Persuasive Paper On Abortion

Approximately 1 million women had abortions annually until the 1973 decision legalizing abortion, and abortion had become the leading cause of maternal death and mutilation (40 deaths/100,000 abortions compared to 40 deaths/100,000 live births according to National Abortion Rights Action league.) An estimated 9000 rape victims become pregnant each year (FBI 1973); 100,000 cases of incest occur yearly (National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, 1978).Two-thirds of teenage pregnancies are not planned, because many do not have adequate access to contraceptives (NARAL).

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Yet surely the conception of "member" involves some minimal interaction.

The fetus reacts to society of the outside world solely through the medium of the mother.

In analogous fashion, until the fetus is actually, not potentially, a member of society, it does not have constitutional rights.

One could object that the fetus in the womb is as signally present in society as the child in the crib, that each are equally members of society.

Right-to-Lifers claim that because the fetus will develop into a human being, it demands the same paternalistic protection that is extended to animals, children and others subject to exploitation and maltreatment.

The fetus must be accorded the same constitutional rights as its mother.The difficulty of course arises when it would be possible for you to support him and take care of him, but you would rather not.You might agree if the demand were only for an evening, but hesitate if it were for the rest of your life. You could claim a certain moral responsibility towards another human being.Moreover, he informs you that he needs food and clothing and someone to talk to--he needs your presence much of the day.He becomes more demanding: you must work less, earn less, give up jogging.And the taxpayer price of supporting a child on welfare is far greater than that of a Medicaid abortion.But the issue that provokes such anger surrounds the fetus's right to life--its status as a potential human being.He may have a guarantee that should he enter the United States, he will be accorded many of those protections.But the guarantee depends on his entrance onto American territory.Strictly speaking, then, society has no legal responsibility to the fetus, but rather to the mother.This seems like a rather harsh position, but we can distinguish between the rights of the fetus and the action that a mother might feel morally compelled to take.


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