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Abortion: The Controvesial Issue Of Our Time Reviewed

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Abortion: The Controversial Issue of Our Time Reviewed

In America, there are some issues that seem to be of major importance that demand our attention. Of these few topics, abortion has captured America's awareness, whether the people are pro-choice or pro-life. Almost everyone has been touched by this issue, and so it ranks among the most complex and controversial issues, arousing heat in debates for any legal, ethical, or political situation. Many people describe the abortion debate in America as harsh and passionate, usually represented on both sides by people with an intense devotion to their cause, and usually with irreconcilable positions. Many of those who are pro-choice insist that a woman's right to abortion should never be restricted, while those who are pro-life maintain that a fetus has a right to life that is violated if an abortion is performed at any stage of its development. Discussions between these different sides characteristically are competitive, and even violent, so that any attempt at coming to a mutual agreement is drowned out.

There are countless debates covering all sides of the subject. For example, some emphasize only when rape or incest occurs should an abortion take place. Whereas others believe that every life is precious and the child is also a victim. Evidence shows that for a woman who does become pregnant as the result of rape, which is less than one percent of the time (Doctor) an abortion will not take away the trauma, the nightmares, and the pain, rather may add to them. Both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice agree, however, that rape is a horrendous crime, leaving a woman in a state of mental, physical, and emotional turmoil (Mahkorn). This may seem like a just cause in ending the life of the conceived child, but is not the child also a victim? Is the baby not just as innocent as the woman who had suffered the crime? Why then do we then end a baby's life as if the child is to blame? It seems that many would return the violence of rape with the taking of innocent life.

Currently according to Doctor Willkes, we are now killing about every third baby conceived in America. The most famous and significant case in the debate of abortion in America was the Roe v. Wade situation (McConnell). A split 5-4 decision forever changed, and prevented, many lives. Now, because of this monumental decision, abortion is legal and on demand. Whenever the woman wants one, she has the right because it is an act of her privacy. Did the court make an educated and reasonable decision? Or did they overstep their bounds?

In his opinion in Roe v. Wade, Justice Blackbum stated, "This right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the District Court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy" (Gargaro).

In the dissenting opinion of Roe v. Wade, Justice White wrote, "With all due respect, I dissent. I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court's judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes." He continued, "The Court apparently values the convenience of the pregnant mother more than the continued existence and development of the life or potential life that she carries" (Gargaro).

It seems doubtful that Americans fully understand what abortion is, and how is it performed. There are seven different abortion procedures that are commonly used today, and each of them could result in very harmful complications to the mother. Suction of Abortion, also known as Vacuum Aspiration, is used until the unborn is months old. A suction tube is inserted into the womb. It then tears the placenta and dismembers the body. If anything goes wrong, the woman's womb can be punctured or if any pieces are left behind, it will cause an infection in the womb.

The Dilation and Curettage (D&C) uses a long steel knife and scrapes the wall of the uterus, cutting the baby into pieces. The woman will bleed quite a bit and if any piece of the baby is left behind, she will suffer the same infections as the Vacuum Aspiration. The Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) uses forceps instead of the knife. The forceps are used to rip the baby in shreds so the pieces could be pulled out. This procedure is very rare because most doctors do not "have the stomach for this procedure" (K.L. Moore). Salt Poisoning (Saline Injection) is also referred to as "salting out." A long needle is inserted through the woman's abdomen, which results in an injection of saline solution in the sac of amnionic fluid surrounding the baby. The baby is then poisoned by swallowing the salt, and the skin is burned away. The woman will then go into labor and has a dead baby. If any of the salt accidentally got into her bloodstream, her health would be in jeopardy. In some cases, the baby did not die, but was born 'alive' with their skin burned raw and experiencing pain. As a result, these were allowed to die by neglect.

Prostaglandin Abortion is when a violent labor is induced, by use of chemical hormones, resulting in a premature birth. Since they can not afford the baby to live through the birthing, salt and other toxins are injected into the sac first. If any of these hormones reach the woman, she can have cardiac arrest. In 1992, a new abortion procedure was introduced to the United States public. It was first performed by Dr. James McMahon and explained by Dr. Martin Haskell. It was used during the second and third trimesters (around twenty to twenty-four weeks along) and involved partially delivering the fetus so the doctors could remove the baby's brain with suction. The term "D & X," which stands for "intact dilation and extraction," was used to refer to this. It was not until a few years later that debates about this procedure came about. In 1995, Representative Charles Canady (R., Florida) introduced the Partial Birth Abortion Act. Since then, the issue has been debated extensively. Many have questioned the accuracy of some facts that have been presented. This extremely political issue has more than just the usual two sides: Democratic and Republican. A third new point, against it, would like it banned completely.

All of the procedures have major consequences that can occur during or after the abortion. There are over fifteen



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