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    Completed for CSE, EEE, To page 21

    Abortion is one of the most persistently controversial issues in American culture and politics

    today. Since the 1973 national legalization of abortion, competing groups have fought to

    either restrict or increase access to the procedure, leading to heated debates among political

    activists, religious organizations, state legislatures, and judges.

    This conflict is perhaps reflective of the nations ambivalence over abortion. While it is often

    depicted as a two-sided debate, the abortion controversy is actually quite multifaceted,

    involving complex speculation on biology, ethics, and constitutional rights. Those who

    identify themselves as prolife, for example, generally contend that abortion is wrong because

    it kills human life, which they believe begins at conception. However, some pro-lifers grant

    that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest, or when the pregnancy threatens

    the life or health of the mother. Those who identify themselves as pro-choice often maintain

    that abortion must remain legal because a woman should have the right to control her body

    and her destiny. But some pro-choicers also believe that there should be certain restrictions

    on teen access to abortion and on abortions occurring after the first trimester of pregnancy.This mixture of opinions is probably why Gallup polls consistently show that 50 to 60

    percent of Americans favor abortion only under certain circumstances.

    The continuing debate over a relatively new form of second-trimester abortion called intact

    dilation and extraction (D&X) reveals the complexity of American opinion on the subject.

    Referred to as partial-birth abortion by its opponents, D&X is usually performed on women

    who are between twenty and twenty-four weeks pregnant, ostensibly when the fetus has

    severe defects or when the pregnancy endangers the mothers health. During the procedure,

    the doctor delivers all but the head of the fetus from the uterus, then uses scissors to cut a

    hole in the base of the fetuss skull so that its contents can be removed. This allows the

    fetuss head to collapse so that it can more easily pass through the cervical opening.

    Opponents of D&X maintain that it is a grisly and immoral procedure akin to infanticide. At

    twenty-four weeks, they contend, more than 50 percent of fetuses are potentially viable (able

    to survive outside of the womb). Moreover, as Illinois physicians M. LeRoy Sprang and

    Mark G. Neerhoff claim, the procedure is hardly ever performed as a result of a medical

    emergency: The vast majority [are] done not in response to extreme medical conditions but

    on healthy mothers and healthy fetuses. They point out that 56 percent of partial-birth

    abortions are done as a result of fetal flaws . . . some as minor as a cleft lip, while 9 percent

    involve maternal healthproblems, of which the most common [is] depression.

    Abortion-rights supporters assert that the vast majority of abortions are performed in the first

    trimester, with only 1.4 percent occurring after twenty-one weeks of pregnancy:

    approximately two thousand per year. Some contend that the furor over a relatively rare

    procedure, which became a focal point for anti-abortion activism in the 1990s, was at heart an

    attempt to sway public opinion against the more common types of abortion. However, most

    of the physicians who perform D&X abortions grant that the majority of such procedures are

    elective and not medically necessary.

    These revelations about the D&X procedure disquieted Americans on all sides of the debate.

    New York Times polls taken in 1997 concluded that between 54 and 71 percent of Americans

    opposed late-term abortions. However, another 1997 poll commissioned by the RepublicanCoalition for Choice found that 82 percent of the public believed that the D&X option is a

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    medical decision that should be made by a woman, her doctor, her family, and her clergy.

    These seem- ingly contradictory poll results reflect public distaste over the procedure as well

    as a reluctance to cede individual rights, claims Coalition for Choice president Susan R.

    Cullman: People say, Its an awful procedure. I cant stand it. Get rid of it. But when you

    say, If youre in this predicament, do you want doctors to give you options? the answer is,

    Of course.

    The D&X procedure did not exist in 1973, when the Supreme CourtsRoe v. Wade decision

    held that a womans right to privacyincluding the right to choose to end a pregnancy in the

    first two trimesterswas protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. However, the Courts

    1992 decision in PlannedParenthood v. Casey did allow states to set certain kinds of limits

    on access to abortions. UnderCasey, as long as no undue burden is placed on women

    seeking abortions, states can regulate access to the procedure. As a result, many state

    legislatures enforced restrictions on abortion, including laws that significantly limited or

    banned the D&X procedure. In addition, between 1995 and 2000, Congress passed several

    bills attempting to impose a nationwide ban on D&X abortionsalthough each of these bills

    was vetoed by President Bill Clinton.

    In June 2000, in a 5-to-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Nebraska ban on

    partial-birth abortions. Justice Stephen Breyer argued that the states law was unconstitutional

    because it did not include any exceptions for protecting the health of the mother and because

    the overly vague language of the law could have been used to ban the more common types of

    second-trimester abortions. The ruling leaves open, however, the possibility that a more

    clearly defined D&X ban could some day gain the approval of the Court.

    The complex ethical and legal debate over abortion shows no sign of abating as activists,

    legislators, and judges continue to ponder if and when the procedure should be regulated.

    Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints explores this and several other contentious issues in the

    following chapters: Is Abortion Immoral? Should Abortion Rights Be Restricted? Can

    Abortion Be Justified? Is Abortion Safe? The authors in this anthology present compelling

    arguments concerning the morality, accessibility, purpose, and effect of abortion.

    [Constitutionally protected] abortion . . . has never been understood . . . to include taking

    the life of a partly born child. U.S. Catholic Conference

    A criminal statute banning any medically safe method of abortion unduly infringes upon

    womens rights. Abortion Access Project

    Abortion is one of the most persistently controversial issues in American culture and politics

    today. Since the 1973 national legalization of abortion, competing groups have fought to

    either restrict or increase access to the procedure, leading to heated debates among political

    activists, religious organizations, state legislatures, and judges.

    This conflict is perhaps reflective of the nations ambivalence over abortion. While it is often

    depicted as a two-sided debate, the abortion controversy is actually quite multifaceted,

    involving complex speculation on biology, ethics, and constitutional rights. Those who

    identify themselves as prolife, for example, generally contend that abortion is wrong because

    it kills human life, which they believe begins at conception. However, some pro-lifers grant

    that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest, or when the pregnancy threatensthe life or health of the mother. Those who identify themselves as pro-choice often maintain

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    that abortion must remain legal because a woman should have the right to control her body

    and her destiny. But some pro-choicers also believe that there should be certain restrictions

    on teen access to abortion and on abortions occurring after the first trimester of pregnancy.

    This mixture of opinions is probably why Gallup polls consistently show that 50 to 60

    percent of Americans favor abortion only under certain circumstances.

    The continuing debate over a relatively new form of second-trimester abortion called intact

    dilation and extraction (D&X) reveals the complexity of American opinion on the subject.

    Referred to as partial-birth abortion by its opponents, D&X is usually performed on women

    who are between twenty and twenty-four weeks pregnant, ostensibly when the fetus has

    severe defects or when the pregnancy endangers the mothers health. During the procedure,

    the doctor delivers all but the head of the fetus from the uterus, then uses scissors to cut a

    hole in the base of the fetuss skull so that its contents can be removed. This allows the

    fetuss head to collapse so that it can more easily pass through the cervical opening.

    Opponents of D&X maintain that it is a grisly and immoral procedure akin to infanticide. At

    twenty-four weeks, they contend, more than 50 percent of fetuses are potentially viable (ableto survive outside of the womb). Moreover, as Illinois physicians M. LeRoy Sprang and

    Mark G. Neerhoff claim, the procedure is hardly ever performed as a result of a medical

    emergency: The vast majority [are] done not in response to extreme medical conditions but

    on healthy mothers and healthy fetuses. They point out that 56 percent of partial-birth

    abortions are done as a result of fetal flaws . . . some as minor as a cleft lip, while 9 percent

    involve maternal health problems, of which the most common [is] depression.

    Abortion-rights supporters assert that the vast majority of abortions are performed in the first

    trimester, with only 1.4 percent occurring after twenty-one weeks of pregnancy:

    approximately two thousand per year. Some contend that the furor over a relatively rare

    procedure, which became a focal point for anti-abortion activism in the 1990s, was at heart an

    attempt to sway public opinion against the more common types of abortion. However, most

    of the physicians who perform D&X abortions grant that the majority of such procedures are

    elective and not medically necessary.

    These revelations about the D&X procedure disquieted Americans on all sides of the debate.

    New York Times polls taken in 1997 concluded that between 54 and 71 percent of Americans

    opposed late-term abortions. However, another 1997 poll commissioned by the Republican

    Coalition for Choice found that 82 percent of the public believed that the D&X option is a

    medical decision that should be made by a woman, her doctor, her family, and her clergy.

    These seem- ingly contradictory poll results reflect public distaste over the procedure as wellas a reluctance to cede individual rights, claims Coalition for Choice president Susan R.

    Cullman: People say, Its an awful procedure. I cant stand it. Get rid of it. But when you

    say, If youre in this predicament, do you want doctors to give you options? the answer is,

    Of course.

    The D&X procedure did not exist in 1973, when the Supreme CourtsRoe v. Wade decision

    held that a womans right to privacyincluding the right to choose to end a pregnancy in the

    first two trimesterswas protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. However, the Courts

    1992 decision in PlannedParenthood v. Casey did allow states to set certain kinds of limits

    on access to abortions. UnderCasey, as long as no undue burden is placed on women

    seeking abortions, states can regulate access to the procedure. As a result, many statelegislatures enforced restrictions on abortion, including laws that significantly limited or

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    banned the D&X procedure. In addition, between 1995 and 2000, Congress passed several

    bills attempting to impose a nationwide ban on D&X abortionsalthough each of these bills

    was vetoed by President Bill Clinton.

    In June 2000, in a 5-to-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Nebraska ban on

    partial-birth abortions. Justice Stephen Breyer argued that the states law was unconstitutionalbecause it did not include any exceptions for protecting the health of the mother and because

    the overly vague language of the law could have been used to ban the more common types of

    second-trimester abortions. The ruling leaves open, however, the possibility that a more

    clearly defined D&X ban could some day gain the approval of the Court.

    The complex ethical and legal debate over abortion shows no sign of abating as activists,

    legislators, and judges continue to ponder if and when the procedure should be regulated.

    Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints explores this and several other contentious issues in the

    following chapters: Is Abortion Immoral? Should Abortion Rights Be Restricted? Can

    Abortion Be Justified? Is Abortion Safe? The authors in this anthology present compelling

    arguments concerning the morality, accessibility, purpose, and effect of abortion.

    Pro-life arguments against abortion

    This article'slead section may not adequately summarize key points of its

    contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of

    all important aspects of the article. (May 2011)

    The abortion debate refers to the ongoing controversy surrounding the moral and legal

    status ofabortion. The two main groups involved in the abortion debate are the self-described

    "pro-choice" movement (emphasizing the right of women to choose whether they wish tobring a fetus to term) and the self-described "pro-life" movement (emphasizing the right of

    the unborn child to be born). Both of these are considered loaded terms in general media

    where terms such as "abortion rights" or "anti-abortion" are preferred.[1]Each movement has,

    with varying results, sought to influence public opinion and to attain legal support for its

    position, with some anti-abortion advocates even going as far as using violence.

    Abortion law varies between jurisdictions. For example, in Canada abortion is available to

    women without any legal restrictions,[2]while in Ireland abortions are illegal except when a

    woman's life is at imminent risk[3]and Chilebans abortion with no exception for the life of

    the pregnant woman.

    Contents

    [hide]

    1 Overview 2 Terminology 3 Political debate

    o 3.1 Privacyo 3.2 U.S. judicial involvemento 3.3 Canadian judicial involvemento 3.4 Effects of legalization/illegalization

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Lead_sectionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Lead_sectionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Summary_stylehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Lead_section#Provide_an_accessible_overviewhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Support_for_the_legalization_of_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_the_legalization_of_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_wordhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violencehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_lawhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Canadahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_Republic_of_Irelandhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-3http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-3http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Overviewhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Terminologyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Political_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Privacyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#U.S._judicial_involvementhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Canadian_judicial_involvementhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Effects_of_legalization.2Fillegalizationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Effects_of_legalization.2Fillegalizationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Canadian_judicial_involvementhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#U.S._judicial_involvementhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Privacyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Political_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Terminologyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Overviewhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-3http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_Republic_of_Irelandhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Canadahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_lawhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violencehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_wordhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_the_legalization_of_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Support_for_the_legalization_of_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Lead_section#Provide_an_accessible_overviewhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Summary_stylehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Lead_section
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    4 Ethical debateo 4.1 Question of personhoodo 4.2 Debates within the abortion debate

    4.2.1 Fetal pain debate 4.2.2 Fetal personhood debate

    o 4.3 Arguments in favor of the right to abortion 4.3.1 Bodily rights 4.3.2 Sexual emancipation and equality

    o 4.4 Arguments against the right to abortion 4.4.1 Discrimination 4.4.2 Deprivation 4.4.3 Argument from uncertainty 4.4.4 Religious beliefs

    o 4.5 Other factors 4.5.1 Mexico City Policy 4.5.2 Public opinion 4.5.3 Effect upon crime rate 4.5.4 Breast cancer hypothesis

    5 Exceptions in abortion law 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

    Overview

    In ancient times, abortion, along with infanticide, had been considered a matter of family

    planning, gender selection, population control, and the property rights of the patriarch.[4]

    Rarely were the rights of the prospective mother, much less the prospective child, taken into

    consideration.[5]Although generally legal, the morality of abortion, birth control and child

    abandonment (as a form of infanticide) was sometimes discussed. Then, as now, these

    discussions often concerned the nature of man, the existence of a soul, when life begins, and

    the beginning of human personhood.

    While the practice of infanticide (as a form of family planning) has largely died out, child

    abandonment, birth control, and abortion are still practiced; and their morality and legality

    continues to be debated. While modern debates about abortion retain some of the language of

    these older debates, the terminology has often acquired new meanings. Reason is now seen as

    a human ability rather than as a spirit personified.[6]

    Any discussion of the putative personhood of the fetus will be complicated by the current

    legal status of children. They are not full persons[7]at law until they have reached the age of

    majority and are deemed able to enter into contracts and sue or be sued at law. However, for

    the past two centuries, they have been treated as persons for the limited purposes ofOffence

    against the person law. Furthermore, as one New Jersey Superior Courtjudge noted,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Ethical_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Question_of_personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Debates_within_the_abortion_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Fetal_pain_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Fetal_personhood_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Arguments_in_favor_of_the_right_to_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Bodily_rightshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Sexual_emancipation_and_equalityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Arguments_against_the_right_to_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Discriminationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Deprivationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Argument_from_uncertaintyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Religious_beliefshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Other_factorshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Mexico_City_Policyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Public_opinionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Effect_upon_crime_ratehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Breast_cancer_hypothesishttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Exceptions_in_abortion_lawhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#See_alsohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Noteshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Referenceshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#External_linkshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticidehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-4http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-4http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-4http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-5http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-5http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-5http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beginning_of_human_personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_controlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-6http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-6http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-6http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-7http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-7http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-7http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offence_against_the_personhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offence_against_the_personhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_Superior_Courthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_Superior_Courthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offence_against_the_personhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offence_against_the_personhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-7http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-6http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birth_controlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beginning_of_human_personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-5http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-4http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticidehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#External_linkshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Referenceshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Noteshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#See_alsohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Exceptions_in_abortion_lawhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Breast_cancer_hypothesishttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Effect_upon_crime_ratehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Public_opinionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Mexico_City_Policyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Other_factorshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Religious_beliefshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Argument_from_uncertaintyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Deprivationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Discriminationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Arguments_against_the_right_to_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Sexual_emancipation_and_equalityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Bodily_rightshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Arguments_in_favor_of_the_right_to_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Fetal_personhood_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Fetal_pain_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Debates_within_the_abortion_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Question_of_personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#Ethical_debate
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    If a fetus is a person, it is a person in very special circumstancesit exists entirely within the

    body of another much larger person and usually cannot be the object of direct action by

    another person.[8]

    This judgement discusses the logistic difficulties of treating the fetus as an "object of direct

    action".

    Opinions in the current debate range from complete prohibition, even if done to save the

    woman's life,[9]to complete legalization with public funding, as in Canada.[10]

    Terminology

    Many of the terms used in the debate are seen as political framing: terms used to validate

    one's own stance while invalidating the opposition's. For example, the labels "pro-choice"

    and "pro-life" imply endorsement of widely held values such as liberty and freedom, while

    suggesting that the opposition must be "anti-choice" or "anti-life" (alternatively "pro-coercion" or "pro-death").[11]Terms used by some in the debate to describe their opponents

    include "pro-abortion" or "pro-abort". However, these terms do not always reflect a political

    view or fall along a binary; in one Public Religion Research Institutepoll, seven in ten

    Americans described themselves as "pro-choice" while almost two-thirds described

    themselves as "pro-life."[12]

    Appeals are often made in the abortion debate to the rights of the fetus, pregnant woman, or

    other parties. Such appeals can generate confusion if the type of rights is not specified

    (whethercivil, natural, or otherwise) or if it is simply assumedthat the right appealed to takes

    precedence over all other competing rights (an example ofbegging the question).

    The appropriate terms with which to designate the human organism prior to birth are also

    debated. The medical terms "embryo" and "fetus" are seen by some pro-life advocates as

    dehumanizing.[13][14]

    Political debate

    Politics refers to the processes, defined and limited through legal documents, by which

    decisions (laws) are made in governments. In politics, rights are the protections and

    privileges legally granted to citizens by the government. In a democracy, certain rights are

    considered to be inalienable, and thus not subject to grant or withdrawal by government.Regarding abortion law, the political debate usually surrounds a right to privacy, and when or

    how a government may regulate abortion. There is abundant debate regarding the extent of

    abortion regulation. Some pro-choice advocates argue that it should be illegal for

    governments to regulate abortion any more than other medical practices.[15]On both sides of

    the debate, some argue[who?] that governments should be permitted to prohibit elective

    abortions after the 20th week,[16] viability,[17]or the second trimester.[18]Some want to

    prohibit all abortions, starting from conception.[19]

    Privacy

    Even though the right to privacy is not explicitly stated in many constitutions of sovereignnations, many people see it as foundational to a functioning democracy. In general the right

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    to privacy can be found to rest on the provisions ofhabeas corpus, which first found official

    expression under Henry II in 11th century England, but has precedent in Anglo-Saxon law.

    This provision guarantees the right to freedom from arbitrary government interference, as

    well as due process of law. This conception of the right to privacy is operant in all countries

    which have adopted English common law through Acts of Reception. The Law of the United

    States rests on English common law by this means.

    Timehas stated that the issue of bodily privacy is "the core" of the abortion debate.[20]Time

    defined privacy, in relation to abortion, as the ability of a woman to "decide what happens to

    her own body".[20]In political terms, privacy can be understood as a condition in which one is

    not observed or disturbed by government.[21]

    Traditionally, American courts have located the right to privacy in the Fourth Amendment,

    Ninth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, as well as the penumbra of the Bill of Rights.

    The landmark decision,Roe v Waderelied on the 14th Amendment which guarantees that

    federal rights shall be applied equally to all persons born in the United States. The 14th

    Amendment has given rise to the doctrine ofSubstantive due process, which is said toguarantee various privacy rights, including the right to bodily integrity. In Canada, the courts

    have located privacy rights in the security of persons clause of the Canadian Charter of

    Rights and Freedoms. Section 7 of that charter echoes language used in the Universal

    Declaration of Human Rights, which also guarantees security of persons.

    Eileen L. McDonagh explains privacy in US law:

    Although not widely understood, there are in fact two components to the right to bodily

    integrity and liberty: the right of a person to choose how to live her own life and the right of a

    person to consent to the effects of a private party on her bodily integrity and liberty. In the

    context of constitutional guarantees, a person's right to consent to "what is done" to her body

    is an even stronger right than a person's right to choose "what to do" with her life...Since

    there are two components to the right to bodily integrity and liberty--choice and consent--

    once the state designates the fetus as an entity separate from the woman, her right to

    terminate pregnancy stems not only from her right to make a choice about her liberty, but

    more fundamentally, from her right to consent to how the fetus, as another entity, affects her

    body and liberty.[22]

    While governments are allowed to invade the privacy of their citizens in some cases, they are

    expected to protect privacy in all cases lacking a compelling state interest. In the US, the

    compelling state interest test has been developed in accordance with the standards of strictscrutiny. InRoe v Wade, the Court decided that the state has an "important and legitimate

    interest in protecting the potentiality of human life" from the point of viability on, but that

    prior to viability, the woman's fundamental rights are more compelling than that of the state.

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    Albert Wynn and Gloria Feldt at the U.S. Supreme Court to rally in support ofRoe v. Wade.

    U.S. judicial involvement

    Roe v. Wadestruck down state laws banning abortion in 1973. Over 20 cases have addressedabortion law in the United States, all of which upheldRoe v. Wade. SinceRoe, abortion has

    been legal throughout the country, but states have placed varying regulations on it, from

    requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion to restricting late-term abortions.

    Legal criticisms of theRoe decision address many points, among them are several suggesting

    that it is an overreach of judicial powers,[23]or that it was not properly based on the

    Constitution,[24]or that it is an example ofjudicial activism and that it should be overturned

    so that abortion law can be decided by legislatures.[25]Justice Potter Stewart, who joined with

    the majority, viewed theRoe opinion as "legislative" and asked that more consideration be

    paid to state legislatures.[26]

    Candidates competing for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 Presidential election cited

    Gonzales v. Carhartas judicial activism.[27]In upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act,

    Carhartis the first judicial opinion upholding a legal barrier to a specific abortion procedure.

    "Where, in the performance of its judicial duties, the Court decides a case in such a way as to

    resolve the sort of intensely divisive controversy reflected in Roe and those rare, comparable

    cases, its [505 U.S. 833, 867] decision has a dimension that the resolution of the normal case

    does not carry. It is the dimension present whenever the Court's interpretation of the

    Constitution calls the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division

    by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution [...W]hatever the premises ofopposition may be, only the most convincing justification under accepted standards of

    precedent could suffice to demonstrate that a later decision overruling the first was anything

    but a surrender to political pressure and an unjustified repudiation of the principle on which

    the Court staked its authority in the first instance." -Majority opinion ofPlanned Parenthood

    v. Casey.[28][29]

    Quite to the contrary, by foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue

    arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the

    losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a

    rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and

    intensifies the anguish [over abortion].Justice Antonin Scalia, "concurring in the judgmentin part and dissenting in part".[29]

    "No to abortion" at a 2007 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in So Paulo, Brazil.

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    Canadian judicial involvement

    Main article: Abortion in Canada

    WithR v. Morgentaler, the Supreme Court of Canada removed abortion from the Criminal

    Code. Relying on the security of person clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights andFreedoms, the court determined that, while the state has an interest in protecting the fetus "at

    some point", this interest cannot override that of the pregnant woman because: "the right to

    security of the person of a pregnant woman was infringed more than was required to achieve

    the objective of protecting the fetus, and the means were not reasonable." The only laws

    currently governing abortion in Canada are those which govern other medical procedures,

    such as those regulating licencing of facilities, the training of medical personnel, and the like.

    Because the courts did not specifically establish abortion as a right, Parliament has leave to

    legislate on this aspect of the matter; and in 1989, the Progressive Conservative government

    attempted to do just that. A bill was introduced that would allow abortion only if two doctors

    certified that the woman's health was in danger. This bill passed the House of Commons but

    was defeated by a tie vote in the Senate.

    Several additional cases have considered further issues.

    Although the courts have not ruled on the question of fetal personhood, the question has been

    raised in two cases,Tremblay v. DaigleandR. v. Sullivan. Both cases relied on the born alive

    rule, inherited from English common law, to determine that the fetus was not a person at law.

    Two further cases are notable:Dobson (Litigation Guardian of) v. Dobson, and Winnipeg

    Child & Family Services (Northwest Area) v. G . (D.F.), [I9971 3 S.C.R. 925 M, whichdismissed so-called fetal abuse charges.

    Effects of legalization/illegalization

    Pro-choice advocates argue that illegalization of abortion increases the incidence ofunsafe

    abortions, as the availability of professional abortion services decreases, and leads to

    increased maternal mortality. According to a global study collaboratively conducted by the

    World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute, most unsafe abortions occurwhere

    abortion is illegal.[30]

    The effect on crime of legalized abortion is a subject of controversy, with proponents of thetheory generally arguing that "unwanted children" are more likely to become criminals and

    that an inverse correlation is observed between the availability of abortion and subsequent

    crime.

    Economist George Akerlofhas argued that the legalization of abortion in the United States

    has contributed to the decline ofshotgun weddings even when women choose childbirth over

    abortion and thus to an increase rather than a decrease in the rate of children born to unwed

    mothers.[31]The Economic Journal,[32]

    Ethical debate

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    This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality. Discussion of

    this nomination can be found on the talk page.(January 2009)

    Main article: Philosophical aspects of the abortion debate

    Ethics refers to "moral philosophy", or the study ofvalues and the analysis ofright andwrong. The ethical debate over abortion usually surrounds the issues of whether a fetus has

    rights, in particular a right to life, and whether the pregnant woman's rights over her own

    body justify abortion even ifthe fetus has a right to life. For many, there is a strong

    association between religion and abortion ethics.

    Ethical question regarding abortion usually include:

    Are embryos, zygotes and fetuses "persons" worthy of legal protections? Should thepotentialto be a person give embryos, zygotes and fetuses a right to life? Does a fetus gain rights as it gets closer to birth? Does a woman have an absolute right to determine what happens in and to her body? Is abortion acceptable in cases of rape, incest, or contraception failure? Is abortion acceptable in cases where the fetus is deformed? Is abortion acceptable in cases where if the pregnancy were to continue, it would pose

    a direct threat to the life of the mother?[33][34]

    Question of personhood

    Establishing the point in time when a zygote/embryo/fetus becomes a "person" is open to

    debate since the definition ofpersonhood is not universally agreed upon.

    Philosophers have traditionally declared that some characteristic of reason ought to be

    included in the definition of person, and the term "person" is not defined in standard science

    texts. Peter Singerargued that something can only be a person if it is self-aware and has

    temporal awareness. Therefore, abortion is morally acceptable, because a fetus does not meet

    this definition of personhood. Singer also concluded that infanticide would be permissible

    until the 3rd month after birth, because, at that point, self-awareness has still not been

    acquired.[35]

    Additionally, the term "person" has many different definitions in law, specifically with

    children being defined in many ways. For instance, children are not considered persons until

    they reach the age of majority and are able to enter into legally binding contracts and sue orbe sued. For the purposes of Offenses against the person law, however, they are considered to

    be persons. According to Bouvier's Law Dictionary[36]in 1839, women, children, and slaves

    were considered persons, but with various limitations. Today, only children have limited

    personhood under the law. If the fetus is a person in some sense, it is nonetheless living

    inside the body of someone who is a full person at law.

    Debates within the abortion debate

    Many of the views in favor of and against the right to abortion are framed in the context of

    other debates whose arguments and implications relate directly to the topic of abortion.

    Fetal pain debate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_viewhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_viewhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Abortion_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_aspects_of_the_abortion_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethicshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_philosophyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valueshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_and_wronghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_and_wronghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rightshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_lifehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_lifehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-routledge-33http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-routledge-33http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-routledge-33http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beginning_of_human_personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singerhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awarenesshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetushttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticidehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-35http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-35http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-35http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouvier%27s_Law_Dictionaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouvier%27s_Law_Dictionaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouvier%27s_Law_Dictionaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouvier%27s_Law_Dictionaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouvier%27s_Law_Dictionaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-35http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticidehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetushttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awarenesshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singerhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beginning_of_human_personhoodhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-routledge-33http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-routledge-33http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_lifehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_abortionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_lifehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rightshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_and_wronghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_and_wronghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valueshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_philosophyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethicshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_aspects_of_the_abortion_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Abortion_debatehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view
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    Main article: Neonatal perception

    This section is outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly

    available information. (December 2011)

    Fetal pain, its existence, and its implications are part of a larger debate about abortion. Manyresearchers in the area of fetal development believe that a fetus is unlikely to feel pain until

    after the sixth month of pregnancy.[37]Developmental neurobiologists suspect that the

    establishment ofthalamocortical connections (at about 26 weeks) may be critical to fetal

    perception of pain.[38]However, legislation has been proposed by anti-abortion advocates

    requiring abortion providers to tell a woman that the fetus may feel pain during an abortion

    procedure.[39]

    A review by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco inJAMAconcluded

    that data from dozens of medical reports and studies indicate that fetuses are unlikely to feel

    pain until the third trimesterof pregnancy.

    [40]

    However a number of medical critics havesince disputed these conclusions.[37][41]Other researchers such as Anand and Fisk have

    challenged the idea that pain cannot be felt before 26 weeks, positing instead that pain can be

    felt at around 20 weeks.[42]Anand's suggestion is disputed in a March 2010 report on Fetal

    Awarenesspublished by a working party of the Royal College of Obstetricians and

    Gynaecologists, citing a lack of evidence or rationale. Page 20 of the report definitively states

    that the fetus cannot feel pain prior to week 24. Because pain can involve sensory, emotional

    and cognitive factors, leaving it "impossible to know" when painful experiences are

    perceived, even if it is known when thalamocortical connections are established.[43]

    Wendy Savage Press officer, Doctors for a Womans Choice on Abortion, considers the

    question to be irrelevant. In a letter to theBritish Medical Journal, April 1997, she noted thatthe majority of surgical abortions in Britain are already performed under general anesthesia

    which affects the fetus, and considers the discussion "to be unhelpful to women and to the

    scientific debate." Others caution against unnecessary use of fetal anesthetic during abortion,

    as it poses potential health risks to the pregnant woman.[40]David Mellor and colleagues have

    noted that the fetal brain is already awash in naturally occurring chemicals that keep it

    sedated and anesthetized until birth.[44]At least one anesthesia researcher has suggested the

    fetal pain legislation may make abortions harder to obtain because abortion clinics lack the

    equipment and expertise to supply fetal anesthesia. Currently, anesthesia is administered

    directly to fetuses only while they are undergoing surgery.[45]

    Fetal personhood debate

    Main article: Beginning of human personhood

    Although the two main sides of the abortion debate tend to agree that fetuses are biologically

    and genetically human (that is, of the human species), they often differ in their view on

    whether or not a fetus is, in any of various ways, aperson. Pro-life supporters argue that

    abortion is morally wrong on the basis that a fetus is an innocent human person[46]or because

    a fetus is a potential life that will, in most cases, develop into a fully functional human

    being.[47]Others reject this position by drawing a distinction between human beingand

    human person, arguing that while the fetus is innocentand biologically human, it is not a

    person with a right to life.[48]In support of this distinction, some propose a list of criteria asmarkers ofpersonhood. For example, Mary Ann Warren suggests consciousness (at least the

    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    capacity to feel pain), reasoning, self-motivation, the ability to communicate, and self-

    awareness.[49]According to Warren, a being need not exhibit all of these criteria to qualify as

    a person with a right to life, but if a being exhibits none of them (or perhaps only one), then it

    is certainly not a person. Warren concludes that as the fetus satisfies only one criterion,

    consciousness (and this only after it becomes susceptible to pain),[50]the fetus is not a person

    and abortion is therefore morally permissible. Other philosophers apply similar criteria,concluding that a fetus lacks a right to life because it lacks brain waves or higher brain

    function,[51]self-consciousness,[52]rationality,[53]and autonomy.[54]These lists diverge over

    precisely which features confer a right to life,[55]but tend to propose various developed

    psychological or physiological features not found in fetuses.

    Critics of this typically argue that some of the proposed criteria for personhood would

    disqualify two classes ofborn human beingsreversibly comatosepatients, and human

    infantsfrom having a right to life, since they, like fetuses, are not self-conscious, do not

    communicate, and so on.[56]Defenders of the proposed criteria may respond that the

    reversibly comatose do satisfy the relevant criteria because they "retain all theirunconscious

    mental states".[57]or at least some higher brain function (brain waves). Warren concedes thatinfants are not "persons" by her proposed criteria,[58]and on that basis she and others concede

    that infanticide could be morally acceptable under some circumstances (for example if theinfant is severely disabled[59]or in order to save the lives of several other infants[60]). Critics

    may see such concessions as an indication that the right to life cannot be adequately defined

    by reference to developed psychological features.

    An alternative approach is to base personhood or the right to life on a being's naturalor

    inherentcapacities. On this approach, a being essentially has a right to life if it has a natural

    capacity to develop the relevant psychological features; and, since human beings do have this

    natural capacity, they essentially have a right to life beginning at conception (or whenever

    they come into existence).[61]Critics of this position argue that mere genetic potential is not a

    plausible basis for respect (or for the right to life), and that basing a right to life on natural

    capacities would lead to the counterintuitive position that anencephalic infants, irreversibly

    comatose patients, and brain-dead patients kept alive on a medical ventilator, are all persons

    with a right to life.[62]Respondents to this criticism argue that the noted human cases in fact

    would not be classified as persons as they do not have a natural capacity to develop any

    psychological features.[63][64][65]Also, in a view that favors benefiting even unconceived but

    potential future persons, it has been argued as justified to abort an unintended pregnancy in

    favor for conceiving a new child later in better conditions.[66]

    Members ofBound4LIFE in Washington, D.C. symbolically cover their mouths with red

    tape.

    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ia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-54http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-53http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-52http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-51http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_oscillationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-50http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_painhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate#cite_note-49http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-awarenesshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-awarenesshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Self-motivation&action=edit&redlink=1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasoning
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    Philosophers such as Aquinas use the concept ofindividuation. They argue that abortion is

    not permissible from the point at which individual human identity is realised. Anthony Kenny

    argues that this can be derived from everyday beliefs and language and one can legitimately

    say "if my mother had had an abortion six months into her pregnancy, she would have killed

    me" then one can reasonably infer that at six months the "me" in question would have been

    an existing person with a valid claim to life. Since division of the zygote into twins throughthe process ofmonozygotic twinning can occur until the fourteenth day of pregnancy, Kenny

    argues that individual identity is obtained at this point and thus abortion is not permissible

    after two weeks.[67]

    Arguments in favor of the right to abortion

    Bodily rights

    An argument first presented by Judith Jarvis Thomson states that even ifthe fetus has a right

    to life, abortion is morally permissible because a woman has a right to control her own body.

    Thomson's variant of this argument draws an analogy between forcing a woman to continue

    an unwanted pregnancy and forcing a person's body to be used as a dialysis machine for

    another person suffering from kidney failure. It is argued that just as it would be permissible

    to "unplug" and thereby cause the death of the person who is using one's kidneys, so it is

    permissible to abort the fetus (who similarly, it is said, has no right to use one's body against

    one's will).

    Critics of this argument generally argue that there are morally relevant disanalogies between

    abortion and the kidney failure scenario. For example, it is argued that the fetus is the

    woman's child as opposed to a mere stranger;[68]that abortion kills the fetus rather than

    merely letting it die;

    [69]

    and that in the case of pregnancy arising from voluntary intercourse,the woman has either tacitly consented to the fetus using her body,[70]or has a duty to allow it

    to use her body since she herself is responsible for its need to use her body.[71]Some writers

    defend the analogy against these objections, arguing that the disanalogies are morally

    irrelevant or do not apply to abortion in the way critics have claimed.[72]

    Alternative scenarios have been put forth as more accurate and realistic representations of the

    moral issues present in abortion. John Noonanproposes the scenario of a family who was

    found to be liable for frostbite finger loss suffered by a dinner guest whom they refused to

    allow to stay overnight, although it was very cold outside and the guest showed signs of

    being sick. It is argued that just as it would not be permissible to refuse temporary

    accommodation for the guest to protect him from physical harm, it would not be permissibleto refuse temporary accommodation of a fetus.[73]

    Other critics claim that there is a difference between artificial and extraordinary means of

    preservation, such as medical treatment, kidney dialysis, and blood transfusions, and normal

    and natural means of preservation, such as gestation, childbirth, and breastfeeding. They

    argue that if a baby was born into an environment in which there was no replacement

    available for her mother's breast milk, and the baby would either breastfeed or starve, the

    mother would have to allow the baby to breastfeed. But the mother would never have to give

    the baby a blood transfusion, no matter what the circumstances were. The difference between

    breastfeeding in that scenario and blood transfusions is the difference between using your

    body as a kidney dialysis machine, and gestation and childbirth.[74][75][76][77][78][79]

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  • 7/30/2019 Abortion - Pros and Cons

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    Sexual emancipation and equality

    Margaret Sanger wrote: "No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously

    whether she will or will not be a mother."[80]Denying the right to abortion can be construed

    from this perspective as a form offemale oppression under a patriarchal system, perpetuating

    inequality between the sexes. Among pro-choice advocates, sexual-equality discussion ofteninvolves the additional debate regarding to what degree the potential father should have a

    choice in deciding whether or not to abort the developing child.[citation needed]

    Arguments against the right to abortion

    Discrimination

    The bookAbortion and the Conscience of the Nation presents the argument that abortion

    involves unjust discrimination against the unborn. According to this argument, those who

    deny that fetuses have a right to life do not value allhuman life, but instead select arbitrary

    characteristics (such as particular levels of physical or psychological development) as giving

    some human beings more value or rights than others.[81]

    In contrast, philosophers who define the right to life by reference to particular levels of

    physical or psychological development typically maintain that such characteristics are

    morally relevant,[82]and reject the assumption that all human life necessarily has value (or

    that membership in the speciesHomo sapiensis in itself morally relevant).[83]

    Deprivation

    Further information: Philosophical aspects of the abortion debate

    The argument of deprivation states that abortion is morally wrong because it deprives the

    fetus of a valuable future.[84]On this account, killing an adulthuman being is wrong because

    it deprives the victim of afuture like oursa future containing highly valuable or desirable

    experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments.[85]If a being has such a future, then

    (according to the argument) killing that being would seriously harm it and hence would be

    seriously wrong.[86]But since a fetus does have such a future, the "overwhelming majority" of

    deliberate abortions are placed in the "same moral category" as killing an innocent adult

    human being.[87]Not allabortions are unjustified according to this argument: abortion would

    be justified if the same justification could be applied to killing an adult human.

    Criticism of this line of reasoning follows several threads. Some reject the argument on

    grounds relating to personal identity, holding that the fetus is not the same entity as the adult

    into which it will develop, and thus that the fetus does not have a "future like ours" in the

    required sense.[88]Others grant that the fetus has a future like ours, but argue that being

    deprived of this future is not a significant harm or a significant wrong to the fetus, because

    there are relatively fewpsychological connections (continuations of memory, belief, desire

    and the like) between the fetus as it is now and the adult into which it will develop .[89]

    Another criticism is that the argument creates inequalities in the wrongness of killing:[90]as

    the futures of some people appear to be far more valuable or desirable than the futures of

    other people, the argument appears to entail that some killings are far more wrongthan

    others, or that some people have a far strongerright to life than othersa conclusion that istaken to be counterintuitive or unacceptable.

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