The Abortion Issue Essay

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The Abortion Issue

The 1973 Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade is the foundation for our current abortion policy as well as the cause of so much controversy today. Though always an issue, nothing prior can compare to the momentum that it has now. In the span of 30 years since the ruling, the combination of science, morals and religion have spun off numerous sub-issues to the effect that people have been left either aligned to one side of the argument, or caught in the middle, unable to choose. The key issue at hand is whether the 1973 ruling of Roe vs. Wade should be upheld or should all abortions be illegal. The issue is so divisive because abortion brings up closely related but unresolved moral issues, and tries to
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The inability of the sides involved to reach common ground is best observed through a possible look at how this problem came to be.

While it is easy to trace the history of abortion, it is harder to use this information to find any means of resolution. Developed almost 5000 years ago, the first form of birth control was utilized by the early Egyptians. Religion played a crucial part in the view of abortion centuries after its creation. During the 13th century, Catholic doctrine was the driving force in the lives of the people, shaping their lives and ideals. Pope Innocent III decreed from the moment of the “quickening”, or the point when the woman first feels the movement of the fetus, the fetus was officially alive and could not be terminated. Pope Gregory upheld this decree until 1869, where Pope Pious IX threatened all abortions with excommunication, possibly as part of an agreement to obtain more papal power (Childbirth Choice Trust) (Hope). From a legal standpoint, abortions were not considered a crime until a law was passed in England in 1803, with which the United States followed suit. The law changed to allow abortions when the woman’s health was in danger and in the early 1900’s in the U.S., the procedure could only be performed if two or more physicians agreed to it. Throughout this entire time, women would still find ways albeit dangerous ones to have illegal abortions (Childbirth Choice Trust). Women’s activists like Margaret Sanger promoted

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