Fortunately for many, most first world, developed and progressive societies have always prided themselves in upholding the rights of their citizens. In areas of the world such as North America and Western Europe, few people live in fear of the government; they fully expect their rights to be upheld. Even women, who, in many countries, have enjoyed political and religious freedom to lesser degrees than the men, now, are able to freely voice their own opinions. These expressions can lead to healthy debate about relevant social issues. In a perfect world, the opinions of all would be heard in an environment conducive to greater understanding and acceptance in general.
However, as Western society has progressed in areas such as technology, medicine, and communication, understanding and acceptance have lagged behind. In some cases, the opinions of some smaller groups have had a major impact on political decisions which can, in turn, affect the rights of citizens. Debates rage about an abundance of social and international issues, but one which has become an immensely serious threat to the rights of citizens is abortion. ...
When examining the issue of reproductive rights, an obvious first question is "Whose rights are to be protected" Different groups will give different answers. The pro-life groups will advocate for the fetus' rights. Pro-choice groups will hail the rights of women. Still other groups will support the fathers, rights. What happens when these rights inevitably conflict The answer lies in a confusing web of politics, religion, and culture.
In order to fully understand the current spectrum of reproductive rights and freedoms, one must first take a look at its history. One of the first reproductive issues to affect society was that of birth control. Linda Gordon explains that the first uses of birth control arose from the necessity of the nomadic life. Clans moving from place to place so often had to travel lightly, so a large family was a hindrance to this lifestyle. As societies grew around agriculture, the shift towards large families became important for division of labor reasons. At this point, birth control was not an issue because, economically, more children meant more workers (1990).
Unfortunately, early forms of birth control were largely the products of old wives tales and meticulous timing; they were not terrible effective. As a result, the desire to terminate pregnancies arose. According to Josephine (2002), induced termination of pregnancy, otherwise known as abortion, has been practiced since the time of the early Greeks and recorded in historical documents.
Undeniably, abortion is an old societal issue. The legality of abortion, however, is a different story. Abortion in any form was not legal in the United Kingdom in the 1800s (Josephine, 2002). The Infant Life