later, she revealed that she was in fact, not raped, but did not want to be a mother. Abortions history in Arizona began at that same time. Even though abortion was legalized, there are still illegal abortions taking place. Legal or illegal, abortion is wrong.Abortion is wrong because no one is able to ask the unborn child if he or she wants to be aborted. No one asks the unborn child if he or she could go through life with some sort of defect or disorder. No one asks the unborn child if he or she would mind being born and then being adopted by another family who would take care of them. The reason why none of these questions are asked is because the unborn child is not able to answer them. The child should have the choice, not his or her selfish mother. No one even asks the mother if she is having an abortion out of her own selfishness. The reason why they do not ask the mother if she is being selfish, is because the doctors who perform these abortions are selfish themselves. They are afraid of refusing a selfish mother because that would put them out of a job. The whole idea of abortions is based on selfishness. A mother was being selfish when she had sex and did not think or even care about the consequences. She was being selfish when she did not think about the child that would grow inside of her body due to her own selfishness. Then she is selfish again when she decides, for her unborn child, that it is best if he or she is not born. If abortion is not selfish, I do not know the correct meaning of selfishness.Bibliography:Baumann 17Works CitedAbortion Is Wrong. Democrat Gazette. 11 March, 1993: 14.Arizona Statutes and laws.Beckwith, Francis J. and Geisler, Norman L. Matters of Life and Death. Michigan: Baker Book House, 1991.Bender, David and Leone, Bruno. Opposing Viewpoints: Abortion. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1997.Burtchaell, James Tunstead, C.S.C., ed. Abortion Parley. Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1980.Callahan, Daniel. Abortion: Law, Choice and Morality. New York: Macmillan Company, 1970.Flanders, Carl N. Library In A Book: Abortion. New York: Oxford, 1991.Heritage House Web site. www.abortion facts.com. Heritage House 76, Inc., 1998.Jones, Carl. Should I have this Baby? What to do when your Pregnancy is Unexpected. Toronto: A Birch Lane Press Book, 1996.Kaufmann, K. The Abortion Resource Handbook. New York: A Fireside Book, 1997.Luker, Kristin. Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984.McKeegan, Michele. Abortion Politics, Mutiny in the Ranks of the Rights. New York: The Free Press, 1992.Mensch, Elizabeth and Freeman, Alan. The Politics of Virtue, Is Abortion Debatable?. London: Duke University Press, 1993.Molk, Yuda. Common Sense About Abortion: The Issue Dividing America. Washington D.C.: Baumann 18Common Sense Press, 1992.Mrela, Christopher K., Ph.D, Assistant Registrar of Vital Statistics. Abortion Surveillance Report: Arizona, 1984-1994. Phoenix: Arizona Department of Health Services, Public Health Services, Office of Health Planning, Evaluation and Statistics, Arizona Center for Health Statistics, 1995.Nathanson, Bernard N., M.D. The Hand of God:A Journey from Death to Life be the Abortion Doctor Who Changed His Mind. Washington D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1996. Pollitt, Katha. Abortion in American History. The Atlantic Monthly May 1997: 111-115. Radl, Shirley L. Over our Living Bodies; Preserving Choice in America. Dallas: Steve Davis Publishing, 1989.Reardon, David C.Aborted Women, Silent No More. Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1987.Roleff, Tamara L., ed.Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1997.Simon, Stephanie. Rural Doctors Weigh RU-486. Los Angeles Times 26 Nov. 2000: A12.The Holy Bible: King James Version. Salt Lake City: The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints, 1989.