People who advocate for a woman’s right to decide the fate of her own pregnancy like to believe that they are advocating for women’s empowerment. Instead, they are indirect participants in an act that hurts women. According to the World Almanac Education Group (WAEG), an abortion is defined as, “the termination of pregnancy before the embryo or fetus is able to live outside the uterus” (2014) There are a few sub-terms to keep in mind when discussing this subject. For instance, a complete abortion involves the expelling of the tissues surrounding the embryo or fetus in addition to removing the fetus. (WAEG) An induced abortion is different in that it involves a surgical procedure or a drug such as RU-486, or mifepristone. The intent of an induced abortion is to terminate a pregnancy. The FDA approved this method in the U.S. twelve years after it was launched in France, 1988. If the body spontaneously aborted the pregnancy, then the woman has suffered a miscarriage. Lastly, if the pregnancy is going poorly to the extreme of threatening the life of the mother, doctors can perform a therapeutic abortion. Late-term abortion is a procedure that terminates the pregnancy at a later stage. (The World Almanac)
The issue of what a woman should have a right to do with her body and pregnancy was immensely controversial in U.S. history. People who were pro-abortion felt that a woman was the sole decision-maker over the outcome of a pregnancy. Those who opposed a woman’s right to make this decision referred to themselves as pro-life activists. They believe that life begins in the moment of conception and the ability of the fetus to live outside of the mother’s womb is irrelevant to the fact that abortion is murder. (WAEG) The law of Roe vs. Wade was at the heart of this controversy. The Supreme Court stated in 1973 after this famous case that “that the right of privacy protected a woman’s right to end an unwanted pregnancy before the fetus has developed the capacity for viability outside the womb—usually construed as 24 weeks after conception.” (WAEG) Individual states set the terms under which legal abortions can be obtained by women after the threshold of viability. After carefully considering the viewpoints on both sides of the issue, the most logical conclusion is that abortion is harmful. In agreement with a few prominent historical women, abortion violently assaults a woman’s power. Abortion also violates the unborn baby and feeds a money-hungry organization.
A few famous women quickly recognized how abortion serves to attack a woman’s power, rather than bolster it. For example, Mary Wollstonecraft spoke against people who “either destroy the embryo in the womb or cast it off when born,” (Foster) She focused on the laws of nature and warned that consequences for violating nature are inevitable. Foster, another pro-life activist pointed out that at one time, women in the U.S. struggled for all the freedoms they enjoy today. In fact, there was a problem with men raping their wives, causing unplanned pregnancies. Despite this being a reality of the past (along with other suppressive laws against women’s rights), Foster believed in the worth of all human lives including those that were yet to be born. Susan B. Anthony was a pioneer of women’s rights. In 1870 she denounced abortion doctors by calling them child murderers. She had envisioned a time when mothers will not be shamed for being unwed and babies will not be denied the right to be born. (Foster)
The physical act of abortion involves a woman casting power over her body into the hands of a doctor. At the same time, the doctor imposes upon a defenseless baby. As witnessed by a medical student, a baby is ripped out of the woman through a tube connected to metal instruments. These things are pushed into her most intimate areas while she lays anesthetized on a table. This is not a description of female empowerment. Pro-choice advocates dismiss the fact that women who get abortions are robbing their babies of the same rights they demand to have for themselves. Babies have bodily autonomy no matter what stage of life they exist in. Students who have witnessed abortions observed that the baby had developed vital organs, a definitive gender. Once student said tearfully, “The vacuum filter was opened, and the tiny arms and legs that had been torn off the fetus were accounted for.” (Terzo) The babies that are ripped out of women by proud doctors are indeed human beings whose rights were violated. The one person who should have protected them was the mother. Instead, she handed herself over to butchering doctors who didn’t respect her body or that of the baby’s.
Every vulnerable living thing has a vulture circling overhead. This is symbolic of an organization called Planned Parenthood. One author exposed an awful truth. The Center for Medical Progress revealed the willingness of Planned Parenthood to sell fetal body parts for profit. (Blair) Whether, or not women are aware of it, they are actually victims (along with their babies). As one author stated, easy access to abortions makes it easier for boyfriends and family members to pressure women who do not want an abortion. (Munson) It is impossible to be mentally prepared for the full avalanche of emotions that follow an abortion. Women can suffer from unbearable guilt. No matter who claims to be her support person, the anguish is hers alone to suffer. Planned Parenthood hands her a few pads to wear, a little pamphlet, takes her money and sends her off so they can get all their tools of evil ready for the next victim.
In case the message didn’t come across clearly in paragraphs prior, abortion is violent. In the eyes of John O’Keefe, it is no less violent than the killings that took his brother’s life in Vietnam. Mason wrote about John O’Keefe become a pro-life activist after seeing his friend Suzanne terminate her pregnancy. Death in the womb, according to John is the same as death during war. Wars are violent as is the experience a baby suffers during an abortion. (Mason 12) The failure of a woman (who wants an abortion) to see this as an act of violence does not change the truth of the matter. On the surface, it seems self-inflicting when a woman willingly climbs aboard that surgical table. However, she is not acting alone. The person who has her disrobe and open her flesh to this procedure is just as guilty of murder as the mother. This includes the nursing staff, doctors, anesthesiologists, administrators and the billing department. Everyone has a bloody hand in the perpetration against innocent, infant lives. The end-result, is that the woman becomes a victim. She is a victim to her own failure to seek a life-giving alternative for her baby. She is a victim to the so-called pro-choice facility that profited from her decision.
In conclusion, abortion is wrong because it victimizes women and babies, rather than protecting their lives and health. It is not hard to find support for this argument. In October of 2003, the U.S. Senate passed a bill opposing the late-term abortion known as, Partial-Birth Abortion. (World Almanac) Abortion was rejected by prominent female figures in American history and present-day medical students. Pro-choice advocates, including organizations like Planned Parenthood act with selfish agendas. Individual people who are in favor of abortion believe that the woman should have power over her own body. This hypocritical notion dismisses the baby’s right to be born, rather than have its life vacuumed away. Their agenda includes no concern for the physical and mental health of women. As a last sentiment, abortion has become an easy-way-out after improper planning. The pregnancy is viewed as an inconvenient consequence, rather than a glorious blessing. Abortion dehumanizes women, desensitizes men and normalizes something that is totally inhumane. Abortion represents disregard for women’s health and being responsible for one’s sexual behavior.
- “Abortion.” Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (2016): 1p. 1. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.
- Bair, Andrew. “Counting Down The Pro-Life Highlights Of 2015.” National Right To Life News (2016): 1. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2016
- Foster, Serrin M. “The Feminist Case Against Abortion: recovering the pro-life roots of the women’s movement.” America 2015: 14. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2016
- Mason, Carol. Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro-life Politics. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2002.
- Munson, Ziad W. The Making of Pro-life Activists: How Social Movement Mobilization Works. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2008.
- Terzo, Sarah. “Medical Student Confronts Abortion, Becomes Pro-Life.” National Right To Life News (2016): 36. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 4 Nov. 2016
- The World Almanac. “The World Almanac – Newsletter Archive.” The World Almanac, World Almanac An Infobase Learning Company, 2016, www.worldalmanac.com/wa-newsletter.aspx?show=200311. Accessed 27 Nov. 2016.