Should Abortion be Legal? Abortion is Good for Women’s Health. Yourname University name Abortion has been a hot topic in the United States for at least half a century, since the landmark case of Roe V. Wade made it legal. The main issue that people debate over is not necessarily whether or not abortion should be legal in its own right, but whether or not women have a moral or ethical right to abort their own unborn children if they choose to do so…
But on the other hand, pro-choice activists argue that this is essentially a red herring, as it assumes that life is automatically good, and that if the baby is brought to term everybody will be happy. Ultimately, although it is a very sticky issue morally, allowing individual women the right to practice abortion legally seems more moral than issuing a blanket denial of abortion for any women at all. The decision to make abortion legal in the early 1960s is one that was, and that continues to be, very controversial. However, it is an unquestionable fact that “legal abortion has unquestionably benefited women and their families” (Joffe, 54), in the main because these women no longer have to seek out dangerously unsanitary, black market options if they do not wish to bring a child to term. From this viewpoint, it is clear that one of the strongest arguments for legalizing abortion does not necessarily assume whether or not abortion itself is moral. It simply states that since women will get abortions anyway, it is more moral to ensure that they can get abortions legally, as these abortions are safer. Joffe also notes that this is one of the biggest moral problems with anti-abortion movements, as they make for a situation where “the United States may well return to the situation of the pre-Roe era, when women of means managed to get safe abortion care and poor women often did not” (59) due to lack of easy access to abortion clinics. However, many people argue that the woman is not the person who has the strongest moral right in cases of abortion. Instead, they say, it is the unborn child or fetus who deserves to be protected the most. This is because they argue from a mostly Christian or at least religious standpoint, which holds that “life [is] a precious gift from God and that man [does] not have the right to kill the innocent child in the womb” (Karrer 528). From this standpoint, allowing abortion to be legal is essentially the same as legalizing murder, as it kills a potential child who may otherwise have lived. This fact is central to understanding the pro-life view of abortion as an immoral evil, and explains why, despite the Roe V Wade case which legalized the practice nation-wide, there continue to be a number of groups who describe themselves as trying “to promote respect for the worth and dignity of all human life, including the life of the unborn child from the moment of conception” (Karrer 554). Nonetheless, this argument is a bit of a red herring. If all human life is worth upholding equally, then the woman’s life must also be upheld with dignity and worth. This is at the heart of why abortion is such a sticky issue, as the pro-life arguments must necessarily—or at least should—also focus on how to preserve and treat the life of the woman who wants the abortion. Apart from women’s health, keeping abortion legal can also have a big impact on women’s social liberation. M. Castle notes that such religious arguments about abortion can sometimes turn from rhetoric to reality by making politics “profoundly anti-female and sustaining gender inequality” (1). In this argument, the morality of keeping abortion legal moves from a simple matter of health and to one of human rights. It is not just that legal abortion means ...
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