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Researched Critical Analysis

Kayla Murray

Professor Ellis 

Composition For Creative Expression 

2 December 2019

A Further Depth On Abortions: Researched Critical Analysis

       The real argument lies in the question, “What would you do if you were in a position that you needed to receive an abortion?” Many women would argue that raising the child that may have been unplanned, or unexpected, is the only option, but what happens when you aren’t financially stable enough to raise the child, or even afford the hospital care needed to have a sanitary birth? At this point, many women turn to illegal and unsafe abortion options, when there is a lack of opportunity for having a legal abortion, these methods can include using knitting needles, digesting gunpowder or alkaline solution, and even instructing someone to beat her until they are certain that the unborn child is deceased. All of these options could ultimately result in her own death. Many people on the pro-life side claim that people who wish to have abortions are doing this for themselves, but if you’ve ever witnessed an abortion clinic you would immediately tell that is not the case, A person’s facial expressions can say a million words, and arguing that abortion is wrong is the same thing as being blind towards those who need help. Even if you don’t agree with any of the claims previously asserted, I think one thing everyone needs to be in agreement about is having men weigh in on the abortion argument, is similar to asking a white person to weigh in on how racism affects them, because in both instances they are not a valid viewpoint because the topic does not apply to them, or anything they’ve had to, or will ever have to go through. This topic has personally impacted me through the many friends and family members that have either had an abortion “threat” or have personally gone through successful and unsuccessful pregnancies. Whenever someone has told me their personal stories with abortion, the consensus is generally the same, no woman would ever want to give up their child, but in order to make sure that their child can have the best possible life, abortion may be a good alternative. No matter how you view this topic, the most important thing to remember is in many cases, abortions are not optional, and when discussing this issue there will be times that the mother’s life overcomes the life of her unborn son or daughter.

Ever since Roe v. Wade created a storm between each political party, and even prior to this ruling, abortion has been a topic of discussion that hasn’t left the news. For those unfamiliar to the term, an abortion is the termination of an unborn fetus. Today, different states have different regulations on up to what point in your pregnancy you can have an abortion. Some have banned them all together, and some still let you have abortions up until 36 weeks. In 1973, the supreme court ruled that there would be criminal penalties or major restrictions when it came to accessing methods of abortions. In an article following up on the Roe v. Wade ruling 40 years later it stated that “legal abortion has unquestionably benefited women and their families. Thousands of American women who sought abortions used to die before Roe, and now such women don’t” (Carole Joffe). While this assertion may be valid for some women, others still believe that, “If we protect women the way we are supposed to, abortion would never be necessary…  it not only kills an unborn baby, it scars women physically, emotionally, and mentally forever” (Penny Nance). In summary by having an abortion, we are “not taking care of women” because after having such extreme procedures, such as abortion, they can have severe physical and mental health problems, which can be proven true of both sides of this debate, but this argument is typically found on the pro-life side. On the other hand, pro-choice members believe that, “Raising a child is an all-encompassing phenomenon, something you can never understand until you’re in the thick of it—and definitely something you should bypass until you’re ready… Women who obtain abortions should be not skewered or shamed. They acknowledge that they’re unwilling or unable to parent” (Maureen Shaw). To summarize this viewpoint, pro choice member Maureen Shaw, basically states the struggles of being a mother, and that if you’re not truly ready for that position, then having an abortion can hold you back until you’re ready. 

The main detail that can be found in every single abortion article or debate is the fact that everyone assumes that they’re right, and they often tend to pick apart the opposite side’s views. The members of the pro-life side of this debate often refer to the pro-choice members as “murderers” and use violent words towards their arguments, and members of the pro-choice side often retaliate with calling pro-life members “close-minded” and they tend to drag them down. This can make the articles lose their credibility, and even make them look selfish, but it can also make the arguments stronger. By using strong language against the opposite arguer can create a pathos encompassment, and can persuade the reader to listen to you. I also found that personal stories were applied heavily in both of these arguments. In one pro-choice article the author mentions her own personal experience with abortion and she recites, “I am on my knees, my face in the seat of a rocking recliner. The clock passes midnight and it’s just the four of us—me, my husband, our baby and a nurse—inside an abortion clinic 90 miles from our home and friends. There is no bed or doctor to ease my way toward delivery of my son, whose life I am ending as my first true act of motherhood” (Megan Padilla). This puts a dark twist on what women have to go through when having an abortion, by making it seem as though the earth had turned into their own personal hell. Which makes for a strong pro-choice argument. Although they went through this pain many women believe that having an abortion was the best decision of their life, and in one article the author lashes out against women who don’t have that same mindset by stating, “To say abortion should be banned because you regretted yours is like saying marriage should be banned because you hate your husband” (Hadley Freeman). This point can be made very controversial, because it is possible that a woman who undergoes an abortion can both regret it, and appreciate the fact that she gets to wait till she’s ready to become a mom, but each side creates their own argument with this viewpoint. From all of these articles, the main consensus that can be found is this; both parties feel very strongly about their views, and once you’ve picked a side you’re more than likely to remain on that side until the day that you can convince yourself that maybe you should see things from the other perspective, but I believe that is a personal battle, and not one that you can persuade yourself by listening or reading about opposing views.

On this topic I find myself sitting into the “pro-choice” category, and that doesn’t mean I haven’t overlooked arguments from the “pro-life” side, but I just can’t reason with most of their claims. I believe that those who utilize the ideology that abortions is murder hasn’t considered the facts. Although abortion is still a leading issue in the united states, the need for abortion has become prevalent in many countries throughout the world. Many countries have not been able to fully grasp the concept of contraceptives, and in many places it is very legal and very common for a woman to be raped as a sign of power from a man. Because of this many unplanned pregnancies occur, especially in very poor areas of the world. A main claim from the pro-choice side has always been that, “Women who want an abortion but are denied one are more likely to spend years living in poverty than women who have abortions” (Ronnie Cohen 1). In the current era, praising and uplifting to take roles in upper class jobs, and lead independent and powerful lives has been a big to do, but how can they do so when they go from an already struggling economic standpoint, to an even worse one that includes taking care of a child that they couldn’t afford to take care of in the first place? Unplanned pregnancies and or forced pregnancies shouldn’t be held against those who knew they couldn’t afford, or weren’t in shape to take care of, and raise a child. They did everything they could do to prevent getting themselves into this situation, and sometimes the most painless option for them is having an abortions so they don’t have to go through the pain of pregnancy, or going through the pain of seeing a living child that they brought onto this earth do to a pure mistake. One argument I do agree with from the pro-life side is that abortion should not be used as another form of contraception. The fact that women use abortions whenever they have unsafe sex knowing they didn’t use contraceptives of any kind, is the reason that the abortions argument is so hypocritical on the people who are pro-choice. I believe that abortions should only be accessible to those who go through a horrendous incident such as rape, and it should also be made available to those who get pregnant by mistake due to a failed contraceptive, or the fact that they got pregnant at a time that they were either too young, too old, or too disabled that they couldn’t physically have a child or physically take care of a child.  

Since some women are forced into having their unplanned child, and aren’t able to raise them properly, their child may become subjected to abuse or develop mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, because they weren’t raised right by their parents. It’s likely that the parents of an unplanned child are now forced to work overtime, or have multiple jobs to provide for their family, which means the child can be left alone for long periods of time. Since the child is now almost prone to adapt a mental illness, they may turn to alcohol or drug abuse as a way to cope with what they’re going though, and because of the lack of supervision, especially as they get older, this can become very easy to accomplish. This can also be the case if the child was placed into an adoption or foster home. In AP Psychology, we read a nonfiction book called The Child Called It, which has a second book in the series called The Lost Boy. In this series we learned about a real life story of a young boy who was mentally and physically abused by his parents, and once he was placed into a foster home he received almost the same treatment from not only his foster parents, but also the foster children. Although this wasn’t caused by an unplanned pregnancy, a lot of pro-life activists believe that the adoption route is always going to be the answer. Although that is a very heartfelt thought, the cruel reality of adoption agencies and foster homes, is that not every child is going to be adopted right away, or at all. Many children spend their whole life in this situation, which can definitely take a toll on their mental health. Another argument that pro-life activists have is the fact that pro-choice activists are pro-murder or pro-death, “Roe declared that these are not human persons, that they have only the right to die” (Alexandra Desanctis 1). I analyzed this quote previously, but the most important thing to remember about the pro-choice perspective is the fact that we don’t support “murder” or “death” of another human being, we actually enforce better lives upon those who aren’t as fortunate as the rest of us. Having resentment for those who didn’t get the privilege to have the pregnancy they wanted, at the time that they wanted, in the right financial situation they wanted is purely inhumane. Considering all they’ve been through, and all that they’re going to go through, I believe women who choose to have abortions are stronger than any woman who is against them having one. Although it will forever be God’s wish to create “eternal life” by having as many children fill this earth as possible, always remember behind every abortion there is a human being struggling to even grasp the concept that she needs to get an abortion. Remember the women that have cried themselves to sleep at night because someone forced them to begin producing a child before they could even fully grasp the ideology of what procreation is.  Remember the women who would die to be able to raise and fulfill God’s prophecy of life, but they truly cannot. Remember those who get threatened everyday for trying to do what was inevitably their only option. Remember that there is always another side of the story. 

In Synopsis, I think this argument should be placed into the hands of an individual who finds themselves disagreeing with my viewpoints, then I believe it would at least make them stop and think. In the end, the people against me are going to be my most important and valuable audience. This issue will continue to be a problem until we can figure out a solution together, that can be both morally reasonable, and safe, while also being legal and preferably affordable for those of lower incomes. In this issue actions speak louder than words, so if you feel passionately about this topic the most powerful thing you can do is speak up about it. The only mindset you genuinely need to keep when arguing this topic is to do unto others as you would have others do unto you, so we can work together efficiently, and so never have to view abortion as an argument ever again. 

 

Work Cited

Joffe, Carole. “Roe v. Wade and Beyond: Forty Years of Legal Abortion in the United States.”

Dissent Magazine, 2013

DeSanctis, Alexandra. “Roe v. Wade at 45: Most Americans Support Abortion Restrictions.” National Review, 24 Jan. 2018

Hance, Penny. “Abortion Is Not Prowoman, Prolife Is Prowoman.”  U.S. News & World Report, 22 Jan. 2013

Shaw, Maureen. “Becoming a Mother Made Me Even More Pro-Choice.” Rewire.News, 2 May 2016

Padilla, Megan. “Pro-Choice as an Act of Love.” Parenting, 7 July 2014

Freeman, Hadley. “Whether You’re pro-Choice or Not, the Abortion Debate Is Not about You.” The Guardian News and Media, 4 June 2016

Cohen, Ronnie. “Denial of Abortion Leads to Economic Hardship for Low-Income Women.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 18 Jan. 2018

 

Work Consulted

Nelkin, Stacey. “Why Pro-Choice Is a Sacred Choice.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 30 Sept. 2016

Friedman, Thomas L. “Why I Am Pro-Life.” The New York Times, 27 Oct. 2012

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