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During the past century, abortion has joined race and war as one of the most debatable subjects of controversy in the United States. The issue of abortion causes discussions about human interactions where ethics, emotions, and law come together. There are many reasons why women decide to have abortions. Some women have abortions because of health complications, some have marital problems, and some lack responsibility. Whatever the reasons a woman decides to have an abortion, it seems only justified that she should be able to make decisions in regards to her life and body. The decisions that she makes in regards to what she does with her body and the fetus will be beneficial to both the woman and the fetus because it will prevent many problems from occurring in the future.

Abortion is defined as "the induced termination of a pregnancy before it is capable of survival as an individual" (Frohock). Abortion has been around for thousands of years in every inhabited corner of the globe. It has always been accepted as a means to prevent the suffering of both woman and potential child. It has been practiced widely in every society for many reasons including famine, war, poverty, overpopulation, or simply because a woman felt she was not ready for a child (Whitney). No one ever questioned a woman's right to this procedure. After all, who but God had the right to judge what a woman did with her own body? This thought process lasted until the 1800's. During this era of change, people began to turn their attention in a new direction, the fetus. They began to protest abortion as cruel, inhumane, and murderous. Filled with a new sense of purpose and the glory of a fresh, righteous cause to uphold this new morality swept the countryside enveloping everyone in its wake. Abortionists who were once revered and depended upon were now scorned and threatened. Though abortions still happened with regularity, they were kept silent and seen as a matter of shame. "Over the next hundred years, public sentiment for the fetus continued to rise until the inevitable happened in America during the early 40's; Abortion was made illegal" (Cohen).

Bringing an unwanted child into the world is unfair to the innocent child and the woman. If a woman were to have an unwanted baby, she may neglect or even abuse the child causing the child to go into the care of the government. The government has no valid reason in bringing an unwanted life into the world. Bringing an unwanted child into the world is not helpful to the parents, the child, and the government, because if the parents cannot take care of the child, eventually, the government will be responsible for the child.

Each year, more than 50% of all pregnancies among young woman are unintended. Half of the unintended pregnancies will end in abortion, which is 1.5 million each year. There are no specifications on who will have an abortion. Women who have abortions come from all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds. Calculating abortion rates, older teenagers and young adults have the highest abortion rates. Young women between the ages of 11 and 19 account for about 21% of all abortions; women 20 to 24 account for another 34 %; and about 22% of abortions are brought about by women who are 30 or older. Over half of all abortions are obtained within the first eight weeks (Women Who Have Abortions, 1995).

The right to have an abortion is personal and essential to a woman's life, because having a baby in one's life causes dramatic changes. Pregnancy and childbirth can prevent women from keeping and getting jobs. When women are pregnant many employers do not want to hire them because when the woman has a baby, the company or employer must still pay her for the time that she is out of work by law. In addition, raising a baby and providing for all the needs that a child has is a lot of money, which can create an insufficient income for many women.

Another factor that imposes on women when they have children is the amount of time they have for themselves and others beyond the baby. Women feel that it prevents them from providing services for others and time for themselves. Sometimes after a pregnancy and childbirth, many women have to give up their dreams on starting in school or end up dropping out because they do not have the time for it. They have to give up on something that will significantly influence her family and her future.

Pregnancy has a great impact on the woman's future and her future relationship with her family. In many cases of unwanted pregnancies, the women are not married. These women inmost cases cannot go home and announce that they are pregnant and be proud of it. Their pregnancy would be am embarrassment and disgrace to the family. Some families would suggest to the pregnant woman about disowning her, throwing her out of the house, and cutting off family communications and wealth. Many of these women cannot deal with losing

their family and the new lifestyle that they have to face. Therefore, in order to prevent losing their family and leading a tough life, they look into the option of abortion. Women should have the choice of deciding what would be best for their future, whether or not they are ready to change their lifestyle and decide the relationship between themselves and their family.

A woman is equal to a man. But during a pregnancy, when the woman does not have the choice to abort the fetus growing inside of her, she is not his equal. A man can simply withdraw from a relationship as soon as he finds out about a pregnancy. He has the choice of staying and supporting the pregnant woman, or the choice of leaving her and the development of a new life. He can simply say a sentence or pick up his bags and leave while a whole new life is growing inside of her, a life that she cannot get rid of unless she has professional help. Without the choice of abortion, a woman does not have the same choices that a man would have. With the right to have an abortion, women like men have the right to fully use the powers of their minds and bodies just like a man.

A woman's body is hers and hers alone. No one has the right to make her do something that she does not want to do. The Supreme Court has stated that it is a woman's right to have an abortion if she chooses to. In the Roe V. Wade Decision, the judges stated that the right to an abortion is a woman's right and choice by recognizing abortion as a fundamental constitutional right and choice by recognizing abortion as a fundamental constitutional right and made it legal in all states.



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