Few issues have fostered such controversy as has 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 to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, a condition which affects her body and possibly her entire life, then she has lost one of her most basic human rights. These proponents of abortion believe that while a fetus is a potential life, its life cannot be placed on the same level with that of a woman. On the other side, the pro-life opponents of abortion argue that the fetus is human and therefore given the same human rights as the mother. Stated simply, they believe that when a society legalizes abortion, it is sanctioning murder. In today's more industrialized societies, technology has simplified the abortion procedure to a few basic and safe methods. Technology, however, has also enhanced society's knowledge of the fetus.
[...] The merger is complete within twelve hours, at which time the egg is fertilized and becomes known as a "zygote," containing the full set of forty-six chromosomes required to create a new human life. It is at that point that life begins and should be respected with the same laws that apply to us all, whether we are dependent on a womb or not. Conception creates life and makes that life one of a kind. The opposition would argue otherwise. [...]
[...] When the day comes that the decision to bear a child is a moral choice, then and only then, the human liberation of women will be a reality. Those who believe abortion should not be a personal choice argue that the fetus is a separate entity form the woman who carries it, and therefore entitled to the right to lice. They believe that women who choose to abort do so primarily out of convenience, a fact which trivializes unborn human life. [...]
[...] They argue that the law places many limits on people's freedom of choice, and should do so in the case of abortion. In fact, abortion foes see the law favoring one set of legal rights, the woman's, over another's, the unborn child's. VII. Should abortion remain legal? Since 1973, the proportion of women obtaining abortions before the eighth week, and using the safest method, suction curettage, has steadily increased. By improving availability and accessibility, legalization has also contributed to a significant decline in complications. [...]
[...] The historical source of the Catholic teaching on abortion was conviction of the early Christian community that abortion is incompatible with and forbidden by the fundamental Christian norm of love, a norm which forbade the taking of life. By the fifth century, while the condemnation of abortion continued without diminishment, distinctions were on occasion being drawn between abortion and homicide. Both were seen as grave sins, but not necessarily exactly the same sin or to be subject to the same penalty. [...]
[...] It is certainly possible that Congress will give the Catholic bishops their victory and make abortion once again a crime. However, there is so much at stake for women that there is little chance they will give up abortions. If they have to get them illegally, they will. V. Should abortion remain a personal choice? Whether abortion and birth control should be a woman's decision has been a source of controversy throughout history. To defend the morality of choice for women is not to deny reverence toward or appreciation for many women's deep commitment to childbearing and shield nurturance. [...]
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