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People who are pro-life often use several of these as reasons why they are against abortions. I don't necessarily find them ridiculous but I do dispute them. It'll be the arguments first and then my comments.

One of the main arguments is that life begins at contraception so it is murder. This has never been proven. The smartest and most knowledgeable people on earth can't agree on this. Most abortions happen within the first trimester when a foetus can not survive outside it's mother. The foetus can't be regarded as a separate entity as it cannot exist outside the womb. Also, the concept of personhood is different from the concept of human life. If human life occurs at conception, then fertilised eggs used for IVF are also human lives but those that aren't implanted are routinely thrown away. Is this murder too? If not, how is abortion?

There is also the adoption argument that states it accomplishes the same thing and is a viable alternative to abortion. This is not true. If you claim abortion is a woman choosing the future of her child, surely adoption is the same thing? Abortion is said to be a hard decision for the woman but what about adoption? She's got 9 months to question her decision and then has to go through the labour and birth too. Plus, if the abortion was considered for medical reasons, adoption is not going to help in the slightest.

Abortion should not be used as a form of contraception is an argument that is used countless times and annoys me. Only 8% of women who have abortions do not use any form of birth control and that is due more to individual carelessness than to the availability of abortion. That means 92% of woman who have an abortion have used some kind of protection and tried to prevent pregnancy from the start. Yes, they took a risk by having sex but not everyone having sex thinks "Well we're using protection but there is a chance I'll get pregnant so am I really ready?". If you believe you have the right to force someone to continue with their pregnancy, do you believe you also have the right to force contraception and perhaps even sterilisation?

Then there's the regret argument which many also use to accompany the idea that it is often minors or young women with insufficient life experience and cannot fully understand what they are doing that have abortions. These are also the same minors who feel forced to drop out of school and end up relying on other people, or the state, to help them. Very often, they have a poor quality of life, as does the child, and other people are forced to help them out when they don't want to. Regret can work both ways.

Another argument is that abortions are paid for by taxpayers who oppose them. Taxpayers' money is used to give poor women the same medical services as rich women and it just so happens that abortion is one of these services. Funding abortions is just like funding wars though. Opposition to it makes no difference. If people don't want to pay for abortions or war, then they should vote against it but it isn't the same thing as opposing abortion as a whole and shouldn't be used as an argument against abortions.

Medical reasons are big on either side of the argument. Those against abortion bring up the ideas of complications later in life - ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, etc - while those who are for the choice bring up the ideas about pregnancy complications or the mother's life possibly being at risk. Medical abortions have less than 0.5% risk of serious complications and do not affect a woman's health or future ability to become pregnant or give birth. But continuing with a pregnancy could have serious, sometimes fatal, risks.

My last point is more of an alternative thing. Many people have abortions because they don't know their options. They have found themselves in a situation they don't know how to handle and maybe an abortion is an escape for them. Maybe they really don't want to have an abortion but feel as if it is the only option. Perhaps they grew up in a family or place where the whole idea of sex, pregnancy and contraception was a taboo subject and they weren't educated properly. Instead of making abortion illegal, surely it would be better to educate people more about safe sex and their options? And if you make abortion illegal, do you really think that'll stop them from happening? "Medical abortions have less than 0.5% risk" but what about non-medical ones? That risk just went way up.

apr 17 2011 ∞
apr 18 2012 +