This is my first argument paper. Please help me to edit to make it sound better. In my conclusion, my teacher said I need to say something interesting to think about but I have no idea what to say to make it interesting? I also have trouble with use end text citation. I found information, I use someone idea but that person used the idea from someone book so how can i make end text citation in this case. Thank you so much for your time!
The Right To Have an Abortion
Unwanted pregnancies can be very stressful for women. Whether or not women have the right to have abortions is a controversial subject. Opponents of abortions believe that abortion is seriously wrong. Killing a fetus is killing a person. However, women should be able to have abortions for several reasons. Women should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies. Women should be able to have an abortion if they are too young and unable to take care their babies. And the right to have an abortion if the pregnency negatively affects the women's or the babies's health.
It is women's right to make decisions about their own bodies. Having control over their own bodies is an important part of the equal rights that women have fount for. According to socialistworker, Women have the right to control their own body and reproductive lives (Socialistworker.org). Therefore, no one has the right to tell a woman what she can or can not do with her body. This view is shared by the United States Supreme Court who ruled in the 1973 case "Roe Vs. Wade" that women have the right to control their own bodies. Since 1973 the Supreme Court has never over ruled this decision.
Another reason that women should be able to have abortions is in case the mothers are too young and unable to take care their babies. Unwanted pregnancies can be very stressful for women. Therefore, if they think they can not give their babies a good life then it is right for them to have abortions. For example, one of my friends was pregnant when she was 19. She and her baby's father were still in college by that time. Neither had a job, and they knew that they could not afford to buy food and provided medical care for their baby. My friend got an abortion, even though it was the hardest decision of her life. She knew that it would be better, however, for her own life and because she could not properly take care of the baby.
Critics of abortion say stopping a fetus's life is wrong. But if the babies health is at question during the pregnacy a woman should have the right to choose for herself. The reason is I believe that continuing a dangerous pregnacy will put a woman in a dangerous situation and will bring the baby into a life of sickness. In pre-pregnancy diabetes raises risk of birth defects, Donya (2008) report that " Women diagnosed with diabetes before they become pregnant are three times to four times more likely to give birth to a child with one or even multiple birth defects than a non diabetic mother, according to a study in the Aug. 1 American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology ". If a woman gets pregnant and she has a history of heart disease then continuing the pregnancy would put both her and her baby at risk. A woman with a history of heart disease should avoid pregnancy because of the the high risk of death or she will give birth to a baby with birth defects. Therefore, it is right if a woman chooses to get abortion in this case.
Advocates of abortion believe that death is harmful for the fetus and the fetus has the right to have a life just like ours. One advocate of abortion is Stone. For Stone, " death seriously harms the fetus and so the fetus has a right to life because death deprives the fetus of conscious goods which it is the foetus's biological natural to make itself have " . However when a woman's health is at risk or they will give birth to a child with defects then abortion would be better for the mother and for the baby. If we know the child will be born with defects then there is no point in having have the mother keep the baby if she chooses not to.
In conclusion, I believe that women have the right to have abortions. First, women have the right to control their own bodies. Second, they have the right to have abortions if the pregnancies will affect their health and their babies health in a harmful way. Third, women have the right to have abortions if they have been raped. Also advocates of abortion believe that abortion is seriously wrong but women should do what is best for them and their babies.
Sharon Smith. " Abortion is every woman's right." Socialistworker 23 April 2004.
Stretton, Dean. "The Deprivation Argument Against Abortion." Bioethics 18.2 (Apr. 2004): 144-180. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation].
Currie, Donya. "Pre-pregnancy diabetes raises risk of birth defects." Nation's Health 38.8 (Oct. 2008): 21-21. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation].
J. Stone. Why Potentiality Matters. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 1987; 17:
815-830. More recently: J. Stone. Why Potentiality Still Matters.
of Philosophy 1994; 24: 281-294.
You need to take this one back to the drawing board, or choose a topic that you have the necessary understanding of to make an informed argument.
"Women should be able to have an abortion if they are too young and unable to take care their babies."
So, in short, you admit that this is a matter of convenience. She is not "unable", to take care of her baby. Sure, it may make her life harder to take care of it, and she might have to endure a lot of sacrifice, but in most countries, especially developed countries which I assume the audience you are speaking to resides in, I have never heard of babies dying due to lack of sufficient means. The mother can receive government assistance to help her support the baby, and if all else fails, she can always give the baby up for adoption. This rationale in quotes, is a product of a selfish mentality, which is probably the reason for the dilemma in the first place. She may be too young to care, but someone else isn't. And in another unlikely scenario, she may find that she is unable to care for the baby, but someone else isn't. So, if it is going to disrupt your life so much that you'd rather not take care of the baby, have someone else do it for you. And you can't have it both ways; you can't decide that, oh but I don't want someone else to have my baby, especially at the expense of killing a life altogether. The notion that a mother's self-inflicted dilemma -- not that of killing the fetus or not, which is no dilemma, but the decision on whether she should derail her own fastidious plans, (which probably won't go as planned after all, if history is any judge) for her baby's sake, or give the baby up for adoption, is not an easy one, is true, however, it is entirely of her own doing. Your point is formally deconstructed when we look at the real options, in real terms.
Do we kill your aspirations or desires, or do we kill a life?
"And the right to have an abortion if the pregnency negatively affects the women's or the babies's health."
This point is far, far above the one preceding it, in terms of credibility. If there are very serious risks to the woman's health, an abortion could be justified on the grounds that you choose the lesser of two evils, that is, forsaking the unborn child to save the mother's life. The baby's health is another question altogether. It's no doubt hard to make a decision for someone on whether or not their life is worth living, but I could see how a severe deformity might lead one to the route of abortion, justifiably.
"Having control over their own bodies is an important part of the equal rights that women have fount for."
Look, by all means, having control over "their own bodies" does not extend to the life of the fetus. If we implant an embryo in a surrogate mother, then doesn't she have the right to abort the child, without regard for any preconceived agreements, because she has liberty over "her own body?
"Her own Body" is understood to mean a permanent part of her inherent physical anatomy, separate from an independent life which she has no right to have reign over.
"Another reason that women should be able to have abortions is in case the mothers are too young and unable to take care their babies. Unwanted pregnancies can be very stressful for women. Therefore, if they think they can not give their babies a good life then it is right for them to have abortions."
This is mostly a repetition of the first point, in poor arrangement, due to poor sentence progression mechanics. But you interjected some new things. First you say that "an unwanted pregnancy can be very stressful."
Guess what? Driving in heavy traffic can be very stressful, but that doesn't give you the right to kill every driver and passenger of every car on the highway, or any for that matter.
Shortly after that, I was forced to wince as I read your subjective evaluation of what is a "good life."
Consider this, it's some real Sh**: There are people living in Southeast DC, not more than 15 miles from where I live, who subsist on scraps, and sleep in degenerate buildings with basketball-sized rats, where the sound of gunshots is not at all foreign. Outside, they face the bereft reality that is rampant drug dealing, unconcealed crime and violence, and conditions that to anyone unaccustomed, would be untenable. Yet still, they value their life.
Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, he was a french fund manager, one of thousands of victims of the now infamous Madoff Scandal. Why do I say he "was?"
He committed suicide after losing $1.4 billion of his clients' money in the Ponzi Sceme.
He could have still maintained a quality of life that some people spend their whole life dreaming of. But in the end, he valued money more than his life. What life he had was not "good" enough for him.
I make that comparison to show you the extreme difference of opinion on what makes a life worth living, that really, there is no way to determine for somone else, what is a "good life."
"Therefore, it is right if a woman chooses to get abortion in this case."
I've already mentioned how it's largely ridiculous to assume decisions for other people, especially on the most important question of their life; that is, of, their life, I should say.
But suppose even that there is a gray area that "might" justify a woman getting an abortion. The abortion would not be "right." That would mean that doing nothing is wrong. So leave it open for interpretation with a word like "might" "perhaps" "possibly" "could" etc.
What I'm saying is that if the situation might have justified it 99.9% to get an abortion, you cannot go beyond that premise to 100%, and say that it is "right", without first clearly defining the motivating factor in terms of % justification of the abortion. Not only is that impossible to do objectively, it would be hard to do subjectively based on the variability of different health concerns, or risks. Therefore, take my advice and use a moderate word such as "might", "perhaps", etc.
"One advocate of abortion is Stone. For Stone, " death seriously harms the fetus and so the fetus has a right to life"
Advocate means someone in support of. You've misused the word throughout your essay. Take that into consideration when you write your new essay.
It seems that you manage to repeat the weakest, poorly articulated points in your argument a few more times.
In your conclusion, it seems you finally decide to throw the word "rape" into the mix as an afterthought.
That would probably recur many times in the body, if not as early as the thesis, in a well written persuasive essay on either side of this topic, but even more so in support of abortion.
As someone who does not have an expert grasp on the arguments, you need to stick to the more salient points such as rape, extreme deformities, serious health risks to the woman, etc.
Stick to those extenuating circumstances and you'll have a better chance of writing a good persuasive essay.
I hardly addressed the conventions of good writing, choosing rather to focus on the content, but there is also much room for improvement in the intro, body, and conclusion.
The intro has 2 major aspects. The opening sentence and thesis, both of which need improvement. The body is simply your ability to expand on those points, and organize and coordinate your arguments. Your conclusion will summarize why your thesis is right, and memorably no less. It will not include new ideas.
Practice makes perfect.
First, women have the right to control their own bodies.
It seems you are trying to say that pregnancy is a desease? And a woman can just 'catch' pregnancy like a flu? If woman got pregnant and this is an 'unwanted pregnancy' and this was not a rape --->>> that means she CANNOT CONTROL HER OWN BODY! She FAILED to control her body once and that's why she proved she is not capable of making such serious decisions! Do you think a flight traffic controller would be given another chance if by his own mistake he failed to notice two airplanes to crash and warn them ahead of time? Why do you propose to give a woman 'the right' to control her body if she in fact PROVED she cannot control her body?
If we know the child will be born with defects then there is no point in having the mother keep the baby if she chooses not to.
You sound like adolf hitler and his theory about 'master race'! Let's see, through general testing of the fetus mother is told her baby may have hearing problem. Is this enough to kill the baby? Going further, once genetic testing advance, mother will be told her baby probably won't be a professional basketball player because his bones won't be able to last through a professional athlete training. But mother has always wanted her son to be a great basketball player, just like her grandfather was. Will it be enough reason to kill the baby??? From your way of thinking it will be because mother will get stressed and her life will be ruined because her child won't be able to fulfill her dreams.
Now think what kind of problem YOU have - are you a math genius? Hmm, you aren't..? Then you may want to ask your mother (who is your legal guardian and you are her child, she lives and feeds you so she should have THE RIGHT to do what is BEST for you). Ask her if she doesn't want to kill you because she may be depressed because you are not what she wanted you to be!
Also advocates of abortion believe that abortion is seriously wrong but women should do what is best for them and their babies.
"BEST for their babies"? Is woman God to decide what is best for another human being? Read my sentence above - maybe your mother is thinking that you are not good enough and saying goodbye to this world will be best for you?
Also, you talk about 'pregnancy risks'? Give me a break - when mother eats junk food or smokes cigarettes then there are more risks for her health. Why don't you care about woman's health when she is not pregnant?
I'm shocked to hear your opinions on the subject. When you are an adult and will be deciding about the laws of this society.. some people will be glad they didn't have a chance to live long enough to have anything to do with people like you.
You have chosen an issue that evokes very strong emotional reactions on both sides (as evidenced by Mustafa's comment, which was longer than your own essay). This doesn't mean that you should abandon the topic -- on the contrary, this is probably a sign that the topic is really worth writing about. Nor does it mean that you cannot advance a strong pro-choice case. But, it does mean that you have a greater obligation than usual to deal with your opponent's arguments, and this is something your essay doesn't do at the moment.
Most importantly, you completely ignore the main issue in the abortion debate. Your arguments are based upon a premise (that the fetus is not a human life) that your opponents don't accept. If you want your essay to be convincing to people who don't already agree with you, you are going to need to come up with an argument in defense of that premise.
To understand my above point better, consider your first main argument: "It is women's right to make decisions about their own bodies." This is perfectly true, but it misses the point of the pro-life movement, which argues that a woman who gets an abortion isn't making a decision about her body, but about that of the fetus. Abortion is only about a woman's right to choose if you first view the fetus as nothing more than an extension of a woman's body, which is precisely what pro-life advocates do not accept.
And the law is in fact a reflection of a compromise between the two camps. Women are legally allowed to have an abortion only up until a certain point in their pregnancies. In the U.S., I believe the period is 24 weeks, in most of Europe, only 12. This reflects the fact that, at some point, the fetus presumably becomes a human being in its own right. There is no reason why the moment of being born, of leaving the body, should be viewed as inherently investing the baby with a more human nature than it had five minutes prior to being born, for instance.
So, if you want to improve your essay, you are going to have explain why the fetus should not be considered as a separate human life OR why, even if the fetus is considered as a separate human life, a woman should still have the right to terminate it.
Likewise, you argue that "Another reason that women should be able to have abortions is in case the mothers are too young and unable to take care their babies." But of course bringing the baby to term doesn't mean that the woman has to keep it if she cannot provide it a good life. She could always put it up for adoption, for instance. You need to counter this objection.
There are also other issues you should consider. For instance, many pro-life advocates also view abortion as an abdication of personal responsibility. Pregnancy isn't like a common cold, something that a woman catches for no reason. It has a very specific cause, and can be easily prevented. And, of course, the feminist arguments in favor of legalized abortion sometimes bring with them a certain amount of irony, as when they are used to defend the right a woman to get an abortion because she finds out she is carrying a daughter instead of a son, a practice that has led to a noticeable demographic gender imbalance in China and India.
Hmmmm . . . my own comment seems to be getting a bit long, too, so I'll end here. But don't be discouraged -- this is a very complex topic, and you are off to a good start. You just need to add more to counter the obvious objections of those who disagree with you to complete your case.
Arriving at this thread, I have read the essay, and I can only imagine what all these posts say in response to it. Lan Pham, I applaud you for being bold enough to tackle such a controversial subject. I have not read other people's responses yet, but I bet they are harsh. Before I look at the other posts in this thread, I want to remember to tell you to get rid of the first sentence because it is unnecessary and weak. Also
If the baby's health is at question during the pregnancy a woman should have the right to choose for herself.
Opponents of abortion believe that the fetus has the right to have a life just like ours. One opponent of abortion is Stone. For Stone, "Death seriously harms the fetus and so the fetus has a right to life because death deprives the fetus of conscious goods which it is the fetus's biological natural to make itself have."
(Did stone really write that death is "harmful to the fetus?" It seems absurd to say "death is harmful." Of course it is harmful; it is death!)
However when a woman's health is at risk or they will give birth to a child with defects then abortion would be better for the mother and for the baby.
(This sentence above is weak, because you are saying the baby is better off dead. Would you tell a person with a birth defect that she is better off dead?)
If we know the child will be born with defects then there is no point in having have the mother keep the baby if she chooses not to.
(Again, pretty weak. However, you could write: If we know the child will be born with defects then whether or not the mother should be forced to give birth to the baby is called into question.)
Now, I'll look at what the other people said...
HEY, those are some great points made here. Try not to take any of the criticism personally, because this forum would be useless without criticism. This topic is grave enough to deserve such scrutiny.
Yes, like Mustafa said, "advocate" means someone who supports something. Also, like Mustafa said, the word "rape" deserves its own paragraph instead of being thrown in like an afterthought. Most importantly, like Mustafa said, "practice makes perfect."
Rich sounds like a passionate pro-life advocate. It's too bad his advice lacks credibility, because at the end he reveals that he has bad feelings toward you. You can't influence someone very well if you reveal that you have bad feelings toward them, because they know you don't have their best interests in mind. This essay is GREAT for getting one's personal philosophy to start taking form... it's great for opening the lines of communication.
To tell you the truth, I am a good, experienced writer with strong opinions, and I can't even bring myself to write about abortion. For some questions, there really is no right answer. Keep abortion illegal, and people will do it themselves, or with the help of immoral, secret abortion clinics. Throughout human history, abortion has been going on; it is one of the most common horrifying things.
Arguments about whether or not it should be legal are different from arguments directed at parents considering having abortions. Know what I mean? In this case, it helps to decide who you are arguing with. Your essay seems to be about what should be legal. If I wrote an essay like this, I would write is as an argument made to an actual person considering having an abortion.
Even though there are a lot of good arguments in this thread, I think it is impossible to come up with a "right" answer from a policy perspective. The truth is that you cannot prevent people fro having abortions if they really want to. The policy question is what laws to create and how to enforce them. For that, you need to go all the way back to the foundation of moral philosophy -- so people will never agree!
I hope this thread helps you as you revise your essay!
Thanks for the feedback. But keep mind that this is my first argumentive paper and its for a begining English class. I'm more worried about my citation and grammer at this point. If anyone can help with that I would be greatfull. EF_Sean, your feedback will help me with my conclusion, thanks.
P.S: This is my paper. I'm not 100% go for abortion.
My message was strong, but you shouldn't take it personally indeed. I think nowadays most teachers are PU**IES and they are in fact useless! Instead of teaching they just 'listen' and agree with everything a young and inexperienced person says.
Today you go to school and will be praised by your teacher just because you have your own opinion (too many times distorted by the media which only care about their profits, not your psyche). But teacher won't tell you that you are on the wrong track because they are useless humans without guts and their own opinions! That's why more and more anomalous behaviours grow in our societies. Everything is RELATIVE. You kill someone, teacher will tell you 'that's OK, you had the right to do it because you were stressed out' etc. etc. It is NOT normal in my book.
You know what you should do? Go to your teacher and ask him/her straight: "Teacher, will you please tell me what is YOUR OPINION on abortion?" Then report the response you get (if you get any) here.
Can any one tell me about text citation? I also have trouble with use end text citation. I found information, I use someone idea but that person used the idea from someone book so how can i make end text citation in this case. thankss
You can Google whatever citation system you are supposed to be using to get details on how to cite properly. For the case you mention, I normally just ellipse out the reference and cite the material I have in front of me. I believe that you are actually supposed to track down the original, though, but I have never had any professor call me on it.
although i don't support abortion, i think your ideas are right
TO ALL CRITICS OF ABORTIONS. I am not an advocate of abortion. I just pick a random side and I tried my best to prove my point. Simple, I need to write agumentive paper to hand in to my teacher. Keep in my that it is not my real opinion about it. My teacher did not required my real opinion ( of course not). I opened this topic because I need help with my writing skill. I'm not open this topic to agure with people about whether or not women should have the right to have abortions. SIMPLE, i JUST PICK STRONG OPITION TOPIC, HOPE I CAN IMPROVE MY WRITING SKILL. THAT IS IT!
That's fine. Ignore any of the posts made by people who are making the argument personal. To improve your argumentative writing, on any issue, you need to be able to present a logical series of reasons in favor of your position (or the position you are arguing, at any rate) as well as to deal with the obvious objections your opponents are going to raise to your arguments. So, as you revise your essay, try to tighten the logic behind your reasoning, and to respond to some of the objections raised by the people here. Try to avoid, as some of the posters have, mingling ad hominem attacks with your arguments, though, as that always weakens your case.
Yep, this is a great experiment in this thread... volitile subject matter.
About the in-text citations... to get you going, as a rule of thumb while you try to get good at referencing... just put the author's name in parentheses after some info you got from their book or article.
The second draft should equal first draft minus 10 percent (King).
That is how to do it if you are using MLA. Are you using MLA?
If you use a direct quote, you have to give the page number:
King says, "The second draft is equal to the first draft minus ten percent" (14).
"The second draft should be the first draft minus ten percent" (King 14).
That is how to do it in MLA style...
Ignore any of the posts made by people who are making the argument personal.
Sure, it's always best to listen to lawyer-style talk (relative, impersonal, and impartial). Those who dare to go over the borders with different ideas should be punished or ignored like in perfect communism.
And from the logical point of view all argumentative subject ARE personal; otherwise there would be nothing to discuss.
Sure, it's always best to listen to lawyer-style talk (relative, impersonal, and impartial)
I prefer to think of it as philosopher-style talk (reasonable, respectful, and objective). And yes, it always best to maintain such a tone in these forums, and probably in all of your communications with others.
Those who dare to go over the borders with different ideas should be punished or ignored like in perfect communism.
Attacking other people personally for their beliefs is neither daring nor different. It is in fact lamentably cowardly and common. And yes, such people should be ignored.
And from the logical point of view all argumentative subject ARE personal
One can respectfully disagree with another's opinion, without personally attacking the person one is disagreeing with.
Thank you so much for your help, EF_ Sean and EF_Kevin! I have a final test this saturday. Can you give me some tips how to write a good introduction paragraph, how to make a good thesis and how to deverlop my idea in body paragraph? Any tips will be appreciate! Thank you
For the introduction to any essay, start by giving any general background information on the subject you think your reader needs to know. Then, define any key terms you are going to be using. Then, present you specific thesis. Finally, summarize your key points in defense of that thesis.
The thesis itself should be specific enough for you to be able to discuss it fairly fully in your body given the length limitations you face while still being general enough to be debatable.
For the body paragraphs, start with a topic sentence, provide examples and evidence in support of that topic sentence, then end with a concluding sentence that ties your point back to your overall thesis.
I'm sorry, i was asking about agumentive paper. is there any different? thanks
The overview I gave you will work for argumentative essays. In fact, having a debatable thesis pretty much makes most essay into argumentative ones.
Yes, that's right! Good insight. A good essay is at least a little argumentative, in the sense that it ASSERTS something meaningful. It is not meaningful if it is obvious, and that is what we mean by making sure an essay is "debatable". If it is obvious, why write it?
Now, if you want to get REALLY argumentative, in a persuasive essay, remember to write a paragraph that explains the opposite argument and why it is wrong -- do this just before the conclusion paragraph.
Most importantly, make the argumentative essay organized. That means you have to write a topic sentence at the front of each paragraph --- a sentence that shouts out the main point -- and then make sure the whole para is about that point.
An Overview of Abortion
Abortion refers to the termination of a pregnancy by removing or expelling the fetus or embryo from the uterus before it is ready for birth. There are two major forms of abortion: spontaneous, which is often referred to as a miscarriage or the purposeful abortion, which is often induced abortion. The term abortion is commonly used to refer to the induced abortion, and this is the abortion, which has been filled with controversy. In the developed nations, induced abortions are the safest form of medical procedures in medicine if it is conducted under the local law. Thus, abortions are arguably the most common medical procedures in the United States annually. More than 40 percent of women confirm that they have terminated a pregnancy at least once in their reproductive life. Abortions are conducted by women from all forms of life; however, the typical woman who terminates her pregnancy may either be white, young, poor, unmarried, or over the age of 40 years (Berer, 2004). Therefore, citing the grounds on which abortions are conducted, there are numerous instances of unsafe abortions, which are conducted either by untrained persons or outside the medical profession.
In the United States and the world in general, abortion remains widespread. The United States Supreme Court ratified the legalization of abortion in an effort to make the procedure safer; this was done through the Roe v Wade decision of 1973. However, abortions are the most risky procedures and are responsible for over 75 thousand maternal deaths and over 5 million disabilities annually. In the United States alone, between 20 and 30 million abortions are conducted annually, and out of this number, between 10 and 20 million abortions are performed in an unsafe manner (Berer, 2004). These illegal abortions are conducted in an unsafe manner; therefore, they contribute to 14 percent of all deaths or women; this arises mainly due to severe complications. This has led to increasing controversy citing the large numbers of abortions that are conducted annually. However, there is a hope since the improvement in the access and quality of medical services has reduced the incidence of abortion because of easier access of family planning education and the use of contraceptives (Jones, Darroch, Henshaw, 2002). However, the large numbers of abortions, more so, the illegal abortions continue to be alarming. Despite the introduction of more effective contraceptives, and their widespread availability, more than half of the pregnancies conceived in the United States are considered unplanned. Out of these pregnancies, half are aborted. Thus, abortion remains an issue in the society.
Is abortion a social issue?
Conflict theorists emphasize that coercion, change, domination, and conflict in society are inevitable. The conflict standpoint is based on the notion that the society is comprised of different groups who are in a constant struggle with one another for the access of scarce and valuable resources; these may either be money, prestige, power, or the authority to enforce one’s value on the society. The conflict theorists argue that a conflict exists in the society when a group of people who on believing that their interests are not being met, or that they are not receiving a fair share of the society’s resources, works to counter what they perceive as a disadvantage.
Prior to 1973, abortion was illegal in the United States, unless in situations where a woman’s health was at stake. If the doctor indicated, a woman had the option of choosing to terminate her pregnancy, and the doctor would carry out the abortion without any of them violating the law. However, in March 1970, Jane Roe, an unmarried woman from Dallas County, Texas, initiated a federal action against the county’s District Attorney. Roe sought a judgment that would declare the Texas criminal abortion legislation unconstitutional on their face, and seek an injunction, which would prevent the defendant from implementing the statutes.
Joe asserted that she was an unmarried, but pregnant lady; she wished to terminate her pregnancy by seeking the services of a professional and licensed practitioner under safe clinical environment. However, she noted that she was unable to contract the service since she was not able to get access to a legal abortion in Texas since her life was not under any form of threat from the pregnancy. Furthermore, Joe stated that she was not in a financial position to travel to another state to secure a safe abortion. She argued that the Texas statute was unconstitutional and vague, and was in contravention of her right of her right to privacy, which was guaranteed by the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Joe purported to sue on her behalf and on behalf of all other women who were in a similar situation to hers.
There are critical observations from Joe’s arguments; women who do not to have a baby should not be forced to have one. A pregnancy is a blessing if it is planned; however, a forced pregnancy is similar to any form of bodily invasion, and is abhorrence to the American values and traditions (Schwarz, 1990). Therefore, the United States constitution protects women from a forced pregnancy in a similar way that the constitution cannot force an American citizen to donate his or her bone marrow or to contribute a kidney to another. The Supreme Court looked into the facts and evidence of the case, and ruled that Roe was right, and her rights to privacy were violated; therefore, the Court decreed that all women had a right to a legal and safe abortion on demand. There was joy throughout America from the modern women; the ruling was seen as a massive step towards women rights. However, many years have passed since the Roe vs. Wade, and abortion has remained one of the most contentious issues in the United States and the world. The ruling was of similar magnitude to the women suffrage, and almost as controversial. It has freed women from dependency, fear, threat of injury, and ill health; it has given women the power to shape their lives.
The social ramifications of the case and the social and moral ones have continued to affect the two sides of the abortion debate. The people who thought that the 7-2 majority ruling in favor of abortion were overly optimistic; abortion has become one of the most emotional, and controversial political debate. Prior to Roe vs wade ruling, women who had abortions risked suffering from pain, death, serious injury, prosecution, and sterility. Presently, abortion is safer, cheaper, and a more common phenomenon. The legalization of abortion has created other reasons for securing abortions; women are being coerced by their boyfriends and husbands who are unwilling to become fathers due to financial pressures, the panic of losing a job, quitting school, becoming homeless, or out of fear of being kicked out into the street (Schwarz, 1990). Abortion, which is based on this reasons often leads to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; this occurs when a woman is not able to work through her emotional imbalances resulting from the trauma of an abortion. This can have severe results such as depression, eating disorders, and in severe cases, it can result in suicide. Women who secure an abortion out of their free will have no remorse and are happy that they made the choice; however, a number of women state that abortion affected them negatively.
Thus, it can be argued that abortion is a social issue. Based on the sociological imagination, people’s behaviors and attitudes should be perceived in the context of the social forces that shape the actions. Wright Mills developed the theory, and he emphasized that the changes in the society have a massive effect on our lives. Prior to 1970, legal abortions were unheard in the United States and people perceived abortion as a despicable act. However, once the law changed allowing doctors to conduct legal abortions, the people’s attitudes changed. To prove the fact that abortion is a social issue, we have to look at the components of a social issue. A social issue is an aspect of the society that concerns the people and would like it changed. It is comprised of two components: the objective condition, which is an aspect of the society that can be measured. The objective condition in the case of abortion entails the question whether abortions are legal, who obtains an abortion, and under what circumstances is an abortion secured (Henslin, 2008). The second component is the subjective condition; this is the concern that a significant number of people have about the objective condition. In the case of abortion, the subjective condition entails some people’s distress that a pregnant woman must carry the unwanted baby to full term (Henslin, 2008). It also includes the distress that a woman can terminate her pregnancy on demand. Thus, abortion is a social issue.
Controversy Surrounding Abortion
Abortion, human cloning, and evolution are all human issues that are very controversial. Christians’ believe in life after death. They also believe that life begins immediately at conception. Buddhists believe in reincarnation while atheists do not believe in God tend to be supporters of the right to choose. This means that perception and focus are the key issues when people from any faith choose to be supporters or opponents of any controversial issue like abortion. If an individual decides to focus on one part of the story, then definitely there will be a distorted representation of what they support. The result is that there will be people who are neutral or ignorant on abortion while others choose to support abortions as others oppose the act.
Groups’ strongly opposing or supporting abortions have completely varying opinions on the subject. It is vital to note that an individual may either be a strong supporter or oppose the act since any compromise means a choice of life over death and vice versa. This strange facet of abortion makes it a very controversial act and subject because both supporters and opponents meet nowhere. Personal faiths through religion make them view the subject differently. Some believe that a woman has the right to make an absolute choice, thus; the right to choice is more prevalent to those supporting abortion. However, for the opponents, they support the constitutional and human right to life. It is vital to note that both pro-choice and pro-life groups rely on the constitution like the Fourteenth Amendment, human rights, and scientific facts (Knapp, 2001).
In the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the U.S Supreme court ruled that the woman has the right to make a choice giving support to the pro-choice groups that support abortion. This meant that, the fetus has no rights and is at the indispensable mercy of the mother. The rights of the state and the fetus cannot overrule the choice that the mother has made. In another case in 1992, Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the US Supreme Court maintained that a woman has the power and the right to commit an abortion (Knapp, 2001).
Pro-choice supporters argue that those campaigning against abortion consume a lot of resources and effort. They feel that there are so many women who are living in total paucity and misery because they were coerced to deliver children who are unwanted. The resources spent by the anti-abortion campaigns can be used to support the social welfare of those women and relive them out of their misery. According to Knapp (2001), every day, almost 50,000 children die because of lack of food, medicine, shelter, and clothing. Today, the population stands at 7 billion meaning that there is an impending disaster because the resource of are continually being depleted. Any unwanted baby may adversely affect the natural balance of resources to persons. It is estimated that, the development around the globe will have to slow down because there will be more mouths to feed than before.
Pro-choice supporters believe that every human being has the right to political, sexual, and reproductive freedom. Pro-life supporters should note that, they are supporting and protecting their religious freedoms. It is important to note that, the church and the state have to separated. This implies that any anti-abortion law should be critically re-examined since it may merge the church and state. This is not legal because people make a personal choice as to the faith of affiliation while the state is supposed to respect everyone irrespective of faith.
In the Roe v. Casey ruling of 1992, the woman has the absolute choice to dictate what she wants to do with her body. Pro-choice supporters argue that this makes a woman to be a lesser being than the fetus she is carrying. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “forcing a woman to carry an unwanted fetus is like forcing a person to be cloned in order to save another life with the extra organs.” This is completely wrong considering that one’s body will be used without her consent to aid the prosperity of another life. The rights of a woman exceed those of the fetus she is carrying because the woman is independent and is a social entity, unlike the fetus. For many centuries, many women have been rated as having unequal rights to men. Abortion is the only avenue that can make them regain a socio-economic status equal to that of men. Women can access better education, housing, and jobs only if they are in a position of controlling the sexual and reproductive rights.
Debate Surrounding Abortion
Pro-choice advocates argue that abortion should be legalized to reduce the chances of unsafe abortions. A study carried out by the World Health Organization showed that most of the unsafe abortions occur in countries where abortion is illegal (Knapp, 2001). In countries like the Republic of Ireland, abortion is illegal, in the United States of America; abortion is legal while, in Canada, it can be performed upon demand, or consent.
An ethical analysis on abortion seeks to establish what is right or wrong about abortion. This ethical debate sheds light over the validity of the rights of the fetus versus those of the mother. In terms of personhood, a fetus is not aware of self, does not think, and is therefore, dependent on the mother. This means that the mother has an absolute right on choice over what to with the fetus. At certain epochs, pro-life supporters have supported selective abortion. This means that they support abortion if a fetus poses a danger to the mother, if the baby was conceived without the mother’s consent like in cases of rape, contraceptive failure, or incest. The other case is where the fetus may be having severe deformities due to diseases, mental of physical defects. Other cases happen when a mother involuntarily aborts because of starvation or malnutrition. This sparks a debate within the pro-life supporters who are assumed the “undecided lot.”
On the contrary, pro-life supporters assume that fetuses are human, and they are subjected to a lot of pain in the event of an abortion. It is wrong to assume that a fetus is not a human being since it does not talk, or is not a social entity. Pro-life supporters also argue that a fetus is a potential life and any threat to it is breaking a fundamental right to life that is entrenched in almost all constitutions across the world. Pro-choice supporters posit that abortion is an act of unjust discrimination to the unborn and that this acts deprives them to the access to a valuable future.
In conclusion, prior to 1973, abortion was illegal and was only applicable legally as an option only when the mother’s life was in danger. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe vs. Wade case changed all this; women perceived the ruling as a liberating to them. However, the legalization of abortion came with its own controversies, and it has even been labeled a social problem in the United States and the world over. However, it is critical to note that abortion or no abortion, persons have to take a keen look at the problems facing the society today and make a responsible choice. Today, we are 7 billion people, resources are overstretched, the world economy is weakening, and nations are growing unstable. Any person who thinks of bringing an unwanted child into the world without careful consideration should be aware of the consequences of the hard life. Every nation has a national budget in order to account and cater for everyone. On the same note, every parent or teenager should have a responsible plan for life. If every act is unaccounted for, then the number of children losing their lives due to paucity is set to increase tremendously. It is good to care for what we can see instead of spending valuable resources campaigning for fetuses that are yet to claim an entity in the social arena.
Berer, M. (2004). National laws and unsafe abortion: the parameters of change. Reproductive Health Matters, 12(24): 1–8.
Henslin, J. M. (2008). Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach. (8 ed.). New York, NY: Longman Publishers.
Jones, R. K., Darroch, J. E., Henshaw, S. K. (2002). Contraceptive Use among U.S. Women Having Abortions in 2000-2001. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health,34(6): 294–303.
Knapp, L. (2001). Controversy: The Abortion Controversy. Michigan: Greenhaven Press.
Schwarz, S. D. (1990). The Moral Question of Abortion. Chicago: Loyola University Press.