Essay on Abortion

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“Abortion stops a beating heart…”

vs.

“Western philosophy’s idea of the autonomous self: the pregnant woman is in fact both a person in her body and a vessel. Rather than seeing both beings as alive and interdependent—seeing life within life—and acknowledging that sometimes, nonetheless, the woman must choose her life over the fetus’s…”.

     Few issues have fostered such controversy as the topic of abortion. The participants in the abortion debate not only have firmly-fixed beliefs, but each group has a self-designated appellation that clearly reflects what they believe to be the essential issues. On one side, the pro-choice supporters see individual choice as central to the debate: If a woman cannot choose
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Equal rights is an issue the women’s movement has fought for many years. Denying women the right to free choice would demolish everything we have fought for and all the respect we have gained as equals to men.
     There are, indeed, several situations in which abortion would seem necessary. Birth defects, although rare, sometimes occur and must be dealt with in a personal manner. If a woman knows she is going to give birth to a mentally retarded baby, she is faced with the option of aborting it. If she is not prepared to give the retarded baby the attention and love it needs or if she cannot afford to treat the babies problems, abortion would be the logical answer. Pro-lifers rebut this argument by stating that “it is only when we love the handicapped that we can truly value every human life.” The anti-abortion movement believes that the fetus, even in its embryonic stage of development, is human life and that any deliberate termination of embryonic or fetal life constitutes an “unjustified” termination of human life. Conversely, proponents of abortion deny that the fetus is human life, particularly during its embryonic stage of development, and therefore believe that

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