A Question of if a Fetus is not a Person

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Abortion is a word that many people associate with negative thoughts and feelings. It is the act of terminating a woman’s pregnancy, this can occur for many reasons. Often times this word will bring strong emotion and opposition out of people. Conservatives, older generations, as well as some in the newer generations fight against abortion in their pro-life movement. What if this fighting actually was hurting American women more than helping out anyone, including the fetus involved? These are the ideas everyone needs to consider in the USA. Just in 2014 alone there were 926,000 terminations (Jones 58). Furthermore, three in ten women will get at least one abortion by the age 45 (Medoff 158). These statistics show that in the United States alone, many women will get at least one pregnancy terminated. If abortion is criminalized, then that is potentially one million women who could die from an undocumented surgery, or one million children who could end up in orphanages. Abortion, whether early or late term, should never be criminalized because it can lead to an increase in women dying, more children in orphanages, and can also lead to babies being born with major abnormalities that could suffer in life.

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Even though abortion is sometimes necessary, there will always be people against it. Many reasons exist as to why people hate it, stemming from political stance all the way to the simple argument of “whether or not the fetus is a person” (Medoff 159). Another huge argument of pro-life supporters is that “the fetus is a person with the same legal and moral rights as a “living” person” and if a fetus is aborted, it is similar to that of murder (Medoff 159). These two arguments are quite often heard in the anti-abortion community, and while terminating a fetus is still destroying its genetic coding and everything it will develop into, it still has yet to become a physical being in any way, making it less of a person and more of just scaffolding for a baby. Additionally, what a person’s political stance is might also contribute to if they oppose abortion. Elvira Prusacyzk states that “higher levels of political conservatism (vs. liberalism) are more likely to oppose abortion” (432). The further right you go on the political spectrum the more pro-life arguments you will see. This is because more conservatives have, what they deem as, strong morals and will try to uphold them greatly. However you look at it, pregnancy termination will always seem bad at the surface. With early abortions, the genes, some chromosomes, and all other types of coding are being exterminated. Termination of pregnancies is more than a skin deep argument, and even though you are killing a potential child, there are many reasons why abortion can be good, including for the child’s sake.

Abortion can be used to give a second chance to many United States citizens, men and women alike. As many US women use contraception, there is still a likelihood to get impregnated, and without access to pregnancy terminations, many women would have to give up their careers or education to take care of an accidental baby (Jones 60). In fact, the most common reason for abortion is that “having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work, or ability to care for dependents”; this reasoning takes up about 74% of all abortions (Finer 110). Having abortions as an option helps women greatly, because if somehow they get pregnant they don’t have to give up their educations or lives to tend to the child. This can potentially help women and families who need the education to get a decent job, so instead of being forced to give up and take a low wage job, working 60 or more hours a week, they can still get their education and get a career that pays a decent salary. The majority of abortions happen because the child would greatly interfere with the mother’s life and prevent her from doing necessary things, such as school, to get a career started, so she isn’t living paycheck to paycheck or in poverty.

Terminating pregnancies sometimes can take the suffering out of a child’s life, and can help the mother not worry about their severely disabled fetus. The ultrasounds and tests administered to a pregnant woman can “screen for a range of genetic diseases”, after these tests, the woman, or couple, can see if the child would suffer in its life, and decided to either keep it and let it suffer, or terminate it and put it to rest; this is called “selective abortion” (LeDuc 23). Most of the time, these decisions happen after 13 weeks or later in gestation (Finer 117). While some people think it is morally wrong, or puts the connotation that disabled people aren’t worth much, it is very much a positive act. Instead of a child suffering from a life altering disability, they just are put to sleep, so they have no hardships or rough times due to their disability. Furthermore, this act can help the parents keep peace in their lives, as they don’t have to worry about accommodating a severely disabled child or worry about their spawn getting bullied or harassed because of said disability. Terminating a pregnancy can help the parents and baby a fair amount, if the kid has a severe life altering, or life threatening, disability, then the abortion can end it before the fetus has to go through a lot of suffering.

Feticide is a medical practice that is sometimes absolutely essential for an expecting mother. While a medically necessary abortion is a small category of reasoning in the vast majority of the million terminations each year, it still is a reason that has to be considered (Finer 110). About 13% of fetus exterminations happen because women are concerned for the health of the baby, while about 12% of females also worry about their own health (Finer 112). The moment a child is formed in the womb, there can be a number of diseases or illnesses than can affect the fetus’ health drastically. This information should be enough to help guide a woman to a good decision. If the baby won’t suffer, then there should be no unnecessary abortion, assuming it is an intended pregnancy. However, if the child will be born and suffer in their lifetime from such a genetic illness, it is cause for pregnancy termination, and should never be frowned upon, or outlawed by any means. Another way to look at it is that the mother is bringing the baby into this world, so if her health is at a major risk, it is only fair to abort the kid to keep the mother alive and well. A fetus can develop many diseases and illnesses in the womb, and it’s up to the mother to decide what would be best for the baby, living or extermination.

Poverty is something many people see or are affected by to some degree in their lifetime. From generation to generation, poverty maintains a vicious cycle in many families. One method that humans can use to progress into leaving the cycle is not having children. Without kids, many single mothers and families can use that money to better their own lives before they have someone else to take care of. Abortions carry a lot of weight in these families, without it, they may end up more poor and can possibly keep the cycle going. According to Lawrence B Finer, around 73% of women who had a pregnancy terminated did so because they could not afford a baby. Most of the women who cited that they could not afford a child were very poor and unemployed, in contrast, if abortion were illegal, these women would be forced to have a child and they would get welfare assistance, ultimately “sitting on [their] welfare, taking care of [their] baby” and “take[ing] your money.” (Finer 115). In addition to this, most women who graduated from college have a lower chance of having a previous abortion than those with just a high school diploma (Jones 60). These show that when people can start their careers and try to succeed without any dependents, they are less likely to abort a child. Everything translates into positives when it comes to poverty and abortions. It is quintessential for most of the people living in the slums, and has a chance to lessen the poverty population by getting rid of another expensive factor. Being poor and having a baby is very costly and there is very little chance that any parents who had kids in poverty will break out of the cycle anytime soon, without babies, that’s just one less expensive bill they all don’t have to worry about if they choose not to.

Overall, terminating pregnancies is not a heinous crime or slaughter. Access to abortions, even late term, can drastically benefit women and families all over the United States. The benefits range from giving a woman a second chance, all the way to making sure a severely disabled baby doesn’t suffer in their lifetime. There should not be laws against abortion, nor should people hate those who do decide to walk that path. Feticide can help different people in different ways, and in the land that is marked as free, there should not be restrictions made to punish those who don’t want a child, after all, you never know what circumstance a person is in. Let pregnancy termination be a choice, it could help many people who may need it.    

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