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The Pros and Cons of Legalized Abortion, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 941

Essay

Abstract

This brief study examines the issue of whether abortion should be legal. Opponents and proponents of abortion have engaged in heated debate and across many years with many valid reasons being stated both for and against the practice of abortion. Abortion should be legal for many pertinent reasons and one of the most important reasons is when abortion is legal, crimes are reduced.

Introduction

This brief study examines the issue of whether abortion should be legal. Opponents and proponents of abortion have engaged in heated debate and across many years with many valid reasons being stated both for and against the practice of abortion. Abortion should be legal for many pertinent reasons and one of the most important reasons is when abortion is legal, crimes are reduced.

Number One Reason for Legalized Abortion

The Planned Parenthood Federal of America has stated that there are nine reasons that abortion should be legal. Abortion, “is never an easy decision, but women have been making that choice for thousands of years, for many good reasons.” (Chisholm, 2011) There are many reason for legalized abortion and some of those include the fact that laws against abortion result in the death of many women because when a woman feels that an abortion is necessary, they will choose to have the abortion and proceed to do so in the absence of medical care and in circumstances that are highly dangerous and life-threatening. Nearly one million women each year sought out illegal abortions in the twenty years before abortion were legal and thousands of those women died while tens of thousands of those women were mutilated.

The Living Child Considered Before the Unborn Child

Among the reasons for supporting legalized abortion is the fact that legal abortions protect the health of women and the fact that a women is “more than a fetus” (Chisholm, 2011). Some women who seek abortions are told that carrying a child full-term will likely result in their death. In this type of instance, many of these women already have children and the choice that they make when seeking an abortion is to put the living before the unborn. While indeed abortion ends the life of the unborn child how much more tragic would be to end the life of someone who is a mother of three living children. Indeed, the choice while difficult is a clear choice in this case. Another stated reason that abortion should not be outlawed is the fact that this often results in children bearing children as statistics show that approximately 40% of girls 14 years of age will become pregnant before the age of 20. The question which presents is “should the penalty for lack of knowledge or even a moment’s carelessness be enforced pregnancy and child rearing? (Chisholm, 2011)

Illegal Abortion is Discriminatory

One reason stated by the Planned Parenthood Federation of American for legalized abortion is that making abortion illegal is discriminatory. Stated specifically is that outlawing of abortion results in laws that “discriminate against low-income women, who are driven to dangerous self-induced or back-alley abortions.” (Chisholm, 2011) Low-income individuals cannot afford other options however; those with money “can travel wherever necessary to obtain a safe abortion.” (Chisholm, 2011)

Legalized Abortion Reduces Crime

The work of Donohue and Levitt (2001) reports evidence that legalized abortion “has contributed significantly to recent crime reductions.” It is specifically reported that in five states allowing abortion in 1970 that declines in the number of crimes experienced was realized earlier than other states that legalized abortion in 1970 with Roe v. Wade. This is reputed in the work of Joyce (2001) which examines the relationship between legalized abortion and decreases in crime reporting, “the association between abortion and crime is not causal.” However, in a 2004 work entitled “Further Evidence that Legalized Abortion Lowered Crime: A Reply to Joyce” it is reported that when viewing the states “over time, the negative relationship between abortion exposures and crime emerges even more strongly in the cohorts born immediately before and after Roe than it does in the sample as a whole. Indeed the results we present in this reply represent some of the strongest evidence to date in favor of the hypothesis that abortion legalization has dampened crime.” (Donohue and Levitt, 2004)

Reasons Cited to Support Illegal Abortion

Just as there are reasons that abortion should be legal there are reasons stated to support abortion being illegal. Included among those reasons are such as the following: (1) Abortion ends a life; (2) The child is given no choice; (3) Adoption is an option; (4) psychological damage to the mother; (5) abortion is against the Hippocratic Oath of doctors.

Summary and Conclusion

This work in writing has examined the issue of abortion and specifically whether abortion should be legal. This work has clearly demonstrated that there are very good reasons that abortion should be legal and among these reasons is the fact that when abortions are legal, the crimes that occur are reduced. Added to this, the woman should have the right to make this choice for herself and should not have to resort to back-alley or self-induced abortions which are life threatening and are considered to be a crime in areas where abortion is not legal.

References

Chisholm, K. (2011) Nine Reasons Why Abortions Are Legal. Livestrong. Retrieved from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/13934-nine-reasons-why-abortions-are-legal/

Donohue, J. and Levitt, SD (2001) The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime. Quarterly Journal of Economics CXVI.2 (2001). Retrieved from: http://works.bepress.com/john_donohue/8

Donohue, JJ and Levitt, SD (2004) Further Evidence that Legalized Abortion Lower Crime: A Reply to Joyce. Selected Works. Dec 2004. Retrieved from: http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=john_donohue&sei-redir=1#search=%22Should%20abortion%20legalized%3F%22

Joyce, T. (2001) Did Legalized Abortion Lower Crime? NBER Working Paper No. 8319 June 2001. The National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8319

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