Home — Essay Samples — Social Issues — Abortion — Why Abortion Should Be Legalized

test_template

Why Abortion Should Be Legalized

  • Categories: Abortion Pro Choice (Abortion) Women's Health

About this sample

close

Words: 1331 |

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Words: 1331 | Pages: 3 | 7 min read

Table of contents

Introduction, why abortion should be legal.

  • Gipson, J. D., Hirz, A. E., & Avila, J. L. (2011). Perceptions and practices of illegal abortion among urban young adults in the Philippines: a qualitative study. Studies in family planning, 42(4), 261-272. (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2011.00289.x)
  • Finer, L. B., & Hussain, R. (2013). Unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion in the Philippines: context and consequences. (https://www.guttmacher.org/report/unintended-pregnancy-and-unsafe-abortion-philippines-context-and-consequences?ref=vidupdatez.com/image)
  • Flavier, J. M., & Chen, C. H. (1980). Induced abortion in rural villages of Cavite, the Philippines: Knowledge, attitudes, and practice. Studies in family planning, 65-71. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/1965798)
  • Gallen, M. (1979). Abortion choices in the Philippines. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-biosocial-science/article/abs/abortion-choices-in-the-philippines/853B8B71F95FEBDD0D88AB65E8364509 Journal of Biosocial Science, 11(3), 281-288.
  • Holgersson, K. (2012). Is There Anybody Out There?: Illegal Abortion, Social Work, Advocacy and Interventions in the Philippines. (https://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A574793&dswid=4931)

Image of Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Let us write you an essay from scratch

  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours

Get high-quality help

author

Dr. Heisenberg

Verified writer

  • Expert in: Social Issues Nursing & Health

writer

+ 120 experts online

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy . We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

No need to pay just yet!

Related Essays

3 pages / 1190 words

3 pages / 1295 words

4 pages / 1647 words

1 pages / 487 words

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

121 writers online

Why Abortion Should Be Legalized Essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled

Related Essays on Abortion

Overall, the arguments and evidence against abortion are significant and compelling. Not only is it a violation of human and fetal rights, but it also has physical, psychological, social, and economic ramifications. While this [...]

It is crucial to understand and critically examine the topic of abortion rights. This contentious issue has been a subject of debate and controversy for decades, with individuals holding strong opinions on both sides of the [...]

Abortion has been a highly contentious issue in political, social, and moral debates for decades. While some argue for the right to choose, others vehemently oppose the practice on religious and ethical grounds. This essay will [...]

Abortion is a highly controversial topic that has sparked intense debate and divided public opinion for decades. While some argue that it is a woman's right to choose, others believe that it is morally and ethically wrong. In [...]

Adopting a pro-choice perspective on abortion is crucial for upholding women's bodily autonomy, promoting their reproductive rights, and ensuring their overall well-being. By recognizing the detrimental consequences of [...]

Abortion is a highly controversial and divisive topic that has sparked passionate debates for decades. From moral and ethical considerations to legal and political implications, the issue of abortion is complex and multifaceted, [...]

Related Topics

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement . We will occasionally send you account related emails.

Where do you want us to send this sample?

By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Be careful. This essay is not unique

This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

Download this Sample

Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts

Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

Please check your inbox.

We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!

Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

We use cookies to personalyze your web-site experience. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .

  • Instructions Followed To The Letter
  • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
  • Unique And Plagiarism Free

legalising abortion argumentative essay

The Importance of Women’s Choice: Exploring the Reasons Why Abortion Should Be Legal Essay

Abortion has been a highly debated topic for many years, with varying opinions on the subject. While some argue that abortion should be illegal, others believe that women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and that abortion should be legal. This issue is particularly relevant in today’s society, and if you want to have a boost in this topic, read this essay, written by a custom essay writing service .

In this why should abortion be made legal essay, a few reasons why abortion should be legal, including women’s right to choose, safety and regulation, the reduction of unwanted pregnancies, preventing children from being born into unsafe environments, and reducing stigma and shame.

Examining Whether Abortion Should Be Legal

Abortion is a highly controversial and emotional topic that has been debated for decades. The argument over whether or not it should be legal continues to spark intense discussions in politics, religion, and society. On the one hand, opponents of abortion argue that it is morally wrong and violates the sanctity of life. On the other hand, proponents of abortion argue that women have the right to make their own choices about their bodies and that banning abortion puts women’s health and safety at risk.

Women’s Right to Choose

Firstly, women have the right to make their own choices about their bodies. This includes the right to choose whether or not to have a child. By making abortion illegal, we are denying women this basic human right. Women should have the ability to make choices about their own lives, including having an abortion if they so choose.

Safety and Regulation

Secondly, banning abortion does not stop it from happening. When abortion is illegal, it is often done in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, leading to health complications and even death. Legalizing abortion would help to ensure that it is done in a safe and regulated environment, reducing the risk of complications.

Reduction of Unwanted Pregnancies

Thirdly, legalizing abortion can reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. This is because women who have access to safe and legal abortions are more likely to use contraception to prevent future unwanted pregnancies. Additionally, by providing access to education about contraception and family planning, we can help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and the need for abortion.

Preventing Children from Being Born into Unsafe Environments

Fourthly, legalizing abortion can help reduce the number of children born into poverty or abusive households. Women who are unable to care for a child may choose to have an abortion rather than bring a child into an environment that is not safe or stable. By allowing women to make this choice, we can help prevent children from being born into situations where they may not receive the care and support they need.

Reducing Stigma and Shame

Legalizing abortion can help reduce the stigma and shame surrounding the topic. Women who have had abortions often face discrimination and judgment from others, which can lead to feelings of shame and isolation. By legalizing abortion, we can help reduce this stigma and create a more supportive and accepting environment for women who have made this choice.

The debate around whether abortion should be legal continues to be a divisive issue. However, the reasons why abortion should be legal are compelling and numerous. By legalizing abortion, we can ensure that women have access to safe and regulated procedures, reducing the risk of complications and even death. Additionally, women should have the right to make choices about their own bodies, which includes the right to choose whether or not to have a child. Legalizing abortion can also help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and prevent children from being born into unsafe or unstable environments. Finally, reducing the stigma and shame surrounding the topic can create a more supportive and accepting environment for women who have made this choice.

Ultimately, it is important to prioritize women’s health, safety, and autonomy in deciding whether abortion should be legal. By doing so, we can ensure that women are empowered to make decisions about their own bodies and lives.

Tips On Writing Why Abortion Should Be Legalized Essay

The topic of abortion is a sensitive and often controversial issue that affects women’s rights and autonomy. If you’re interested in advocating for women’s reproductive rights and want to write an essay on why abortion should be legalized, there are some important tips to keep in mind.

Conduct thorough Research

Before writing your argumentative essay about abortion, it is important to conduct research on the topic of abortion. This will help you understand the different arguments for and against abortion, and help you develop a more informed perspective on the issue.

Develop a Clear Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should clearly state your position on the issue of whether abortion should be legalized. This will guide the rest of your should abortion be legal or illegal essay and ensure that you are making a clear and compelling argument.

Use Credible Sources

When making your argument, it is important to use credible sources to support your claims. This may include academic journals, news articles, and other reputable sources of information.

Address Counterarguments

When making your argument, it is important to consider counterarguments and address them in your should abortion be legal essay. This will help strengthen your argument and demonstrate that you have considered multiple perspectives on the issue.

Use Clear and Concise Language

To effectively communicate your argument, it is essential to use clear and concise language. Avoid using overly technical language or jargon that may be difficult for readers to understand.

Use Evidence to Support Your Claims

Whenever possible, use evidence to support your claims. This may include statistics, studies, or personal stories that help illustrate the impact of legalizing abortion.

Conclude with a Strong Statement

Your conclusion should summarize your argument and leave readers with a strong statement that reinforces your position on the issue. This may include a call to action or a final thought that highlights the importance of legalizing abortion.

When writing opinion essays such as “why abortion should be legalized”, all the above tips can help you a lot. By empowering women with the right to make decisions about their own bodies and promoting access to safe and legal abortion, we can create a more inclusive and just society for all.

Related posts:

  • The Great Gatsby (Analyze this Essay Online)
  • Pollution Cause and Effect Essay Sample
  • Essay Sample on What Does Leadership Mean to You
  • The Power of Imaging: Why I am Passionate about Becoming a Sonographer

Improve your writing with our guides

Youth Culture Essay Prompt and Discussion

Youth Culture Essay Prompt and Discussion

Why Should College Athletes Be Paid, Essay Sample

Why Should College Athletes Be Paid, Essay Sample

Reasons Why Minimum Wage Should Be Raised Essay: Benefits for Workers, Society, and The Economy

Reasons Why Minimum Wage Should Be Raised Essay: Benefits for Workers, Society, and The Economy

Get 15% off your first order with edusson.

Connect with a professional writer within minutes by placing your first order. No matter the subject, difficulty, academic level or document type, our writers have the skills to complete it.

100% privacy. No spam ever.

legalising abortion argumentative essay

Princeton Legal Journal

Princeton Legal Journal

legalising abortion argumentative essay

The First Amendment and the Abortion Rights Debate

Sofia Cipriano

Following Dobbs v. Jackson ’s (2022) reversal of Roe v. Wade (1973) — and the subsequent revocation of federal abortion protection — activists and scholars have begun to reconsider how to best ground abortion rights in the Constitution. In the past year, numerous Jewish rights groups have attempted to overturn state abortion bans by arguing that abortion rights are protected by various state constitutions’ free exercise clauses — and, by extension, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. While reframing the abortion rights debate as a question of religious freedom is undoubtedly strategic, the Free Exercise Clause is not the only place to locate abortion rights: the Establishment Clause also warrants further investigation. 

Roe anchored abortion rights in the right to privacy — an unenumerated right with a long history of legal recognition. In various cases spanning the past two centuries, t he Supreme Court located the right to privacy in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments . Roe classified abortion as a fundamental right protected by strict scrutiny, meaning that states could only regulate abortion in the face of a “compelling government interest” and must narrowly tailor legislation to that end. As such, Roe ’s trimester framework prevented states from placing burdens on abortion access in the first few months of pregnancy. After the fetus crosses the viability line — the point at which the fetus can survive outside the womb  — states could pass laws regulating abortion, as the Court found that   “the potentiality of human life”  constitutes a “compelling” interest. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992) later replaced strict scrutiny with the weaker “undue burden” standard, giving states greater leeway to restrict abortion access. Dobbs v. Jackson overturned both Roe and Casey , leaving abortion regulations up to individual states. 

While Roe constituted an essential step forward in terms of abortion rights, weaknesses in its argumentation made it more susceptible to attacks by skeptics of substantive due process. Roe argues that the unenumerated right to abortion is implied by the unenumerated right to privacy — a chain of logic which twice removes abortion rights from the Constitution’s language. Moreover, Roe’s trimester framework was unclear and flawed from the beginning, lacking substantial scientific rationale. As medicine becomes more and more advanced, the arbitrariness of the viability line has grown increasingly apparent.  

As abortion rights supporters have looked for alternative constitutional justifications for abortion rights, the First Amendment has become increasingly more visible. Certain religious groups — particularly Jewish groups — have argued that they have a right to abortion care. In Generation to Generation Inc v. Florida , a religious rights group argued that Florida’s abortion ban (HB 5) constituted a violation of the Florida State Constitution: “In Jewish law, abortion is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman, or for many other reasons not permitted under the Act. As such, the Act prohibits Jewish women from practicing their faith free of government intrusion and thus violates their privacy rights and religious freedom.” Similar cases have arisen in Indiana and Texas. Absent constitutional protection of abortion rights, the Christian religious majorities in many states may unjustly impose their moral and ethical code on other groups, implying an unconstitutional religious hierarchy. 

Cases like Generation to Generation Inc v. Florida may also trigger heightened scrutiny status in higher courts; The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993) places strict scrutiny on cases which “burden any aspect of religious observance or practice.”

But framing the issue as one of Free Exercise does not interact with major objections to abortion rights. Anti-abortion advocates contend that abortion is tantamount to murder. An anti-abortion advocate may argue that just as religious rituals involving human sacrifice are illegal, so abortion ought to be illegal. Anti-abortion advocates may be able to argue that abortion bans hold up against strict scrutiny since “preserving potential life” constitutes a “compelling interest.”

The question of when life begins—which is fundamentally a moral and religious question—is both essential to the abortion debate and often ignored by left-leaning activists. For select Christian advocacy groups (as well as other anti-abortion groups) who believe that life begins at conception, abortion bans are a deeply moral issue. Abortion bans which operate under the logic that abortion is murder essentially legislate a definition of when life begins, which is problematic from a First Amendment perspective; the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prevents the government from intervening in religious debates. While numerous legal thinkers have associated the abortion debate with the First Amendment, this argument has not been fully litigated. As an amicus brief filed in Dobbs by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Center for Inquiry, and American Atheists  points out, anti-abortion rhetoric is explicitly religious: “There is hardly a secular veil to the religious intent and positions of individuals, churches, and state actors in their attempts to limit access to abortion.” Justice Stevens located a similar issue with anti-abortion rhetoric in his concurring opinion in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) , stating: “I am persuaded that the absence of any secular purpose for the legislative declarations that life begins at conception and that conception occurs at fertilization makes the relevant portion of the preamble invalid under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution.” Judges who justify their judicial decisions on abortion using similar rhetoric blur the line between church and state. 

Framing the abortion debate around religious freedom would thus address the two main categories of arguments made by anti-abortion activists: arguments centered around issues with substantive due process and moral objections to abortion. 

Conservatives may maintain, however, that legalizing abortion on the federal level is an Establishment Clause violation to begin with, since the government would essentially be imposing a federal position on abortion. Many anti-abortion advocates favor leaving abortion rights up to individual states. However, in the absence of recognized federal, constitutional protection of abortion rights, states will ban abortion. Protecting religious freedom of the individual is of the utmost importance  — the United States government must actively intervene in order to uphold the line between church and state. Protecting abortion rights would allow everyone in the United States to act in accordance with their own moral and religious perspectives on abortion. 

Reframing the abortion rights debate as a question of religious freedom is the most viable path forward. Anchoring abortion rights in the Establishment Clause would ensure Americans have the right to maintain their own personal and religious beliefs regarding the question of when life begins. In the short term, however, litigants could take advantage of Establishment Clauses in state constitutions. Yet, given the swing of the Court towards expanding religious freedom protections at the time of writing, Free Exercise arguments may prove better at securing citizens a right to an abortion. 

Share this:

  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to print (Opens in new window)
  • Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)

Find anything you save across the site in your account

How the Right to Legal Abortion Changed the Arc of All Women’s Lives

By Katha Pollitt

Prochoice demonstrators during the March for Women's Lives rally organized by NOW  Washington DC April 5 1992.

I’ve never had an abortion. In this, I am like most American women. A frequently quoted statistic from a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, which reports that one in four women will have an abortion before the age of forty-five, may strike you as high, but it means that a large majority of women never need to end a pregnancy. (Indeed, the abortion rate has been declining for decades, although it’s disputed how much of that decrease is due to better birth control, and wider use of it, and how much to restrictions that have made abortions much harder to get.) Now that the Supreme Court seems likely to overturn Roe v. Wade sometime in the next few years—Alabama has passed a near-total ban on abortion, and Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Missouri have passed “heartbeat” bills that, in effect, ban abortion later than six weeks of pregnancy, and any of these laws, or similar ones, could prove the catalyst—I wonder if women who have never needed to undergo the procedure, and perhaps believe that they never will, realize the many ways that the legal right to abortion has undergirded their lives.

Legal abortion means that the law recognizes a woman as a person. It says that she belongs to herself. Most obviously, it means that a woman has a safe recourse if she becomes pregnant as a result of being raped. (Believe it or not, in some states, the law allows a rapist to sue for custody or visitation rights.) It means that doctors no longer need to deny treatment to pregnant women with certain serious conditions—cancer, heart disease, kidney disease—until after they’ve given birth, by which time their health may have deteriorated irretrievably. And it means that non-Catholic hospitals can treat a woman promptly if she is having a miscarriage. (If she goes to a Catholic hospital, she may have to wait until the embryo or fetus dies. In one hospital, in Ireland, such a delay led to the death of a woman named Savita Halappanavar, who contracted septicemia. Her case spurred a movement to repeal that country’s constitutional amendment banning abortion.)

The legalization of abortion, though, has had broader and more subtle effects than limiting damage in these grave but relatively uncommon scenarios. The revolutionary advances made in the social status of American women during the nineteen-seventies are generally attributed to the availability of oral contraception, which came on the market in 1960. But, according to a 2017 study by the economist Caitlin Knowles Myers, “The Power of Abortion Policy: Re-Examining the Effects of Young Women’s Access to Reproductive Control,” published in the Journal of Political Economy , the effects of the Pill were offset by the fact that more teens and women were having sex, and so birth-control failure affected more people. Complicating the conventional wisdom that oral contraception made sex risk-free for all, the Pill was also not easy for many women to get. Restrictive laws in some states barred it for unmarried women and for women under the age of twenty-one. The Roe decision, in 1973, afforded thousands upon thousands of teen-agers a chance to avoid early marriage and motherhood. Myers writes, “Policies governing access to the pill had little if any effect on the average probabilities of marrying and giving birth at a young age. In contrast, policy environments in which abortion was legal and readily accessible by young women are estimated to have caused a 34 percent reduction in first births, a 19 percent reduction in first marriages, and a 63 percent reduction in ‘shotgun marriages’ prior to age 19.”

Access to legal abortion, whether as a backup to birth control or not, meant that women, like men, could have a sexual life without risking their future. A woman could plan her life without having to consider that it could be derailed by a single sperm. She could dream bigger dreams. Under the old rules, inculcated from girlhood, if a woman got pregnant at a young age, she married her boyfriend; and, expecting early marriage and kids, she wouldn’t have invested too heavily in her education in any case, and she would have chosen work that she could drop in and out of as family demands required.

In 1970, the average age of first-time American mothers was younger than twenty-two. Today, more women postpone marriage until they are ready for it. (Early marriages are notoriously unstable, so, if you’re glad that the divorce rate is down, you can, in part, thank Roe.) Women can also postpone childbearing until they are prepared for it, which takes some serious doing in a country that lacks paid parental leave and affordable childcare, and where discrimination against pregnant women and mothers is still widespread. For all the hand-wringing about lower birth rates, most women— eighty-six per cent of them —still become mothers. They just do it later, and have fewer children.

Most women don’t enter fields that require years of graduate-school education, but all women have benefitted from having larger numbers of women in those fields. It was female lawyers, for example, who brought cases that opened up good blue-collar jobs to women. Without more women obtaining law degrees, would men still be shaping all our legislation? Without the large numbers of women who have entered the medical professions, would psychiatrists still be telling women that they suffered from penis envy and were masochistic by nature? Would women still routinely undergo unnecessary hysterectomies? Without increased numbers of women in academia, and without the new field of women’s studies, would children still be taught, as I was, that, a hundred years ago this month, Woodrow Wilson “gave” women the vote? There has been a revolution in every field, and the women in those fields have led it.

It is frequently pointed out that the states passing abortion restrictions and bans are states where women’s status remains particularly low. Take Alabama. According to one study , by almost every index—pay, workforce participation, percentage of single mothers living in poverty, mortality due to conditions such as heart disease and stroke—the state scores among the worst for women. Children don’t fare much better: according to U.S. News rankings , Alabama is the worst state for education. It also has one of the nation’s highest rates of infant mortality (only half the counties have even one ob-gyn), and it has refused to expand Medicaid, either through the Affordable Care Act or on its own. Only four women sit in Alabama’s thirty-five-member State Senate, and none of them voted for the ban. Maybe that’s why an amendment to the bill proposed by State Senator Linda Coleman-Madison was voted down. It would have provided prenatal care and medical care for a woman and child in cases where the new law prevents the woman from obtaining an abortion. Interestingly, the law allows in-vitro fertilization, a procedure that often results in the discarding of fertilized eggs. As Clyde Chambliss, the bill’s chief sponsor in the state senate, put it, “The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.” In other words, life only begins at conception if there’s a woman’s body to control.

Indifference to women and children isn’t an oversight. This is why calls for better sex education and wider access to birth control are non-starters, even though they have helped lower the rate of unwanted pregnancies, which is the cause of abortion. The point isn’t to prevent unwanted pregnancy. (States with strong anti-abortion laws have some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country; Alabama is among them.) The point is to roll back modernity for women.

So, if women who have never had an abortion, and don’t expect to, think that the new restrictions and bans won’t affect them, they are wrong. The new laws will fall most heavily on poor women, disproportionately on women of color, who have the highest abortion rates and will be hard-pressed to travel to distant clinics.

But without legal, accessible abortion, the assumptions that have shaped all women’s lives in the past few decades—including that they, not a torn condom or a missed pill or a rapist, will decide what happens to their bodies and their futures—will change. Women and their daughters will have a harder time, and there will be plenty of people who will say that they were foolish to think that it could be otherwise.

By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement . This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The Messiness of Reproduction and the Dishonesty of Anti-Abortion Propaganda

By Jia Tolentino

A Supreme Court Reporter Defines the Threat to Abortion Rights

By Isaac Chotiner

The Ice Stupas

By Rachel Aviv

  • Skip to main content
  • Keyboard shortcuts for audio player

As the Supreme Court considers Roe v. Wade, a look at how abortion became legal

Nina Totenberg at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 21, 2019. (photo by Allison Shelley)

Nina Totenberg

legalising abortion argumentative essay

The future of abortion, always a contentious issue, is up at the Supreme Court on Dec. 1. Arguments are planned challenging Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey , the court's major decisions over the last half-century that guarantee a woman's right to an abortion nationwide. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

The future of abortion, always a contentious issue, is up at the Supreme Court on Dec. 1. Arguments are planned challenging Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey , the court's major decisions over the last half-century that guarantee a woman's right to an abortion nationwide.

For nearly a half-century, abortion has been a constitutional right in the United States. But this week, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a Mississippi case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and subsequent decisions.

Those rulings consistently declared that a woman has a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in the first two trimesters of pregnancy when a fetus is unable to survive outside the womb. But with that abortion right now in doubt, it's worth looking back at its history.

Abortion did not become illegal in most states until the mid to late 1800s. But by the 1960s, abortion, like childbirth, had become a safe procedure when performed by a doctor, and women were entering the workforce in ever larger numbers.

Still, being pregnant out of wedlock was seen as scandalous, and women increasingly sought out abortions, even though they were illegal. What's more, to be pregnant often meant that women's educations were stunted, as were their chances for getting a good job. Because of these phenomena, illegal abortion began to skyrocket and became a public health problem. Estimates of numbers each year ranged from 200,000 to over a million, a range that was so wide precisely because illegal procedures often went undocumented.

At the time, young women could see the perils for themselves. Anyone who lived in a college dormitory back then might well have seen one or more women carried out of the dorm hemorrhaging from a botched illegal abortion.

George Frampton clerked for Justice Harry Blackmun the year that his boss authored Roe v. Wade , and he remembers that until Roe , "those abortions had to be obtained undercover if you had a sympathetic doctor" and you were "wealthy enough." But most abortions were illegal and mainly took place "in backrooms by abortion quacks" using "crude tools" and "no hygiene."

By the early to mid-1960s, Frampton notes, thousands of women in large cities were arriving at hospitals, bleeding and often maimed.

One woman, in an interview with NPR, recalled "the excruciatingly painful [illegal] procedure," describing it as "the equivalent of having a hot poker stuck up your uterus and scraping the walls." She remembered that the attendant had to "hold her down on the table."

The result, says Frampton, was that by the mid-1960s, a reform movement had begun, aimed at decriminalizing abortion and treating it more like other medical procedures. Driving the reform movement were doctors, who were concerned about the effect that illegal abortions were having on women's health. Soon, the American Law Institute — a highly respected group of lawyers, judges and scholars — published a model abortion reform law supported by major medical groups, including the American Medical Association.

Many states then began to loosen their abortion restrictions. Four states legalized abortion, and a dozen or so adopted some form of the model law, which permitted abortion in cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormality, as well as to save the life or health of the mother.

By the early 1970s, when nearly half the states had adopted reform laws, there was a small backlash. Still, as Frampton observes, "it wasn't a big political or ideological issue at all."

In fact, the justices in 1973 were mainly establishment conservatives. Six were Republican appointees, including the court's only Catholic. And five were generally conservative, as defined at the time, including four appointed by President Richard Nixon. Ultimately, the court voted 7-to-2 that abortion is a private matter to be decided by a woman during the first two trimesters of her pregnancy.

That framework has remained in place ever since, with the court repeatedly upholding that standard. In 1992, it reiterated the framework yet again, though it said that states could enact some limited restrictions — for example, a 24-hour waiting period — as long as the restrictions didn't impose an "undue burden" on a woman's right to abortion.

Frampton says that the court established the viability framework because of the medical consensus that a fetus could not survive outside the womb until the last trimester. He explains that "the justices thought that this was going to dispose of the constitutional issues about abortion forever."

Although many had thought that fetal viability might change substantially, that has not happened. But in the years that followed, the backlash to the court's abortion decisions grew louder and louder, until the Republican Party, which had earlier supported Roe , officially abandoned it in 1984.

Looking at the politicization of the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process in recent years, one can't help but wonder whether Roe played a part in that polarization. What does Frampton think?

"I'm afraid," he concedes, "that analysis is absolutely spot on. I think they [the justices] saw it as a very important landmark constitutional decision but had no idea that it would become so politicized and so much a subject of turmoil."

Just why is abortion such a controversial issue in the United States but not in so many other countries where abortion is now legal? Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler, author of Abortion and the Law in America , points out that in many countries, the abortion question has been resolved through democratic means — in some countries by national referendum, in others by parliamentary votes and, in some, by the courts. In most of those countries, however, abortions, with some exceptions, must be performed earlier, by week 12, 15 or 18.

But — and it is a big but — in most of those countries, unlike in the U.S., national health insurance guarantees easy access to abortions.

Lastly, Ziegler observes, "there are a lot of people in the United States who have a stake in our polarized politics. ... It's a way to raise money. It's a way to get people out to the polls."

And it's striking, she adds, how little our politics resemble what most people say they want. Public opinion polls consistently show that large majorities of Americans support the right to abortion in all or most cases. A poll conducted last May by the Pew Research Center found 6 in 10 Americans say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And a Washington Post -ABC poll conducted last month found that Americans by a roughly 2-to-1 margin say the Supreme Court should uphold its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

But an NPR poll conducted in 2019 shows just how complex — and even contradictory — opinions are about abortion. The poll found that 77% of Americans support Roe . But that figure dropped to 34% in the second trimester. Other polls had significantly higher support for second trimester abortions. A Reuters poll pegged the figure at 47% in 2021. And an Associated Press poll found that 49% of poll respondents supported legal abortion for anyone who wants one "for any reason," while 50% believed that this should not be the case. And 86% said they would support abortion at any time during a pregnancy to protect the life or health of the woman.

All this would seem to suggest that there is overwhelming support for abortion rights earlier in pregnancy, but less support later in pregnancy, and overwhelming support for abortions at any time to protect the life or, importantly, the health of the mother. That, however, is not where the abortion debate is in the 25 or so states that have enacted very strict anti-abortion laws, including outright bans, in hopes that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe .

Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Read our research on:

Full Topic List

Regions & Countries

  • Publications
  • Our Methods
  • Short Reads
  • Tools & Resources

Read Our Research On:

Pro-Choice Does Not Mean Pro-Abortion: An Argument for Abortion Rights Featuring the Rev. Carlton Veazey

Since the Supreme Court’s historic 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade , the issue of a woman’s right to an abortion has fostered one of the most contentious moral and political debates in America. Opponents of abortion rights argue that life begins at conception – making abortion tantamount to homicide. Abortion rights advocates, in contrast, maintain that women have a right to decide what happens to their bodies – sometimes without any restrictions.

To explore the case for abortion rights, the Pew Forum turns to the Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, who for more than a decade has been president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Based in Washington, D.C., the coalition advocates for reproductive choice and religious freedom on behalf of about 40 religious groups and organizations. Prior to joining the coalition, Veazey spent 33 years as a pastor at Zion Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

A counterargument explaining the case against abortion rights is made by the Rev. J. Daniel Mindling, professor of moral theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary.

Featuring: The Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, President, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Interviewer: David Masci, Senior Research Fellow, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Question & Answer

Can you explain how your Christian faith informs your views in support of abortion rights?

I grew up in a Christian home. My father was a Baptist minister for many years in Memphis, Tenn. One of the things that he instilled in me – I used to hear it so much – was free will, free will, free will. It was ingrained in me that you have the ability to make choices. You have the ability to decide what you want to do. You are responsible for your decisions, but God has given you that responsibility, that option to make decisions.

I had firsthand experience of seeing black women and poor women being disproportionately impacted by the fact that they had no choices about an unintended pregnancy, even if it would damage their health or cause great hardship in their family. And I remember some of them being maimed in back-alley abortions; some of them died. There was no legal choice before Roe v. Wade .

But in this day and time, we have a clearer understanding that men and women are moral agents and equipped to make decisions about even the most difficult and complex matters. We must ensure a woman can determine when and whether to have children according to her own conscience and religious beliefs and without governmental interference or coercion. We must also ensure that women have the resources to have a healthy, safe pregnancy, if that is their decision, and that women and families have the resources to raise a child with security.

The right to choose has changed and expanded over the years since Roe v. Wade . We now speak of reproductive justice – and that includes comprehensive sex education, family planning and contraception, adequate medical care, a safe environment, the ability to continue a pregnancy and the resources that make that choice possible. That is my moral framework.

You talk about free will, and as a Christian you believe in free will. But you also said that God gave us free will and gave us the opportunity to make right and wrong choices. Why do you believe that abortion can, at least in some instances, be the right choice?

Dan Maguire, a former Jesuit priest and professor of moral theology and ethics at Marquette University, says that to have a child can be a sacred choice, but to not have a child can also be a sacred choice.

And these choices revolve around circumstances and issues – like whether a person is old enough to care for a child or whether a woman already has more children than she can care for. Also, remember that medical circumstances are the reason many women have an abortion – for example, if they are having chemotherapy for cancer or have a life-threatening chronic illness – and most later-term abortions occur because of fetal abnormalities that will result in stillbirth or the death of the child. These are difficult decisions; they’re moral decisions, sometimes requiring a woman to decide if she will risk her life for a pregnancy.

Abortion is a very serious decision and each decision depends on circumstances. That’s why I tell people: I am not pro-abortion, I am pro-choice. And that’s an important distinction.

You’ve talked about the right of a woman to make a choice. Does the fetus have any rights?

First, let me say that the religious, pro-choice position is based on respect for human life, including potential life and existing life.

But I do not believe that life as we know it starts at conception. I am troubled by the implications of a fetus having legal rights because that could pit the fetus against the woman carrying the fetus; for example, if the woman needed a medical procedure, the law could require the fetus to be considered separately and equally.

From a religious perspective, it’s more important to consider the moral issues involved in making a decision about abortion. Also, it’s important to remember that religious traditions have very different ideas about the status of the fetus. Roman Catholic doctrine regards a fertilized egg as a human being. Judaism holds that life begins with the first breath.

What about at the very end of a woman’s pregnancy? Does a fetus acquire rights after the point of viability, when it can survive outside the womb? Or let me ask it another way: Assuming a woman is healthy and her fetus is healthy, should the woman be able to terminate her pregnancy until the end of her pregnancy?

There’s an assumption that a woman would end a viable pregnancy carelessly or without a reason. The facts don’t bear this out. Most abortions are performed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Late abortions are virtually always performed for the most serious medical and health reasons, including saving the woman’s life.

But what if such a case came before you? If you were that woman’s pastor, what would you say?

I would talk to her in a helpful, positive, respectful way and help her discuss what was troubling her. I would suggest alternatives such as adoption.

Let me shift gears a little bit. Many Americans have said they favor a compromise, or reaching a middle-ground policy, on abortion. Do you sympathize with this desire and do you think that both sides should compromise to end this rancorous debate?

I have been to more middle-ground and common-ground meetings than I can remember and I’ve never been to one where we walked out with any decision.

That being said, I think that we all should agree that abortion should be rare. How do we do that? We do that by providing comprehensive sex education in schools and in religious congregations and by ensuring that there is accurate information about contraception and that contraception is available. Unfortunately, the U.S. Congress has not been willing to pass a bill to fund comprehensive sex education, but they are willing to put a lot of money into failed and harmful abstinence-only programs that often rely on scare tactics and inaccurate information.

Former Surgeon General David Satcher has shown that abstinence-only programs do not work and that we should provide young people with the information to protect themselves. Education that stresses abstinence and provides accurate information about contraception will reduce the abortion rate. That is the ground that I stand on. I would say that here is a way we can work together to reduce the need for abortions.

Abortion has become central to what many people call the “culture wars.” Some consider it to be the most contentious moral issue in America today. Why do many Catholics, evangelical Christians and other people of faith disagree with you?

I was raised to respect differing views so the rigid views against abortion are hard for me to understand. I will often tell someone on the other side, “I respect you. I may disagree with your theological perspective, but I respect your views. But I think it’s totally arrogant for you to tell me that I need to believe what you believe.” It’s not that I think we should not try to win each other over. But we have to respect people’s different religious beliefs.

But what about people who believe that life begins at conception and that terminating a pregnancy is murder? For them, it may not just be about respecting or tolerating each other’s viewpoints; they believe this is an issue of life or death. What do you say to people who make that kind of argument?

I would say that they have a right to their beliefs, as do I. I would try to explain that my views are grounded in my religion, as are theirs. I believe that we must ensure that women are treated with dignity and respect and that women are able to follow the dictates of their conscience – and that includes their reproductive decisions. Ultimately, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that women have the ability to make decisions of conscience and have access to reproductive health services.

Some in the anti-abortion camp contend that the existence of legalized abortion is a sign of the self-centeredness and selfishness of our age. Is there any validity to this view?

Although abortion is a very difficult decision, it can be the most responsible decision a person can make when faced with an unintended pregnancy or a pregnancy that will have serious health consequences.

Depending on the circumstances, it might be selfish to bring a child into the world. You know, a lot of people say, “You must bring this child into the world.” They are 100 percent supportive while the child is in the womb. As soon as the child is born, they abort the child in other ways. They abort a child through lack of health care, lack of education, lack of housing, and through poverty, which can drive a child into drugs or the criminal justice system.

So is it selfish to bring children into the world and not care for them? I think the other side can be very selfish by neglecting the children we have already. For all practical purposes, children whom we are neglecting are being aborted.

This transcript has been edited for clarity, spelling and grammar.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Fresh data delivery Saturday mornings

Sign up for The Briefing

Weekly updates on the world of news & information

  • Religion & Abortion
  • Religion & Social Values

Public Opinion on Abortion

Americans overwhelmingly say access to ivf is a good thing, broad public support for legal abortion persists 2 years after dobbs, what the data says about abortion in the u.s., support for legal abortion is widespread in many countries, especially in europe, most popular.

1615 L St. NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20036 USA (+1) 202-419-4300 | Main (+1) 202-857-8562 | Fax (+1) 202-419-4372 |  Media Inquiries

Research Topics

  • Age & Generations
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Economy & Work
  • Family & Relationships
  • Gender & LGBTQ
  • Immigration & Migration
  • International Affairs
  • Internet & Technology
  • Methodological Research
  • News Habits & Media
  • Non-U.S. Governments
  • Other Topics
  • Politics & Policy
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Email Newsletters

ABOUT PEW RESEARCH CENTER  Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of  The Pew Charitable Trusts .

Copyright 2024 Pew Research Center

Key Arguments From Both Sides of the Abortion Debate

Mark Wilson / Staff / Getty Images

  • Reproductive Rights
  • The U. S. Government
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • U.S. Liberal Politics
  • U.S. Conservative Politics
  • Civil Liberties
  • The Middle East
  • Race Relations
  • Immigration
  • Crime & Punishment
  • Canadian Government
  • Understanding Types of Government
  • B.A., English Language and Literature, Well College

Many points come up in the abortion debate . Here's a look at abortion from both sides : 10 arguments for abortion and 10 arguments against abortion, for a total of 20 statements that represent a range of topics as seen from both sides.

Pro-Life Arguments

  • Since life begins at conception,   abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking human life. Abortion is in direct defiance of the commonly accepted idea of the sanctity of human life.
  • No civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different.
  • Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and accomplishes the same result. And with 1.5 million American families wanting to adopt a child, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.
  • An abortion can result in medical complications later in life; the risk of ectopic pregnancies is increased if other factors such as smoking are present, the chance of a miscarriage increases in some cases,   and pelvic inflammatory disease also increases.  
  • In the instance of rape and incest, taking certain drugs soon after the event can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant.   Abortion punishes the unborn child who committed no crime; instead, it is the perpetrator who should be punished.
  • Abortion should not be used as another form of contraception.
  • For women who demand complete control of their body, control should include preventing the risk of unwanted pregnancy through the responsible use of contraception or, if that is not possible, through abstinence .
  • Many Americans who pay taxes are opposed to abortion, therefore it's morally wrong to use tax dollars to fund abortion.
  • Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterward.
  • Abortion sometimes causes psychological pain and stress.  

Pro-Choice Arguments

  • Nearly all abortions take place in the first trimester when a fetus is attached by the placenta and umbilical cord to the mother.   As such, its health is dependent on her health, and cannot be regarded as a separate entity as it cannot exist outside her womb.
  • The concept of personhood is different from the concept of human life. Human life occurs at conception,   but fertilized eggs used for in vitro fertilization are also human lives and those not implanted are routinely thrown away. Is this murder, and if not, then how is abortion murder?
  • Adoption is not an alternative to abortion because it remains the woman's choice whether or not to give her child up for adoption. Statistics show that very few women who give birth choose to give up their babies; less than 3% of White unmarried women and less than 2% of Black​ unmarried women.
  • Abortion is a safe medical procedure. The vast majority of women who have an abortion do so in their first trimester.   Medical abortions have a very low risk of serious complications and do not affect a woman's health or future ability to become pregnant or give birth.  
  • In the case of rape or incest, forcing a woman made pregnant by this violent act would cause further psychological harm to the victim.   Often a woman is too afraid to speak up or is unaware she is pregnant, thus the morning after pill is ineffective in these situations.
  • Abortion is not used as a form of contraception . Pregnancy can occur even with contraceptive use. Few women who have abortions do not use any form of birth control, and that is due more to individual carelessness than to the availability of abortion.  
  • The ability of a woman to have control of her body is critical to civil rights. Take away her reproductive choice and you step onto a slippery slope. If the government can force a woman to continue a pregnancy, what about forcing a woman to use contraception or undergo sterilization?
  • Taxpayer dollars are used to enable poor women to access the same medical services as rich women, and abortion is one of these services. Funding abortion is no different from funding a war in the Mideast. For those who are opposed, the place to express outrage is in the voting booth.
  • Teenagers who become mothers have grim prospects for the future. They are much more likely to leave school; receive inadequate prenatal care; or develop mental health problems.  
  • Like any other difficult situation, abortion creates stress. Yet the American Psychological Association found that stress was greatest prior to an abortion and that there was no evidence of post-abortion syndrome.  

Additional References

  • Alvarez, R. Michael, and John Brehm. " American Ambivalence Towards Abortion Policy: Development of a Heteroskedastic Probit Model of Competing Values ." American Journal of Political Science 39.4 (1995): 1055–82. Print.
  • Armitage, Hannah. " Political Language, Uses and Abuses: How the Term 'Partial Birth' Changed the Abortion Debate in the United States ." Australasian Journal of American Studies 29.1 (2010): 15–35. Print.
  • Gillette, Meg. " Modern American Abortion Narratives and the Century of Silence ." Twentieth Century Literature 58.4 (2012): 663–87. Print.
  • Kumar, Anuradha. " Disgust, Stigma, and the Politics of Abortion ." Feminism & Psychology 28.4 (2018): 530–38. Print.
  • Ziegler, Mary. " The Framing of a Right to Choose: Roe V. Wade and the Changing Debate on Abortion Law ." Law and History Review 27.2 (2009): 281–330. Print.

“ Life Begins at Fertilization with the Embryo's Conception .”  Princeton University , The Trustees of Princeton University.

“ Long-Term Risks of Surgical Abortion .”  GLOWM, doi:10.3843/GLOWM.10441

Patel, Sangita V, et al. “ Association between Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and Abortions .”  Indian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS , Medknow Publications, July 2010, doi:10.4103/2589-0557.75030

Raviele, Kathleen Mary. “ Levonorgestrel in Cases of Rape: How Does It Work? ”  The Linacre Quarterly , Maney Publishing, May 2014, doi:10.1179/2050854914Y.0000000017

Reardon, David C. “ The Abortion and Mental Health Controversy: A Comprehensive Literature Review of Common Ground Agreements, Disagreements, Actionable Recommendations, and Research Opportunities .”  SAGE Open Medicine , SAGE Publications, 29 Oct. 2018, doi:10.1177/2050312118807624

“ CDCs Abortion Surveillance System FAQs .” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 Nov. 2019.

Bixby Center for Reproductive Health. “ Complications of Surgical Abortion : Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology .”  LWW , doi:10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181a2b756

" Sexual Violence: Prevalence, Dynamics and Consequences ." World Health Organizaion.

Homco, Juell B, et al. “ Reasons for Ineffective Pre-Pregnancy Contraception Use in Patients Seeking Abortion Services .”  Contraception , U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2009, doi:10.1016/j.contraception.2009.05.127

" Working With Pregnant & Parenting Teens Tip Sheet ." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Major, Brenda, et al. " Abortion and Mental Health: Evaluating the Evidence ." American Psychological Association, doi:10.1037/a0017497

  • The Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice Debate
  • Abortion on Demand: A Second Wave Feminist Demand
  • The 1969 Redstockings Abortion Speakout
  • The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision
  • Abortion Facts and Statistics in the 21st Century
  • Biography of Margaret Sanger
  • Biography of Norma McCorvey, 'Roe' in the Roe v. Wade Case
  • Is Abortion Legal in Every State?
  • Supreme Court Decisions and Women's Reproductive Rights
  • Pro-Choice Quotes
  • Roe v. Wade
  • Oppression and Women's History
  • 8 Major Issues Facing Women Today
  • 1970s Feminism Timeline
  • The Definition of the Bona Fide Occupational Qualification
  • Understanding Why Abortion Is Legal in the United States

Persuasive Essay Guide

Persuasive Essay About Abortion

Caleb S.

Crafting a Convincing Persuasive Essay About Abortion

Persuasive Essay About Abortion

People also read

A Comprehensive Guide to Writing an Effective Persuasive Essay

200+ Persuasive Essay Topics to Help You Out

Learn How to Create a Persuasive Essay Outline

30+ Free Persuasive Essay Examples To Get You Started

Read Excellent Examples of Persuasive Essay About Gun Control

How to Write a Persuasive Essay About Covid19 | Examples & Tips

Learn to Write Persuasive Essay About Business With Examples and Tips

Check Out 12 Persuasive Essay About Online Education Examples

Persuasive Essay About Smoking - Making a Powerful Argument with Examples

Are you about to write a persuasive essay on abortion but wondering how to begin?

Writing an effective persuasive essay on the topic of abortion can be a difficult task for many students. 

It is important to understand both sides of the issue and form an argument based on facts and logical reasoning. This requires research and understanding, which takes time and effort.

In this blog, we will provide you with some easy steps to craft a persuasive essay about abortion that is compelling and convincing. Moreover, we have included some example essays and interesting facts to read and get inspired by. 

So let's start!

Arrow Down

  • 1. How To Write a Persuasive Essay About Abortion?
  • 2. Persuasive Essay About Abortion Examples
  • 3. Examples of Argumentative Essay About Abortion
  • 4. Abortion Persuasive Essay Topics
  • 5. Facts About Abortion You Need to Know

How To Write a Persuasive Essay About Abortion?

Abortion is a controversial topic, with people having differing points of view and opinions on the matter. There are those who oppose abortion, while some people endorse pro-choice arguments. 

It is also an emotionally charged subject, so you need to be extra careful when crafting your persuasive essay .

Before you start writing your persuasive essay, you need to understand the following steps.

Step 1: Choose Your Position

The first step to writing a persuasive essay on abortion is to decide your position. Do you support the practice or are you against it? You need to make sure that you have a clear opinion before you begin writing. 

Once you have decided, research and find evidence that supports your position. This will help strengthen your argument. 

Check out the video below to get more insights into this topic:

Step 2: Choose Your Audience

The next step is to decide who your audience will be. Will you write for pro-life or pro-choice individuals? Or both? 

Knowing who you are writing for will guide your writing and help you include the most relevant facts and information.

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

Step 3: Define Your Argument

Now that you have chosen your position and audience, it is time to craft your argument. 

Start by defining what you believe and why, making sure to use evidence to support your claims. You also need to consider the opposing arguments and come up with counter arguments. This helps make your essay more balanced and convincing.

Step 4: Format Your Essay

Once you have the argument ready, it is time to craft your persuasive essay. Follow a standard format for the essay, with an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. 

Make sure that each paragraph is organized and flows smoothly. Use clear and concise language, getting straight to the point.

Step 5: Proofread and Edit

The last step in writing your persuasive essay is to make sure that you proofread and edit it carefully. Look for spelling, grammar, punctuation, or factual errors and correct them. This will help make your essay more professional and convincing.

These are the steps you need to follow when writing a persuasive essay on abortion. It is a good idea to read some examples before you start so you can know how they should be written.

Continue reading to find helpful examples.

Persuasive Essay About Abortion Examples

To help you get started, here are some example persuasive essays on abortion that may be useful for your own paper.

Short Persuasive Essay About Abortion

Persuasive Essay About No To Abortion

What Is Abortion? - Essay Example

Persuasive Speech on Abortion

Legal Abortion Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay About Abortion in the Philippines

Persuasive Essay about legalizing abortion

You can also read m ore persuasive essay examples to imp rove your persuasive skills.

Examples of Argumentative Essay About Abortion

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that presents both sides of an argument. These essays rely heavily on logic and evidence.

Here are some examples of argumentative essay with introduction, body and conclusion that you can use as a reference in writing your own argumentative essay. 

Abortion Persuasive Essay Introduction

Argumentative Essay About Abortion Conclusion

Argumentative Essay About Abortion Pdf

Argumentative Essay About Abortion in the Philippines

Argumentative Essay About Abortion - Introduction

Abortion Persuasive Essay Topics

If you are looking for some topics to write your persuasive essay on abortion, here are some examples:

  • Should abortion be legal in the United States?
  • Is it ethical to perform abortions, considering its pros and cons?
  • What should be done to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions?
  • Is there a connection between abortion and psychological trauma?
  • What are the ethical implications of abortion on demand?
  • How has the debate over abortion changed over time?
  • Should there be legal restrictions on late-term abortions?
  • Does gender play a role in how people view abortion rights?
  • Is it possible to reduce poverty and unwanted pregnancies through better sex education?
  • How is the anti-abortion point of view affected by religious beliefs and values? 

These are just some of the potential topics that you can use for your persuasive essay on abortion. Think carefully about the topic you want to write about and make sure it is something that interests you. 

Check out m ore persuasive essay topics that will help you explore other things that you can write about!

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

Facts About Abortion You Need to Know

Here are some facts about abortion that will help you formulate better arguments.

  • According to the Guttmacher Institute , 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion.
  • The majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester.
  • Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with less than a 0.5% risk of major complications.
  • In the United States, 14 states have laws that restrict or ban most forms of abortion after 20 weeks gestation.
  • Seven out of 198 nations allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • In places where abortion is illegal, more women die during childbirth and due to complications resulting from pregnancy.
  • A majority of pregnant women who opt for abortions do so for financial and social reasons.
  • According to estimates, 56 million abortions occur annually.

In conclusion, these are some of the examples, steps, and topics that you can use to write a persuasive essay. Make sure to do your research thoroughly and back up your arguments with evidence. This will make your essay more professional and convincing. 

Need the services of a persuasive essay writing service ? We've got your back!

MyPerfectWords.com that provides help to students in the form of professionally written essays. Our persuasive essay writer can craft quality persuasive essays on any topic, including abortion. 

So, just ask our experts ' do my essay ' and get professional help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should i talk about in an essay about abortion.

FAQ Icon

When writing an essay about abortion, it is important to cover all the aspects of the subject. This includes discussing both sides of the argument, providing facts and evidence to support your claims, and exploring potential solutions.

What is a good argument for abortion?

A good argument for abortion could be that it is a woman’s choice to choose whether or not to have an abortion. It is also important to consider the potential risks of carrying a pregnancy to term.

AI Essay Bot

Write Essay Within 60 Seconds!

Caleb S.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Get Help

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Keep reading

Persuasive Essay

  • Share full article

Advertisement

Supported by

The Morning Newsletter

How Abortion Views Are Different

With the Supreme Court set to hear a major abortion case, we look at the state of public opinion.

legalising abortion argumentative essay

By David Leonhardt

For nearly 50 years, public opinion has had only a limited effect on abortion policy. The Roe v. Wade decision, which the Supreme Court issued in 1973, established a constitutional right to abortion in many situations and struck down restrictions in dozens of states.

But now that the court has agreed to hear a case that could lead to the overturning of Roe , voters and legislators may soon again be determining abortion laws, state by state. This morning’s newsletter offers a guide to public opinion on the subject.

Americans’ views on abortion are sufficiently complex that both sides in the debate are able to point to survey data that suggests majority opinion is on their side — and then to argue that the data friendly to their own side is the “right” data. These competing claims can be confusing. But when you dig into the data, you discover there are some clear patterns and objective truths.

Here are five.

1. A pro-Roe majority …

Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans — 60 percent to 70 percent, in recent polls by both Gallup and Pew — say they do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. Similarly, close to 60 percent of Americans say they favor abortion access in either all or most circumstances, according to Pew.

These are the numbers that abortion rights advocates often emphasize.

2. … and a pro-restriction majority

The most confounding aspect of public opinion is a contradiction between Americans’ views on Roe itself and their views on specific abortion policies: Even as most people say they support the ruling, most also say they favor restrictions that Roe does not permit .

Roe, for example, allows only limited restrictions on abortion during the second trimester, mostly involving a mother’s health. But less than 30 percent of Americans say that abortion should “generally be legal” in the second trimester, according to Gallup. Many people also oppose abortion in specific circumstances — because a fetus has Down syndrome, for example — even during the first trimester.

One sign that many Americans favor significant restrictions is in the Gallup data. Gallup uses slightly different wording from Pew, creating an option that allows people to say that abortion should be legal “in only a few” circumstances. And that is the most popular answer — with 35 percent of respondents giving it (in addition to the 20 percent who say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances).

This helps explain why many abortion rights advocates are worried that the Supreme Court will gut Roe without officially overturning it. Yes, the justices are often influenced by public opinion .

3. Remarkable stability

Opinion on some major political issues has changed substantially over the last half-century. On taxes and regulation, people’s views have ebbed and flowed. On some cultural issues — like same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization — views have moved sharply in one direction.

But opinion on abortion has barely budged . Here is Gallup’s four-category breakdown, going back to 1994:

Other survey questions show a similar pattern, with the stability stretching back to the 1970s , just after the Roe ruling.

A key reason is that abortion opinion differs only modestly by age group. Americans under 30 support abortion rights more strongly than Americans over 50, but the gap is not huge. The age gaps on marijuana legalization , same-sex marriage and climate change are all larger.

Abortion remains a vexing issue for large numbers of Americans in every generation — which suggests the debate is not likely to be resolved anytime soon.

4. A modest gender gap …

Gender plays a major role in American politics. Most women voted for Joe Biden, while most men voted for Donald Trump. On many issues, like gun control and the minimum wage , there is a large gender gap.

But the gap on abortion is not so large. If anything, it seems to be smaller than the partisan gap . That suggests, perhaps surprisingly, that there are more Democratic-voting women who favor significant abortion restrictions than Republican-voting women who favor almost universal access — while the opposite is true for men.

(One note: When people are asked whether they identify as “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” both the gender and age gaps grow. Those terms appear to prime people to think as Democrats or Republicans, rather than thinking through the details of their own policy views.)

5. … and a big class gap

One of the strongest predictors of a person’s view on abortion is educational attainment, as you can see in the chart above. Working-class Americans often favor restrictions. Many religiously observant people also favor restrictions.

It’s yet another way in which the Democratic coalition is becoming tilted toward college graduates and the Republican coalition is going in the other direction.

The bottom line

Both advocates and opponents of abortion access believe the issue is too important to be decided by public opinion. For advocates, women should have control over their bodies; after all, no major decision of men’s health is subject to a veto by politicians or other voters. And for opponents of abortion access, the life of an unborn child is too important to be subject to almost any other consideration.

If the Supreme Court overrules or substantially weakens Roe, this intense debate will play out state by state. Many states are likely to restrict abortion access substantially.

For more: Pew’s Jeff Diamant and Aleksandra Sandstrom look at opinion in each state . And The Upshot looks in detail at how and where laws may change if Roe falls .

THE LATEST NEWS

New C.D.C. mask guidelines have Americans wondering whether they can trust one another .

Republican-controlled states are cutting off federal pandemic unemployment benefits , arguing that they are making it hard for businesses to hire.

An estimated 40 percent of doctors in India have gotten Covid, and more than 250 have died since early April.

Many New York businesses are allowed to fully reopen today . Parts of Europe are also lifting restrictions .

Virus resources: How should you think about virus variants if you’re vaccinated ?

“The future of the auto industry is electric,” President Biden said during a visit to a Ford plant in Michigan.

The House passed a bill to help law enforcement agencies review hate crimes against Asian-Americans, sending it to Biden .

New York’s attorney general joined the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal inquiry into the Trump Organization .

House Republican leaders oppose creating a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Diplomatic efforts to end the violence are gaining urgency , with the E.U., the U.N., and others calling on the Israeli military and Hamas militants to lay down their weapons.

Israeli airstrikes have damaged Gaza’s health and sewage systems and displaced tens of thousands of people, deepening a humanitarian crisis .

Biden was said to have sharpened his tone with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in a private call.

Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel went on strike .

Other Big Stories

Climate change is forcing the National Park Service to decide which species and landscapes to save — and which to let slip away.

A North Carolina prosecutor said sheriff’s deputies were “justified” in the killing of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man.

In Japan, a woman who overstayed her visa got sick and died alone in detention , causing criticism of the country’s treatment of migrants.

Darwin’s Arch, a rock formation in the Galápagos Islands, collapsed because of natural erosion .

Spain is trying a new solution for officials who can’t stop stealing: corruption rehab .

Why are people in your state not getting vaccinated ?

“To me it represents everything that is beautiful and possible”: Dr. Adam Lee Goldstein writes about his hospital near Tel Aviv, where Jews and Muslims, side by side, treat the wounded.

Morning Reads

Anonymous no more: In 1944, they were children on a train to a Nazi death camp. Researchers identified them, and they’re still alive .

A Times classic: Eight things worth your time .

Lives Lived: With deadpan comedy and Everyman good looks, Charles Grodin first drew notice on Broadway. He went on to star onscreen in “The Heartbreak Kid,” “Midnight Run” and “Beethoven.” He died at 86 .

ARTS AND IDEAS

‘shrek’ at 20.

Nobody at DreamWorks, then a relatively new animation studio, expected “Shrek” to be a hit. “Getting sent to ‘Shrek’ felt like being sent to Siberia,” the director Vicky Jenson said.

Released 20 years ago, the movie was a departure from other animated features of the time. Its hero was a misanthropic ogre. The cheeky and crude humor made fun of fairy-tale tropes. And the film was loaded with pop culture references and contemporary songs .

Yet “Shrek” went on to spawn a billion-dollar franchise and win the first Academy Award for best animated feature. It “defined the kind of films the studio would go on to make: offbeat stories that, unlike Disney fairy tales, had more of an edge to them,” as Gina Cherelus writes in The Times .

Today, Shrek-related content is ubiquitous in memes and on social media, introducing the film to a new generation . At a sushi restaurant years ago, Jenson was delighted to overhear nearby diners talking about it. “One of them says, ‘Have you seen “Shrek”?’ And the other one is like, ‘No, no, I don’t go see kids’ stuff,’ and they go: ‘No, no, it’s not for kids. You have to go see it.’” — Sanam Yar, a Morning writer

PLAY, WATCH, EAT

What to cook.

This fried snapper is topped with thyme-laced Creole sauce. Eat it while reading Pete Wells on New York City’s return to full-scale indoor dining.

What to Read

The mainstream narrative is that Sinead O’Connor ripped up a photo of the pope on “Saturday Night Live” and derailed her music career. She’d like to set the record straight .

Virtual Travel

See a ghost town on a Norwegian archipelago in the High Arctic.

The hosts discussed the Giulianis .

Now Time to Play

The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was jocular . Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online .

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword , and a clue: Euphoric feeling (four letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here .

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

P.S. Three of our colleagues’ stories appear in The Best American Food Writing 2020 : Amelia Nierenberg’s article on Hatch chiles , Kim Severson’s profile of Jamie Oliver and Pete Wells’s viral review of Peter Luger .

You can see today’s print front page here .

“ The Daily ” is about Gaza. On “ The Argument ,” a debate about critical race theory.

Lalena Fisher, Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at [email protected] .

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox .

David Leonhardt writes The Morning, The Times's main daily newsletter. Previously at The Times, he was the Washington bureau chief, the founding editor of The Upshot, an Op-Ed columnist, and the head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the Times newsroom. He won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. More about David Leonhardt

We use cookies to enhance our website for you. Proceed if you agree to this policy or learn more about it.

  • Essay Database >
  • Essay Examples >
  • Essays Topics >
  • Essay on Life

Argumentative Essay On Legalizing Abortion

Type of paper: Argumentative Essay

Topic: Life , Law , Social Issues , Pregnancy , Women , Health , Abortion , Medicine

Words: 1900

Published: 11/22/2019

ORDER PAPER LIKE THIS

Introduction

The debate about abortion has been going on for the last few decades with some groups supporting its legalization while other groups claiming that abortion should be banned. Every school of thought has convincing reasons why or why not abortion should be legalized. For instance, in the United States the debate about legalizing abortion started in 1960s when different states started to repeal their laws concerning abortion which had been banned there before. The US Supreme Court also ruled that the decision by various states to ban abortion was not in line with the constitution. In other countries like Australia abortion has not been allowed for many years (Pringle, 1997). This opened way for this hot debate which has been going on in different parts of the world where some countries have legalized abortion while others still hold to the traditional view that abortion is illegal and should be banned. In my opinion, I think abortion should be legalized mostly on the basis of human protection which is guaranteed in the constitution.

Reasons for legalizing abortion

There are several reasons why I think abortion should be legalized rather than to ban it. First, the use of law to prohibit women to procure abortion does not stop them from doing so. For many years women in all parts of the world have continued to carry out abortion in secret places despite the fact that it is not allowed constitutionally. When women see the need to procure abortion, they go ahead and do it in secret place without any medical assistance in very dangerous circumstances. This illegal practice has cost millions of women’s lives in different parts of the world. It is estimated that about one million women in the United States seek illegal abortion within a period of one year. Many thousands die in the process and many more are mutilated as they procure abortion without the help of a fully qualified medical assistant. If the abortion was legalized, these women would not have procured their abortion secretly. Instead they would have sought medical assistance in private and public clinics where it would have been done in a professional way. This would save many women from the harmful effects of abortion such as mutilation, infertility and even lives that are lost during secret abortions conducted by unprofessional health personnel. This fact is supported using data from Scotland for a period of two decades of banning abortion (Wilson, 2000).

Secondly, legalizing abortion will protect the health of a woman. “There are many life-threatening diseases that are related with child bearing such as kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, severe hypertension, sick-cell anemia and other types of complications (Wilson, 2000, p. 2).” Successful childbirth of a woman suffering from these diseases will mostly likely depends with the assistance she is given in the hospital before, during and after the child birth. Illegal abortion will not provide the necessary treatment to enable the woman to come out of the process without some health consequences that are related to these diseases. In fact many deaths that occurs during abortion occurs mainly because, the woman who was procuring abortion is suffering from some of these diseases. However, if the abortion is legalized, many women will be able to seek quality medical assistance that will minimize the consequences of all the diseases that the woman may be suffering from. Thirdly, the life of a woman is more important than that of the fetus. It is absurd or arrogant to argue that the unborn fetus has equal rights with the woman and therefore demanding suffering women to risk their lives in the name of upholding fetus rights. At times pregnant women may be experiencing some complications where they are required either to sacrifice their lives or that of the unborn baby. In such situations, there is no way the life of the fetus can be equated with that of the woman and therefore legalization abortion will help to save the life of the mother which cannot be equated with that of unborn fetus.

Fourthly but more importantly, banning abortion is going against the principles of a free society. Pregnancy is a matter that is personal and at same time private. Forcing women to carry pregnancy they do not want not only interfere with their privacy, but also violate their right of choosing what they want. Rights and freedom of a woman are totally violated when the government compel the woman to give birth to a child she does not want. The constitution guarantees every individual freedom of choice and by going this extent the government does not uphold the constitution which established it in the first place. In addition, many battles have been fought and partially won in the past decades to empower women (Kane, 2008). Denying women their productive rights will not only kill their morale in searching for better positions in the society, but also waste many resources that have been spent in liberating women. Thus giving women a chance to have a legal and safe abortion will enable them to retain their personal freedom which is part and parcel of the concept of empowering women in the society. Finally, legalization of abortion will reduce the burden of the government and the society to bring up children that are born by other children. Banning abortion does not in any way stop irresponsible sexual behaviors especially among the young people. Girls as young as fourteen years continue to become mothers as result of untimely and unwanted pregnancies that come with lack of knowledge and irresponsible sexual behaviors. At this age many girls are in schools and there is no way they cannot support their fellow children they have born. Parents, society and the government are therefore given compulsory responsibility of taking care of these new born babies which is expensive in terms of resources. If the abortion is legalized such unwanted burden will be avoided where teens may be allowed to procure abortion when the need arises. This law may also apply in case of a rape or when pregnancy occurs by accidents among the couples. In short legalizing abortion will stop all unwanted pregnancies.

Counter-argument

There are many reasons why abortion should not be legalized chief among them being that, it translate the mother and the doctors to be murderers by terminating what is perceived the life of unborn child. This is a big medical-political debate that has been going on (Fasubaa, Akindele, Adelekan & Okwuokenye, 2002). The act of murder is surely against the laws of any given country and therefore killing of fetus is considered murder and thus should be illegal. However, this argument lack support because it is not clear when the fertilized egg becomes a person in legal sense and when does the rights of unborn child start. Furthermore, every woman has her rights to decide what should happen in their bodies thus aborting would be part of exercising her body rights. Secondly, life is considered sacred and only God should terminate it which means that procuring it amounts to sinning against God. Therefore, any country legalizing it would therefore be declaring to the world that it does not believe in God and allows people to take life on their hands. Nonetheless, some communities are pagan and do not believe in God. This means that making abortion illegal to them on these grounds would be baseless for in the first case they do not believe in God .Again, it is irrational to let both the mother and the child to die naturally when the mother’s health is not okay whereas abortion could have saved the mother. Thirdly abortion creates psychological problems to a mother who does it. Forever in her life the act of aborting will always haunt her for instance when she think that if the baby was born, then she could have become a great person. Also, abortion is mostly procured by young girls who are not mature enough to make good decisions which potentially put stress on them in future when they considerably recount their past acts. This argument has however proved to hold no waters because counseling by a psychologist can eliminate these future psychological problems. The other argument against abortion is that, its legalization creates burden on citizen’s tax on what is considered immoral acts. This is the money used in construction of abortion clinics and also paying the doctors by the government. People have a feeling that this money would have been invested in other development projects as well as in improving the citizen’s welfare especially in the developing countries. However the funds used is so less compared with the economic loss the country experience when working mothers die in abortion procurement under the hands of unqualified quacks when abortion is illegalized. The last but not least argument against abortion is that there are other methods of birth control and therefore it should not be used as a method of birth control. These methods include use of contraceptives, condoms, natural and withdrawal methods which all prevents the mother from getting pregnant after a sexual encounter. The aim of using these methods is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Research has shown that some of these methods such as natural and withdrawal methods do not totally eliminate chances of unwanted pregnancies. This means that they will still occur and women will resort to visit unprofessional health personnel for abortion thus necessitating its legalization.

Response to counter thesis

Secondly, most of the counter arguments that are given to oppose legalizing abortion are based on the moral basis. According to Cornides (2008) human rights and ethical principles cannot be interchanged in the ongoing debate of abortion. For example banning abortion on the basis that it is against the law of God and that it contradict the morally accepted moral values of the society. The issue of morality is not comparable on any basis with violation of individual rights such as denying women a right to make choice on what they want as it is a guarantee of any free society. Using the argument that abortion is against the will of God is based on the assumption that everybody in the society believe in God which is not true. State law should be neutral to everybody without considering what they believe in. The constitution guarantees every citizen the freedom of worship irrespective of what they want to worship. Thus using morality and religious grounds to make state law may lead to making laws that are discriminatory. In conclusion, abortion should be legalized based on the above arguments that show the benefits of legalizing abortion to individual women, government and society at large.

Cornides, J. (2008). Human Rights Pitted Against Man. International Journal of Human Rights, 12(1), 107-134. Fasubaa, O., Akindele, S., Adelekan, A., & Okwuokenye, H. (2002).A politico-medical perspective of induced abortion in a semi-urban community of Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 22 (1), 51-57. Kane, G. (2008). Abortion law reform in Latin America: lessons for advocacy. Gender & Development, 16(2), 361-375. Pringle, H. (1997). Is abortion illegal? Australian Journal of Political Science, 32(1), 93. Wilson, W., & Murray G. (2000).Two Decades of 'Legal' Abortion in Scotland: A Spatio-temporal Analysis. Scottish Geographical Journal, 116(1), 1.

double-banner

Cite this page

Share with friends using:

Removal Request

Removal Request

Finished papers: 1179

This paper is created by writer with

ID 278973632

If you want your paper to be:

Well-researched, fact-checked, and accurate

Original, fresh, based on current data

Eloquently written and immaculately formatted

275 words = 1 page double-spaced

submit your paper

Get your papers done by pros!

Other Pages

Imitation argumentative essays, highway creative writings, fertilizer creative writings, tongue creative writings, valuation creative writings, widow creative writings, stool creative writings, opponent creative writings, sword creative writings, spy creative writings, tiger creative writings, rushton essays, seidl essays, joan essays, reporting entity essays, organizational communication essays, drug abusers essays, substance abuse and mental health services administration essays, sixteen years essays, guildenstern essays, matthew essays, mtor signaling in carcinogenesis article review example, free case study about ethical issue application paper expansion at what cost, example of critical thinking on quot we were incredibly lucky, example of entrepreneurial thinking case study, free report about public relations in action, german south west africa essay, free research paper on the armenian genocide, good article review about gis solutions for environmental management, org behavior essay examples, jesus signs and wonders research papers examples, manifesto essays examples, case study on the joe chaney case, cognitive behavior therapy an analysis critique and application research paper examples, free report about managing communication information and knowledge, good research paper about federal information security management act fisma 2002, technology essays example, causal determinism critical thinking, example of book review on summarizing, good course work on use of performance enhancing substances in sports, good essay on managing innovation, good art architecture essay example.

Password recovery email has been sent to [email protected]

Use your new password to log in

You are not register!

By clicking Register, you agree to our Terms of Service and that you have read our Privacy Policy .

Now you can download documents directly to your device!

Check your email! An email with your password has already been sent to you! Now you can download documents directly to your device.

or Use the QR code to Save this Paper to Your Phone

The sample is NOT original!

Short on a deadline?

Don't waste time. Get help with 11% off using code - GETWOWED

No, thanks! I'm fine with missing my deadline

Library homepage

  • school Campus Bookshelves
  • menu_book Bookshelves
  • perm_media Learning Objects
  • login Login
  • how_to_reg Request Instructor Account
  • hub Instructor Commons

Margin Size

  • Download Page (PDF)
  • Download Full Book (PDF)
  • Periodic Table
  • Physics Constants
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Reference & Cite
  • Tools expand_more
  • Readability

selected template will load here

This action is not available.

Humanities LibreTexts

5.1: Arguments Against Abortion

  • Last updated
  • Save as PDF
  • Page ID 35918

  • Nathan Nobis & Kristina Grob
  • Morehouse College & University of South Carolina Sumter via Open Philosophy Press

\( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

\( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

\( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

\( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

\( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

\( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

\( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

\( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

\( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

\( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

\( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

\( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

\( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

\( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

\( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

We will begin with arguments for the conclusion that abortion is generally wrong , perhaps nearly always wrong . These can be seen as reasons to believe fetuses have the “right to life” or are otherwise seriously wrong to kill.

5.1.1 Fetuses are human

First, there is the claim that fetuses are “human” and so abortion is wrong. People sometimes debate whether fetuses are human , but fetuses found in (human) women clearly are biologically human : they aren’t cats or dogs. And so we have this argument, with a clearly true first premise:

Fetuses are biologically human.

All things that are biologically human are wrong to kill.

Therefore, fetuses are wrong to kill.

The second premise, however, is false, as easy counterexamples show. Consider some random living biologically human cells or tissues in a petri dish. It wouldn’t be wrong at all to wash those cells or tissues down the drain, killing them; scratching yourself or shaving might kill some biologically human skin cells, but that’s not wrong; a tumor might be biologically human, but not wrong to kill. So just because something is biologically human, that does not at all mean it’s wrong to kill that thing. We saw this same point about what’s merely biologically alive.

image7.png

This suggests a deficiency in some common understandings of the important idea of “human rights.” “Human rights” are sometimes described as rights someone has just because they are human or simply in virtue of being human .

But the human cells in the petri dish above don’t have “human rights” and a human heart wouldn’t have “human rights” either. Many examples would make it clear that merely being biologically human doesn’t give something human rights. And many human rights advocates do not think that abortion is wrong, despite recognizing that (human) fetuses are biologically human.

The problem about what is often said about human rights is that people often do not think about what makes human beings have rights or why we have them, when we have them. The common explanation, that we have (human) rights just because we are (biologically) human , is incorrect, as the above discussion makes clear. This misunderstanding of the basis or foundation of human rights is problematic because it leads to a widespread, misplaced fixation on whether fetuses are merely biologically “human” and the mistaken thought that if they are, they have “human rights.” To address this problem, we need to identify better, more fundamental, explanations why we have rights, or why killing us is generally wrong, and see how those explanations might apply to fetuses, as we are doing here.

It might be that when people appeal to the importance and value of being “human,” the concern isn’t our biology itself, but the psychological characteristics that many human beings have: consciousness, awareness, feelings and so on. We will discuss this different meaning of “human” below. This meaning of “human” might be better expressed as conscious being , or “person,” or human person. This might be what people have in mind when they argue that fetuses aren’t even “human.”

Human rights are vitally important, and we would do better if we spoke in terms of “conscious-being rights” or “person-rights,” not “human rights.” This more accurate and informed understanding and terminology would help address human rights issues in general, and help us better think through ethical questions about biologically human embryos and fetuses.

5.1.2 Fetuses are human beings

Some respond to the arguments above—against the significance of being merely biologically human—by observing that fetuses aren’t just mere human cells, but are organized in ways that make them beings or organisms . (A kidney is part of a “being,” but the “being” is the whole organism.) That suggests this argument:

Fetuses are human beings or organisms .

All human beings or organisms are wrong to kill.

Therefore, fetuses are wrong to kill, so abortion is wrong.

The first premise is true: fetuses are dependent beings, but dependent beings are still beings.

The second premise, however, is the challenge, in terms of providing good reasons to accept it. Clearly many human beings or organisms are wrong to kill, or wrong to kill unless there’s a good reason that would justify that killing, e.g., self-defense. (This is often described by philosophers as us being prima facie wrong to kill, in contrast to absolutely or necessarily wrong to kill.) Why is this though? What makes us wrong to kill? And do these answers suggest that all human beings or organisms are wrong to kill?

Above it was argued that we are wrong to kill because we are conscious and feeling: we are aware of the world, have feelings and our perspectives can go better or worse for us —we can be harmed— and that’s what makes killing us wrong. It may also sometimes be not wrong to let us die, and perhaps even kill us, if we come to completely and permanently lacking consciousness, say from major brain damage or a coma, since we can’t be harmed by death anymore: we might even be described as dead in the sense of being “brain dead.” 10

So, on this explanation, human beings are wrong to kill, when they are wrong to kill, not because they are human beings (a circular explanation), but because we have psychological, mental or emotional characteristics like these. This explains why we have rights in a simple, common-sense way: it also simply explains why rocks, microorganisms and plants don’t have rights. The challenge then is explaining why fetuses that have never been conscious or had any feeling or awareness would be wrong to kill. How then can the second premise above, general to all human organisms, be supported, especially when applied to early fetuses?

One common attempt is to argue that early fetuses are wrong to kill because there is continuous development from fetuses to us, and since we are wrong to kill now , fetuses are also wrong to kill, since we’ve been the “same being” all along. 11 But this can’t be good reasoning, since we have many physical, cognitive, emotional and moral characteristics now that we lacked as fetuses (and as children). So even if we are the “same being” over time, even if we were once early fetuses, that doesn’t show that fetuses have the moral rights that babies, children and adults have: we, our bodies and our rights sometimes change.

A second attempt proposes that rights are essential to human organisms: they have them whenever they exist. This perspective sees having rights, or the characteristics that make someone have rights, as essential to living human organisms. The claim is that “having rights” is an essential property of human beings or organisms, and so whenever there’s a living human organism, there’s someone with rights, even if that organism totally lacks consciousness, like an early fetus. (In contrast, the proposal we advocate for about what makes us have rights understands rights as “accidental” to our bodies but “essential” to our minds or awareness, since our bodies haven’t always “contained” a conscious being, so to speak.)

Such a view supports the premise above; maybe it just is that premise above. But why believe that rights are essential to human organisms? Some argue this is because of what “kind” of beings we are, which is often presumed to be “rational beings.” The reasoning seems to be this: first, that rights come from being a rational being: this is part of our “nature.” Second, that all human organisms, including fetuses, are the “kind” of being that is a “rational being,” so every being of the “kind” rational being has rights. 12

In response, this explanation might seem question-begging: it might amount to just asserting that all human beings have rights. This explanation is, at least, abstract. It seems to involve some categorization and a claim that everyone who is in a certain category has some of the same moral characteristics that others in that category have, but because of a characteristic (actual rationality) that only these others have: so, these others profoundly define what everyone else is . If this makes sense, why not also categorize us all as not rational beings , if we are the same kind of beings as fetuses that are actually not rational?

This explanation might seem to involve thinking that rights somehow “trickle down” from later rationality to our embryonic origins, and so what we have later we also have earlier , because we are the same being or the same “kind” of being. But this idea is, in general, doubtful: we are now responsible beings, in part because we are rational beings, but fetuses aren’t responsible for anything. And we are now able to engage in moral reasoning since we are rational beings, but fetuses don’t have the “rights” that uniquely depend on moral reasoning abilities. So that an individual is a member of some general group or kind doesn’t tell us much about their rights: that depends on the actual details about that individual, beyond their being members of a group or kind.

To make this more concrete, return to the permanently comatose individuals mentioned above: are we the same kind of beings, of the same “essence,” as these human beings? If so, then it seems that some human beings can be not wrong to let die or kill, when they have lost consciousness. Therefore, perhaps some other human beings, like early fetuses, are also not wrong to kill before they have gained consciousness . And if we are not the same “kind” of beings, or have different essences, then perhaps we also aren’t the same kind of beings as fetuses either.

Similar questions arise concerning anencephalic babies, tragically born without most of their brains: are they the same “kind” of beings as “regular” babies or us? If so, then—since such babies are arguably morally permissible to let die, even when they could be kept alive, since being alive does them no good—then being of our “kind” doesn’t mean the individual has the same rights as us, since letting us die would be wrong. But if such babies are a different “kind” of beings than us, then pre-conscious fetuses might be of a relevantly different kind also.

So, in general, this proposal that early fetuses essentially have rights is suspect, if we evaluate the reasons given in its support. Even if fetuses and us are the same “kind” of beings (which perhaps we are not!) that doesn’t immediately tell us what rights fetuses would have, if any. And we might even reasonably think that, despite our being the same kind of beings as fetuses (e.g., the same kind of biology), we are also importantly different kinds of beings (e.g., one kind with a mental life and another kind which has never had it). This photograph of a 6-week old fetus might help bring out the ambiguity in what kinds of beings we all are:

image8.png

In sum, the abstract view that all human organisms have rights essentially needs to be plausibly explained and defended. We need to understand how it really works. We need to be shown why it’s a better explanation, all things considered, than a consciousness and feelings-based theory of rights that simply explains why we, and babies, have rights, why racism, sexism and other forms of clearly wrongful discrimination are wrong, and , importantly, how we might lose rights in irreversible coma cases (if people always retained the right to life in these circumstances, presumably, it would be wrong to let anyone die), and more.

5.1.3 Fetuses are persons

Finally, we get to what some see as the core issue here, namely whether fetuses are persons , and an argument like this:

Fetuses are persons, perhaps from conception.

Persons have the right to life and are wrong to kill.

So, abortion is wrong, as it involves killing persons.

The second premise seems very plausible, but there are some important complications about it that will be discussed later. So let’s focus on the idea of personhood and whether any fetuses are persons. What is it to be a person ? One answer that everyone can agree on is that persons are beings with rights and value . That’s a fine answer, but it takes us back to the initial question: OK, who or what has the rights and value of persons? What makes someone or something a person?

Answers here are often merely asserted , but these answers need to be tested: definitions can be judged in terms of whether they fit how a word is used. We might begin by thinking about what makes us persons. Consider this:

We are persons now. Either we will always be persons or we will cease being persons. If we will cease to be persons, what can end our personhood? If we will always be persons, how could that be?

Both options yield insight into personhood. Many people think that their personhood ends at death or if they were to go into a permanent coma: their body is (biologically) alive but the person is gone: that is why other people are sad. And if we continue to exist after the death of our bodies, as some religions maintain, what continues to exist? The person , perhaps even without a body, some think! Both responses suggest that personhood is defined by a rough and vague set of psychological or mental, rational and emotional characteristics: consciousness, knowledge, memories, and ways of communicating, all psychologically unified by a unique personality.

A second activity supports this understanding:

Make a list of things that are definitely not persons . Make a list of individuals who definitely are persons . Make a list of imaginary or fictional personified beings which, if existed, would be persons: these beings that fit or display the concept of person, even if they don’t exist. What explains the patterns of the lists?

Rocks, carrots, cups and dead gnats are clearly not persons. We are persons. Science fiction gives us ideas of personified beings: to give something the traits of a person is to indicate what the traits of persons are, so personified beings give insights into what it is to be a person. Even though the non-human characters from, say, Star Wars don’t exist, they fit the concept of person: we could befriend them, work with them, and so on, and we could only do that with persons. A common idea of God is that of an immaterial person who has exceptional power, knowledge, and goodness: you couldn’t pray to a rock and hope that rock would respond: you could only pray to a person. Are conscious and feeling animals, like chimpanzees, dolphins, cats, dogs, chickens, pigs, and cows more relevantly like us, as persons, or are they more like rocks and cabbages, non-persons? Conscious and feeling animals seem to be closer to persons than not. 13 So, this classificatory and explanatory activity further supports a psychological understanding of personhood: persons are, at root, conscious, aware and feeling beings.

Concerning abortion, early fetuses would not be persons on this account: they are not yet conscious or aware since their brains and nervous systems are either non-existent or insufficiently developed. Consciousness emerges in fetuses much later in pregnancy, likely after the first trimester or a bit beyond. This is after when most abortions occur. Most abortions, then, do not involve killing a person , since the fetus has not developed the characteristics for personhood. We will briefly discuss later abortions, that potentially affect fetuses who are persons or close to it, below.

It is perhaps worthwhile to notice though that if someone believed that fetuses are persons and thought this makes abortion wrong, it’s unclear how they could coherently believe that a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest could permissibly be ended by an abortion. Some who oppose abortion argue that, since you are a person, it would be wrong to kill you now even if you were conceived because of a rape, and so it’s wrong to kill any fetus who is a person, even if they exist because of a rape: whether someone is a person or not doesn’t depend on their origins: it would make no sense to think that, for two otherwise identical fetuses, one is a person but the other isn’t, because that one was conceived by rape. Therefore, those who accept a “personhood argument” against abortion, yet think that abortions in cases of rape are acceptable, seem to have an inconsistent view.

5.1.4 Fetuses are potential persons

If fetuses aren’t persons, they are at least potential persons, meaning they could and would become persons. This is true. This, however, doesn’t mean that they currently have the rights of persons because, in general, potential things of a kind don’t have the rights of actual things of that kind : potential doctors, lawyers, judges, presidents, voters, veterans, adults, parents, spouses, graduates, moral reasoners and more don’t have the rights of actual individuals of those kinds.

Some respond that potential gives the right to at least try to become something. But that trying sometimes involves the cooperation of others: if your friend is a potential medical student, but only if you tutor her for many hours a day, are you obligated to tutor her? If my child is a potential NASCAR champion, am I obligated to buy her a race car to practice? ‘No’ to both and so it is unclear that a pregnant woman would be obligated to provide what’s necessary to bring about a fetus’s potential. (More on that below, concerning the what obligations the right to life imposes on others, in terms of obligations to assist other people.)

5.1.5 Abortion prevents fetuses from experiencing their valuable futures

The argument against abortion that is likely most-discussed by philosophers comes from philosopher Don Marquis. 14 He argues that it is wrong to kill us, typical adults and children, because it deprives us from experiencing our (expected to be) valuable futures, which is a great loss to us . He argues that since fetuses also have valuable futures (“futures like ours” he calls them), they are also wrong to kill. His argument has much to recommend it, but there are reasons to doubt it as well.

First, fetuses don’t seem to have futures like our futures , since—as they are pre-conscious—they are entirely psychologically disconnected from any future experiences: there is no (even broken) chain of experiences from the fetus to that future person’s experiences. Babies are, at least, aware of the current moment, which leads to the next moment; children and adults think about and plan for their futures, but fetuses cannot do these things, being completely unconscious and without a mind.

Second, this fact might even mean that the early fetus doesn’t literally have a future: if your future couldn’t include you being a merely physical, non-conscious object (e.g., you couldn’t be a corpse: if there’s a corpse, you are gone), then non-conscious physical objects, like a fetus, couldn’t literally be a future person. 15 If this is correct, early fetuses don’t even have futures, much less futures like ours. Something would have a future, like ours, only when there is someone there to be psychologically connected to that future: that someone arrives later in pregnancy, after when most abortions occur.

A third objection is more abstract and depends on the “metaphysics” of objects. It begins with the observation that there are single objects with parts with space between them . Indeed almost every object is like this, if you could look close enough: it’s not just single dinette sets, since there is literally some space between the parts of most physical objects. From this, it follows that there seem to be single objects such as an-egg-and-the-sperm-that-would-fertilize-it . And these would also seem to have a future of value, given how Marquis describes this concept. (It should be made clear that sperm and eggs alone do not have futures of value, and Marquis does not claim they do: this is not the objection here). The problem is that contraception, even by abstinence , prevents that thing’s future of value from materializing, and so seems to be wrong when we use Marquis’s reasoning. Since contraception is not wrong, but his general premise suggests that it is , it seems that preventing something from experiencing its valuable future isn’t always wrong and so Marquis’s argument appears to be unsound. 16

In sum, these are some of the most influential arguments against abortion. Our discussion was brief, but these arguments do not appear to be successful: they do not show that abortion is wrong, much less make it clear and obvious that abortion is wrong.

National Academies Press: OpenBook

Legalized Abortion and the Public Health: Report of a Study (1975)

Chapter: summary and conclusions.

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The legal status of abortion in the United States became a heightened national issue with the January 1973 rulings by the Supreme Court that severely limited states' rights to control the procedure. The Court's decisions on the historic cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton precluded any state interference with the doctor-patient decision on abortion during the first trimester (three months) of pregnancy. During the second trimester, a state could intervene only to the extent of insisting on safe medical practices "reasonably related to maternal health." And for approximately the final trimester of a pregnancy—what the Court called "the state subsequent to viability" of a fetus—a state could forbid abortion unless medical judgment found it necessary "for the preservation of the life or health of the mother." The rulings crystallized opposition to abortion, led to the intro- duction of national and state legislation to curtail or prohibit it, and generated political pressures for a national debate on the issue. Against this background of concerns about abortion, the Institute of Medicine in 1974 called together a committee to review the existing evidence on the relationship between legalized abortion and the health of the public. The study group was asked to examine the medical risks to women who obtained legal abortions, and to document changes in the risks as legal abortion became more available. Although there have been other publications on particular relationships between abortion and health, the Institute's study is an attempt to enlist scholars, researchers, health practitioners, and concerned lay persons in a more comprehensive analysis of the available medical information on the subject. Ethical issues of abortion are not discussed in this analysis, nor are questions concerning the fetus in abortion. The study group recog- nizes that this approach implies an ethical position with which some may disagree. The emphasis of the study is on the health effects of abortion, not on the alternatives to abortion.

Abortion legislation and practices are important factors in the relationship between abortion and health status. In order to examine legislation and court decisions that have affected the availability of legal abortion in the U.S., the study group classified the laws and practices into three categories: restrictive conditions, under which abortion is prohibited or permitted only to save the pregnant woman's life; moderately restrictive conditions, under which abortion is per- mitted with approval by several physicians, in a wider range of circumstances to preserve the woman's physical or mental health, prevent the birth of a child with severe genetic or congenital defects, or terminate a pregnancy caused by rape or incest; and non-restrictive conditions, under which abortion essentially is available according to the terms of the Supreme Court ruling. Before 1967, all abortion laws in the United States could be classified as restrictive. Easing of restrictions began in 1967 with Colorado, and soon thereafter 12 other states also adopted moderately restrictive legislation to expand the conditions under which therapeutic abortion could be obtained. In 1970, four states (Alaska, Hawaii, New York, and Washington) removed nearly all legal controls on abortion. Non-restrictive conditions have theoretically existed throughout all fifty states since January 22, 1973, the date of the Supreme Court decision. There is evidence that substantial numbers of illegal abortions were obtained in the U.S. when restrictive laws were in force. Although some of the illegal abortions were performed covertly by physicians in medical settings, many were conducted in unsanitary surroundings by unskilled operators or were self-induced. In this report, "illegal abortion" generally refers to those performed by a non-physician or the woman herself. The medical risks associated with the last two types of illegal abortions are patently greater than with the first. A recent analysis of data from the first year of New York's non- restrictive abortion legislation indicates that approximately 70 percent of the abortions obtained legally in New York City would otherwise have been obtained illegally. Replacement of legal for illegal abortions also is reflected in the substantial decline in the number of reported complications and deaths due to other-than-legal abortions since non- restrictive practices began to be implemented in the United States. The number of all known abortion-related deaths declined from 128 in 1970 to 47 in 1973; those deaths specifically attributed to other-than-legal abortions (i.e., both illegal and spontaneous) dropped from 111 to 25 during the same period, with much of that decline attributed to a reduced incidence of illegal abortions. Increased use of effective con- traception may also have played a role in the decline of abortion-related deaths. Methods most frequently used in the United States to induce abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy are suction (vacuum aspiration) or dilatation and curettage (D&C). Abortions in the second trimester are usually performed by replacing part of the amniotic fluid that surrounds

the fetus with a concentrated salt solution (saline abortion), which usually induces labor 24 to 48 hours later. Other second trimester methods are hysterotomy, a surgical entry into the uterus; hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus; and, recently, the injection into the uterine cavity of a prostaglandin, a substance that causes muscular contractions that expel the fetus. Statistics on legal abortion are collected for the U.S. government by the Center for Disease Control. CDC's most recent nationwide data are for 1973, the year of the Supreme Court decision. Some of those figures are: — The 615,800 legal abortions reported in 1973 were an increase of approximately 29,000 over the number reported in 1972. These probably are underestimates of the actual number of abortions performed because some states have not yet developed adequate abortion reporting systems. — The abortion ratio (number of abortions per 1,000 live births) increased from 180 in 1972 to 195 in 1973. — More than four out of five abortions were performed in the first trimester, most often by suction or D&C. — Approximately 25 percent of the reported 1973 abortions were obtained outside the woman's home state. In 1972, before the Supreme Court decision, 44 percent of the reported abortions had been obtained outside the home state of the patient, primarily in New York and the District of Columbia. — Approximately one-third of the women obtaining abortions were less than 20 years old, another third were between 20 and 25, and the remaining third over 25 years of age. — In all states where data were available, about 25 percent of the women obtaining abortions were married. — White women obtained 68 percent of all reported abortions, but non-white women had abortion ratios about one-third greater than white women. In 1972, non-white women had abortion rates (abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age) about twice those of whites in three states from which data were available to analyze. A national survey of hospitals, clinics, and physicians conducted in 1974 by The Alan Guttmacher Institute furnished data on the number of abortions performed in the U.S. during 1973, itemized by state and type of provider. A total of 745,400 abortions were reported in the survey, a figure higher than the 615,800 abortions reported in 1973 to CDC. The Guttmacher Institute obtains its data from providers of health services, while CDC gets most of its data from state health departments.

Risks of medical complications associated with legal abortions are difficult to evaluate because of problems of definition and subjective physician judgment. Available information from 66 centers is provided by the Joint Program for the Study of Abortion, undertaken by The Population Council in 1970-1971. The JPSA study surveyed almost 73,000 legal abortions. It used a restricted definition of major complications, which included unintended major surgery, one or more blood transfusions, three or more days of fever, and several other categories involving prolonged illness or permanent impairment. Although this study also collected data on minor complica- tions, such as one day of fever post-operatively, the data on major com- plications are probably more significant. The major complication rates published by the JPSA study and summarized below relate to women who had abortions in local facilities and from whom follow-up information was obtained. — Complications in women not obtaining concurrent sterilization and with no pre-existing medical problems (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, or gynecological problems) occurred 0.6 times per 100 abortions in the first trimester and 2.1 per 100 in the second trimester. — Complications in women not obtaining concurrent sterilization, but having pre-existing problems, occurred 2.0 times per 100 in the first trimester and 6.7 in the second. — Complications in women obtaining concurrent sterilization and not having pre-existing problems occurred 7.2 times per 100 in the first trimester and 8.0 in the second. — Women with both concurrent sterilization and pre-existing problems experienced complications approximately 17 times per 100 abortions regardless of trimester. The relatively high complication rates associated with sterilization in the JPSA study would probably be lower today because new sterilization techniques require minimal surgery and carry lower rates of complications. The frequency of medical complications due to illegal abortions cannot be calculated precisely, but the trend in these complications can be estimated from the number of hospital admissions due to septic and incomplete abortion—two adverse consequences of the illegal procedure.

The number of such admissions in New York City's municipal hospitals declined from 6,524 in 1969 to 3,253 in 1973; most restrictions on legal abortion in New York City were lifted in July of 1970. In Los Angeles, the number of reported hospital admissions for septic abortions declined from 559 in 1969 to 119 in 1971. Other factors, such as an increased use of effective contraception and a decreasing rate of unwanted pregnancies may have contributed to these declines, but it is probable that the introduction of less restrictive abortion legislation was a major factor. There has not been enough experience with legal abortion in the U.S. for conclusions to be drawn about long-term complications, particularly for women obtaining repeated legal abortions. Some studies from abroad suggest that long-term complications may include prematurity, miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancies in future pregnancies, or infertility. But research findings from countries having long experience with legal abortion are inconsistent among studies and the relevance of these data to the U.S. is not known; methods of abortion, medical services, and socio-economic characteristics vary from one country to another. Risks of maternal death associated with legal abortion are low—1.7 deaths per 100,000 first trimester procedures in 1972 and 1973—and less than the risks associated with illegal abortion, full-term pregnancy, and most surgical procedures. The 1973 mortality rate for a full-term pregnancy was 14 deaths per 100,000 live vaginal deliveries; the 1969 rate for cesarean sections was 111 deaths per 100,000 deliveries. For second trimester abortions, the combined 1972-73 mortality ratio was 12.2 deaths per 100,000 abortions. (For comparison, the surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids had a mortality risk of five deaths per 100,000 operations in 1969). When the mortality risk of legal abortion is examined by length of gestation it becomes apparent that the mortality risks increase not only from the first to the second trimester, but also by each week of ges- tation. For example, during 1972-73, the mortality ratio for legal abortions performed at eight weeks or less was 0.5, and for those performed between nine and 10 weeks was 1.7 deaths per 100,000 legal abortions. At 11 to 12 weeks the mortality ratio increased to 4.2 deaths, and by 16 to 20 weeks, the ratio was more than 17 deaths per 100,000 abortions. Hysterotomy and hysterectomy, methods performed infrequently in both trimesters, had a combined mortality ratio of 61.3 deaths per 100,000 procedures. Some data on the mortality associated with illegal abortion are avail- lable from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and from CDC. In 1961 there were 320 abortion-related deaths reported in the U.S., most of them presumed by the medical profession to be from illegal abortion. By 1973, total reported deaths had declined to 47, of which 16 were specifi- cally attributed to illegal abortions. There has been a steady decline in the mortality rates (number of deaths per 100,000 women aged 15-44) associated with other-than-legal abortion for both white and non-white women, but in 1973 the mortality rate for non-white women (0.29) was almost ten times greater than that reported for white women (0.03).

Psychological effects of legal abortion are difficult to evaluate for reasons that include lack of information on pre-abortion psychological status, ambiguous terminology, and the absence of standardized measurements. The cumulative evidence in recent years indicates that although it may be a stressful experience, abortion is not associated with any detectable increase in the incidence of mental illness. The depression or guilt feelings reported by some women following abortion are generally described as mild and temporary. This experience, however, does not necessarily apply to women with a previous history of psychiatric illness; for them, abortion may be followed by continued or aggravated mental illness. The JPSA survey led to an estimate of the incidence of post-abortion psychosis ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 per 1,000 legal abortions. This is lower than the post-partum psychosis rate of one to two per 1,000 deliveries in the United States. Psychological factors also bear on whether a woman obtains a first or second-trimester abortion. Two studies in particular suggest that women who delay abortion into the later period may have more feelings of ambiva- lence, denial of the pregnancy, or objection on religious grounds, than those obtaining abortions in the first trimester. It is also apparent, however, that some second-trimester abortions result from procedural delays, difficulties in obtaining a pregnancy test, locating appropriate counseling, or arranging and financing the procedure. Diagnosis of severe defects of a fetus well before birth has greatly advanced in the past decade. Developments in the techniques of amniocen- tesis and cell culture have enabled a number of genetic defects and other congenital disorders to be detected in the second trimester of pregnancy. Prenatal diagnosis and the opportunity to terminate an affected pregnancy by a legal abortion may help many women who would have refrained from becoming pregnant or might have given birth to an abnormal child, to bear children unaffected by the disease they fear. Abortion, with or with- out prenatal diagnosis, also can be used in instances where there is reasonable risk that the fetus may be affected by birth defects from non-genetic causes, such as those caused by exposure of the woman to rubella virus infection or x-rays, or by her ingestion of drugs known to damage the fetus. Almost 60 inherited metabolic disorders, such as Tay-Sachs disease, potentially can be diagnosed before birth. More than 20 of these diseases already have been diagnosed with reasonaable accuracy by means of amniocentesis and other procedures. The techniques also can be used to identify a fetus with abnormal chromosomes, as in Down's syndrome (mongolism), and to discriminate between male and female fetuses, which in such diseases as hemophilia would allow determination of whether the fetus was at risk of being affected or simply at risk of being a hereditary carrier of the disorder.

In North America, amniocentesis was performed in more than 6,000 second-trimester pregnancies between 1967 and 1974. The diagnostic accuracy was close to 100 percent and complication rates were about two percent. Less than 10 percent of the diagnoses disclosed an affected fetus, meaning that the great majority of parents at risk averted an unnecessary abortion and were able to carry an unaffected child to term. There are many limitations to the use of prenatal diagnosis, especially for mass screening purposes. Amniocentesis is a fairly expensive procedure, and relatively few medical personnel are qualified to administer it and carry out the necessary diagnostic tests. Only a small number of genetic disorders can now be identified by means of amniocentesis and many couples still have no way to determine whether or not they are to be the parents of a child with genetic defects. Nevertheless, the avail- ability of a legal abortion expands the options available to a woman who faces a known risk of having an affected child. Abortion as a substitute for contraception is one possibility raised by the adoption of non-restrictive abortion laws. Limited data do not allow definitive conclusions, but they suggest that the introduction of non-restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. has not lead to any documented decline in demand for contraceptive services. Among women who sought abortion and who had previously not used contraception or had used it poorly, there is some evidence that they may have begun to practice contraception because contraceptives were made available to them at the time of their abortion. The health aspects of this issue bear on the higher mortality and mor- bidity associated with abortion as compared with contraceptive use, and on the possibility that if women rely on abortion rather than contraception they may have repeated abortions, for which the risk of long-term compli- cations is not known. The incidence of repeated legal abortions is little known because legal abortion has only been widely available in the U.S. for a few years. Data from New York City indicate that during the first two years of non-restrictive laws 2.45 percent of the abortions obtained by residents were repeat procedures. If those two years are divided into six-month periods, repeated legal abortions as a percent of the total rose from 0.01 percent in the first period to 6.02 percent in the last. Part of this increase is attributable to a statistical fact: the longer non-restrictive laws are in effect, the greater the number of women eligible to have repeated legal abortions. Perhaps, too, the reporting system has improved. In any case, some low incidence of repeated abortions is to be expected because none of the current contraceptive methods is completely failureproof, nor are they likely to be used with maximum care on all occasions.

8 A recent study has suggested that one additional factor contributing to the incidence of repeated abortions is that abortion facilities may not routinely provide contraceptive services at the time of the procedure. This is of concern because of recent evidence that ovulation usually oc- curs within five weeks and perhaps as early as 10 days after an abortion. The conclusions of the study group: — Many women will seek to terminate an unwanted pregnancy by abortion whether it is legal or not. Although the mortality and morbidity . associated with illegal abortion cannot be fully measured, they are clearly greater than the risks associated with legal abortion. Evidence suggests that legislation and practices that permit women to obtain abortions in proper medical surroundings will lead to fewer deaths and a lower rate of medical complications than restrictive legislation and practices. —• The substantial differences between the mortality and morbidity associated with legal abortion in the first and second trimesters suggest that laws, medical practices, and educational programs should enable and encourage women who have chosen abortion to obtain it in the first three months of pregnancy. — More research is needed on the consequences of abortion on health status. Of highest priority are investigations of long-term medical complications, particularly after multiple abortions the effects of abortion and denied abortion on the mental health and social welfare of individuals and families the factors of motivation, behavior, and access associated with contraceptive use and the choice of abortion.

READ FREE ONLINE

Welcome to OpenBook!

You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

Show this book's table of contents , where you can jump to any chapter by name.

...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter .

Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

View our suggested citation for this chapter.

Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

Get Email Updates

Do you enjoy reading reports from the Academies online for free ? Sign up for email notifications and we'll let you know about new publications in your areas of interest when they're released.

Argumentative Essay on Abortion – Sample Essay

Published by gudwriter on October 24, 2017 October 24, 2017

A Break Down of my Abortion Argumentative Essay

Styling format: APA 6th Edition

Elevate Your Writing with Our Free Writing Tools!

Did you know that we provide a free essay and speech generator, plagiarism checker, summarizer, paraphraser, and other writing tools for free?

Any type of essays can be written by our expert tutors. Whether you want an argumentative essay on abortion or on any other topic, our MBA application essay help has got you covered on any type of essay you want written.

Title: Abortion Should Be Legal

Introduction.

The introduction paragraph of an argumentative essay constitutes of 4 parts. Topic introduction, a reason why the topic is important, accepting there is a difference of opinion on this topic and lastly a statement that gives the writer’s main premises, popularly known as a thesis statement.

The body of my abortion argumentative essay contains reasons + evidence to support my thesis. I have also included opposing arguments to show the reader that I have considered both sides of the argument and that am able to anticipate and criticize any opposing arguments before they are even stated. I have made sure to show the reader that though I have written opposing arguments and that I do not agree with them.

The conclusion paragraph of this abortion essay constitutes of three main parts. The first part restates the main premises: The decision to terminate a pregnancy should generally lie with pregnant women. The second part presents 1 – 2 sentences which summarizes the arguments that support my thesis. And lastly my personal position.

I tried to use credible resources for this essay. Books from respectable publishers on this subject.  Peer reviewed articles and journals are also acceptable.

Argumentative Essay on Abortion

The abortion debate is an ongoing controversy, continually dividing Americans along moral, legal, and religious lines. Most people tend to assume one of two positions: “pro-life” (an embryo or fetus should be given the right to gestate to term and be born. Simply put, women should not be given the right to abort as that constitutes murder) or “pro-choice” (women should be given the right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy).

When you are writing an abortion  argumentative essay , you are free to support any side that you want. Whichever position you take, make sure you have good points and supporting facts.

In this abortion essay, I have decided to take the pro-choice position: a woman carrying a fetus should be given the right to abort it or carry the baby to term. In fact, my thesis statement for this argumentative essay is abortion should be legal and women should have the right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

My essay is divided into three basic parts, the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Read till the end to find the brief analysis of the parts /sections.

Here is my abortion argumentative essay. Enjoy!

Abortion Should Be Legal

A heated debate continues to surround the question of whether or not abortion should be legal. Those who feel it should be legal have branded themselves “pro-choice” while those opposed to its legality fall under the banner of “pro-life.” In the United States of America, not even the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case (Parker, 2017) that declared abortion as a fundamental human right has served to bring this debate to an end. The pro-choice brigade front an argument that abortion is a right that should be enjoyed by all women and one that should not be taken away by religious authority or even governments. They claim that this right cannot be superseded by the perceived right that should be enjoyed by a fetus or embryo. If not legalized, the pro-choice claim, women would resort to unsafe means. However, to pro-life, the life of a human being begins at fertilization and therefore abortion condemns an innocent human being to immoral murder. They further argue that the practice exposes the unborn human to pain and suffering. This paper argues that abortion should be legal and women should have the right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

Perhaps you may find comparing and contrasting the higher education between England and Kenya interesting .

Just as was observed by the US Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, an individual should be allowed certain privacy zones or areas. The decision of a pregnant woman to terminate her pregnancy or not should fall within this fundamental right (Parker, 2017). Interfering with this right is a kin to deciding for a person the kind of people they may associate with or the kind of a person they may fall in love with. These kinds of private matters are very sensitive and any decision touching on them should be left at the discretion of an individual. After all, it is the woman who knows why they would want to terminate a pregnancy. It could be that seeing the pregnancy to its maturity and eventual delivery would endanger the life of the bearer. It could also be that a woman is not comfortable with having a baby due to some reason(s). Whatever reason a woman might have, it is their private affair; they should be left to handle it in private.

On the same note, women get empowered by reproductive choice as they get the opportunity to freely exercise control over their bodies. Just like male members of the society, women should be allowed to be independent and be able to determine their future. This includes the freewill of determining whether or not to have children. The ability to control their productive lives would ensure that women are well placed to take part equally in the social and economic matters of the society (Mooney, 2013). It should not be that upon conceiving, a woman has no otherwise but to deliver the baby. What if the conception was accidental? Even if it was not accidental, a woman can realize or determine before delivery that she is just not ready to have the baby as she might have initially planned. At that point, they should have the freedom to terminate the pregnancy.

The pro-life’s argument that abortion is murder is a bit far fetched. The fetus or embryo may be innocent as they claim. However, it is noteworthy that it is only after the fetus becomes able to survive outside the womb that personhood begins (Ziegler, 2015). This is definitely after birth and not during the pregnancy or at conception. In this respect, the claim that abortion kills innocent human beings is actually not valid. On the contrary, this stance or statement culminates in the victimization of innocent women who have committed no wrong but exercised their right of controlling their reproductive life. Ideally, an embryo or fetus should not be considered a human being just yet. There   should thus be nothing like “unborn babies” but fetuses or embryos.

Legal abortion also ensures that women may avoid maternal injury or death by securing professional and safe means of performing abortion. The point here is that illegalizing abortion would compel some women to resort to unsafe abortion means. In the process, they might sustain life threatening injuries or even lose their lives (Schwarz & Latimer, 2012). Whether legal or not, a woman would make up their mind and terminate her pregnancy! The only difference is that in a “legal” environment, she would be safe. Why then endanger the lives of pregnant women who may like to have an abortion by illegalizing the practice? In addition, the pro-life argument that a fetus feels pain during the procedure of abortion is less convincing. It may be that the reason a mother is terminating a pregnancy is to prevent the yet to be born child from facing the pains of the world. If a mother feels she may not accord her child all the necessities of life, she would be right to subject the child to the “short-term pain” during abortion.

Those opposed to abortion further argue that the practice brews a traumatic experience for women as it involves the death of a human being. Specifically, they contend that the experience emanates from a woman witnessing how she intentionally and violently condemns her unborn child to death by physically destroying it. They hold that it also subjects the woman to unacknowledged grief and thoughts of severed maternal attachments and as well violates her parental responsibility and instinct (Major et al., 2009). According to this argument, this experience can be as traumatic as to plunge a woman into serious mental health problems, in what may be called post-abortion syndrome (PAS). This syndrome may attract symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they say. Anti-abortion crusaders further contend that the aftermath of undergoing the procedure may see a woman experience such PTSD related symptoms as substance abuse, guilt, shame, anger, grief, depression, denial, and flashbacks (Major et al., 2009). While all these may seem to be sensible to some extent, they fail to recognize that a woman who willfully secures an abortion would not have to worry about having “killed” her unborn baby. Instead, she would appreciate that she was able to successfully terminate the pregnancy before it could grow to maturity.

The decision to terminate a pregnancy should generally lie with pregnant women. It is a private decision that should not be interfered with. Women should be able to determine when to have a child. If she deems it not yet time, she should be allowed to abort. A woman actually kills nobody by aborting but rather prevents the fetus from being able to survive outside the womb. The reason for aborting should not be questioned, whether medical, involving incest or rape, or just personal. Whatever reason it might be, it falls within the right of a woman to determine and control their productive life.

Major, B. et al. (2009). Abortion and mental health.  American Psychologist , 64 (9), 863-890.

Mooney, C. (2013). Should abortion be legal? San Diego, CA: ReferencePoint Press, Incorporated.

Parker, W. (2017). Life’s work: a moral argument for choice . New York City, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Schwarz, S. D., & Latimer, K. (2012). Understanding abortion: from mixed feelings to rational thought . Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Ziegler, M. (2015). After Roe . Cambridge , MA: Harvard University Press.

Argumentative Essay against Abortion 2, with Outline

Abortion argumentative essay outline.

Thesis:  Abortion is wrong and should not be legalized since its disadvantages far outweigh its advantages, if any.

Paragraph 1:

It is wrong to condemn an innocent human being to murder.

  • Human life begins at conception and this implies that at whatever stage a pregnancy may be terminated, an innocent being would have been killed.
  • The fetus is a human being and should be allowed to grow and be born and live their life to the fullest.
  • A fetus has a unique genetic code and thus it is a unique individual person.

Paragraph 2:

It is wrong to deliberately cause pain.

  • Whatever process is used to secure an abortion subjects the developing human to untold suffering before they eventually die.
  • By 18 weeks, a fetus has undergone sufficient development to feel pain.
  • Aborting a fetus is the same as physically attacking an innocent person and causing them fatal physical bodily harm.

Paragraph 3:

Abortion increases tolerance of killing which is a wrong precedence for the human race.

  • To legalize abortion and to view it as being right is like to legalize killing and see nothing wrong with it.
  • The respect people have for human life would be reduced if killing would be legalized.
  • Loss of society’s respect for human life may result into increased murder rates, genocide, and euthanasia.

Paragraph 4:

Abortion is can seriously harm a woman’s body and in some cases lead to the death of that woman.

  • It yields both anticipated physical side effects as well as potentially more serious complications.
  • In other instances, a woman may experience serious complications that may even threaten her life as a result of having an abortion.

Paragraph 5:

People who believe abortion is not morally wrong argue that the fetus should not necessarily be considered a person with the right to life.

  • This is wrong because the collection of human cells that is the fetus, if given the opportunity to grow, eventually becomes a complete human being.
  • The beginning of human life should be considered to be at conception.
  • A conceived human should be allowed to see out their life.

Paragraph 6:

The pro-choice group argues that pregnant women have moral rights too and that these rights may override the right of the fetus to live.

  • This argument fails to acknowledge that the moral rights of one human being should not deny another human being their moral rights.
  • Both the woman and fetus’ rights should be respected.

Abortion is absolutely wrong and no arguments can justify its morality or legality. It kills innocent human beings before they can develop and experience life. It also causes untold pain and suffering to an innocent fetus. It further increases tolerance to killing.

Argumentative Essay against Abortion Example 2

People across the world have strong opinions for and against abortion. Those who argue for its legalization fall under the “pro-choice” group while those who oppose its legalization are under the “pro-life” group. Even after the practice was declared a fundamental human right in the United States by the  Roe v. Wade  Supreme Court case, the debate about it is still going on in the country. According to pro-choice arguments, all women should enjoy abortion as a human right and no religious and/or government authorities should take that away from them. On the other hand, pro-life brigade argue that abortion immorally murders innocent human beings since the life of a human being begins at fertilization. This paper argues that abortion is wrong and should not be legalized since its disadvantages far outweigh its advantages, if any.

The major reason why abortion is wrong is because it is wrong to condemn an innocent human being to murder.  Human life begins once they are conceived  and this implies that at whatever stage a pregnancy may be terminated, an innocent being would have been killed. The fetus is in itself a human being and should be allowed to grow and be born and live their life to the fullest. As pointed out by Kaczor (2014), a fetus has a unique genetic code and thus it is a unique individual person. It is a potential human being with a future just like people who are already born. It would be wrong to destroy their future on the account of being killed through abortion.

Abortion is also wrong because it is wrong to deliberately cause pain. Whatever process is used to secure an abortion subjects the developing human to untold suffering before they eventually die. By 18 weeks, a fetus has undergone sufficient development to feel pain (Meyers, 2010). Thus, aborting it would be the same as physically attacking an innocent person and causing them fatal physical bodily harm. Under normal circumstances, such an attack would attract condemnation and the person or people involved would be punished accordingly as per the law. This is the exact same way abortion should be viewed and treated. It should be legally prohibited and those who do it should be punished for causing pain on an innocent person.

Further, abortion increases tolerance of killing and this is a wrong precedence being created for the human race. Just as Kershnar (2017) warns, to legalize abortion and to view it as being right is like to legalize killing and see nothing wrong with it. The respect people have for human life would be reduced if killing was legalized. It would be wrong and detrimental to reduce society’s respect for human life as it may result in increased murder rates, genocide, and euthanasia. Just like such measures as vaccination and illegalization of murder are taken to preserve human life, prohibiting abortion should be considered an important way of increasing human respect for life. Society should not tolerate killing in whatever form and should discourage it through every available opportunity.

Another detrimental effect of abortion is that it can seriously harm a woman’s body and in some cases lead to the death of that woman. It yields both anticipated physical side effects as well as potentially more serious complications. Some of the side effects a woman is likely to experience after securing an abortion include bleeding and spotting, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and cramping and abdominal pain. Worse is that these side effects can continue occurring two to four weeks after the procedure is completed (“Possible Physical Side Effects,” 2019). In other instances, a woman may experience serious complications that may even threaten her life as a result of having an abortion. These complications may include damage to other body organs, perforation of the uterus, the uterine wall sustaining scars, the cervix being damaged, sepsis or infection, and persistent or heavy bleeding. In the worst case scenario, a woman undergoing the abortion process might lose her life instantly (“Possible Physical Side Effects,” 2019). While such cases are rare, it is still not sensible to expose a woman to these experiences. A practice that has the potential to endanger human life in this manner should be considered wrong both legally and morally. It is the responsibility of individuals to care for and not expose their lives to harm.

People who believe abortion is not morally wrong argue that the fetus should not necessarily be considered a person who has the right to life. They hold that the fetus is just a collection of human cells and thus does not deserve the express right to live (Bailey, 2011). This argument is misinformed because the fact is that this collection of human cells that is the fetus, if given the opportunity to grow, eventually becomes a complete human being. This is why the beginning of human life should be considered to be at conception and not at birth or after some time after conception. A conceived human should be allowed to see out their life and only die naturally.

Another argument by the pro-choice group is that pregnant women have moral rights too and that these rights may override the right of the fetus to live under certain circumstances. These rights, according to this argument, include the right to take decision without legal or moral interference, the right to decide one’s own future, the right to ownership of one’s own body, and the right to life (Bailey, 2011). This argument fails to acknowledge that the moral rights of one human being should not deny another human being their moral rights. Even in cases where carrying a pregnancy to delivery would endanger the life of a pregnant woman, the fetus should be separated from the mother and be allowed to grow through such other mechanisms as being placed in an incubator.

Abortion is absolutely wrong and no arguments can justify its morality or legality. It kills innocent human beings before they can develop and experience life. It also causes untold pain and suffering to an innocent fetus. It further increases tolerance to killing, a precedence that would make people throw away their respect to human life and kill without a second thought. Even worse is that the practice exposes aborting women to serious bodily harm and could even claim their lives. Those who do not consider the fetus as a moral person who deserves to live are wrong because upon complete development, the fetus indeed becomes a human being. Similarly, those who feel the moral rights of a pregnant woman should override those of the fetus ignore the fact that both the woman and the fetus are human beings with equal rights.

Bailey, J. (2011).  Abortion . New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group.

Kaczor, C. (2014).  The ethics of abortion: women’s rights, human life, and the question of justice . New York, NY: Routledge.

Kershnar, S. (2017).  Does the pro-life worldview make sense?: Abortion, hell, and violence against abortion doctors . New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Meyers, C. (2010).  The fetal position: a rational approach to the abortion issue . Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.

“Possible Physical Side Effects after Abortion”. (2019). In  American Pregnancy Association , Retrieved July 5, 2020.

More examples of argumentative essays written by our team of quality writers

  • Same Sex Marriage Argumentative Essay, with Outline
  • American Patriotism Argumentative Essay
  • Argumentative Essay On Marijuana Legalization
  • Euthanasia Argumentative Essay Sample
  • Artificial Intelligence Argumentative Essay
  • Gun Control Argumentative Essay – Sample Essay
  • Can Money Buy Happiness Argumentative Essay, With Outline
  • Illegal Immigration Argumentative Essay

Our online homework help service is available 24/7 to help you with any homework assignments that may be troubling you.

Gudwriter Custom Papers

Special offer! Get 20% discount on your first order. Promo code: SAVE20

Related Posts

Free essays and research papers, artificial intelligence argumentative essay – with outline.

Artificial Intelligence Argumentative Essay Outline In recent years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become one of the rapidly developing fields and as its capabilities continue to expand, its potential impact on society has become a topic Read more…

Synthesis Essay Example – With Outline

The goal of a synthesis paper is to show that you can handle in-depth research, dissect complex ideas, and present the arguments. Most college or university students have a hard time writing a synthesis essay, Read more…

spatial order example

Examples of Spatial Order – With Outline

A spatial order is an organizational style that helps in the presentation of ideas or things as is in their locations. Most students struggle to understand the meaning of spatial order in writing and have Read more…

USA TODAY

In Idaho, don’t say ‘abortion’? A state law limits teachers at public universities, they say

This story was published in partnership with the Center for Public Integrity , a newsroom that investigates inequality.

University of Idaho student Bergen Kludt-Painter started school in August 2022, a few months after a U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down Roe v. Wade. Soon after, abortion was banned in Idaho in almost all instances.

The political science major was eager to discuss the precedent-shattering case in class, but, she said, “we talked about everything except for abortion.”

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

During a political science course on how to write a research paper, her professor said he could not give her feedback on her chosen topic — abortion. The issue didn’t come up in her other political science classes either, even as state after state changed their abortion laws. Nor did abortion get mentioned in her Introduction to Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies course.

“It wasn’t discussed,” she said, “which I found odd, personally, because it feels like something that would be relevant to talk about in a class like that.”

But few, if any, public university professors in Idaho are talking about or assigning readings on abortion these days. That’s due to a 2021 law that makes it illegal for state employees to “promote abortion” or “counsel in favor of abortion.” Professors have said those two phrases put them at risk of violating the law, known as the No Public Funds for Abortion Act , just for discussing abortion in class. The possible penalties include significant fines and even prison time.

Six named University of Idaho professors and two faculty unions filed a lawsuit against the state in August for violating their First Amendment right to free speech and academic freedom and their 14 th Amendment right to a clearly worded law. Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union are representing the professors.

“The more I heard about it, the more worried I was that I really can't teach my class in a responsible way without putting myself at risk,” said Aleta Quinn, an associate professor of philosophy for the University of Idaho and a plaintiff in the case.

Quinn teaches a course in biomedical ethics that typically features readings and class discussions about abortion. When she saw that the highest penalty for breaking the law was 14 years in prison, “I decided I would not — I couldn't — teach the subject of abortion.”

The bulk of the arguments in the case center on the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, which the Supreme Court has interpreted to mean that a statute “so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning” violates a person’s right to fair treatment under the law. 

The case also raises an important First Amendment question about protections for academic freedom in America: Are public university professors exempt from laws that could otherwise govern the speech of state employees?

Supreme Court precedent suggests the government has significant leeway to regulate the speech of the people it employs while they are performing their professional duties.

Still, the most recent court opinion on the issue left open the question of how much that speech could be regulated for one key group: public university professors. 

“We need not, and for that reason do not, decide whether the analysis we conduct today would apply in the same manner to a case involving speech related to scholarship or teaching,” then Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the 2006 majority opinion in Garcetti v. Ceballos .

The Supreme Court has not yet returned to that decision. 

“So establishing that legal principle, in and of itself, is an important endeavor for those [Idaho] professors,” said Helen Norton, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Colorado who is not involved in the case.

Interestingly, none of the professors suing in the Idaho case are nursing instructors or even biology professors. They aren’t teaching anyone about the physical nature of abortion. Their concerns, as scholars of subjects like philosophy, political science, gender studies and English, are focused on whether they can speak about abortion as an ethical, political and historical issue.  

For example, a sworn statement by an English professor named in the case explained that he used to assign Sallie Tisdale’s 1987 Harper’s Magazine essay, “We Do Abortions Here,” in one of his classes. The essay about her work as a nurse in an abortion clinic explores the complicated morality of helping women end their pregnancies. It’s also considered to be an example of powerful writing. He has now removed it from his syllabus.

Lawyers for the state of Idaho agree that professors fall under a different regulatory framework than other public employees when it comes to what they are permitted to say in the course of their duties. In their motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the state’s attorneys concede that settled law establishes protections for academics’ speech.

A month after the case was filed, Idaho’s attorney general, a defendant in the case, issued a non-binding opinion that the law does not apply to the “teaching or scholarship” of public university professors. If it did, Raul Labrador wrote, “the prohibition would likely be unconstitutional.”

A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office declined to respond to repeated requests for an interview.

Republican state Rep. Bruce Skaug, the sponsor of the No Public Funds for Abortion Act, later introduced legislation to create a specific protection for classroom discussion of abortion, but it failed to pass. Skaug did not respond to requests for an interview.

Rather than arguing about the First Amendment claim, lawyers for the state focused on the professors’ assertion that the law is unconstitutionally vague under the 14th Amendment.

“Plaintiffs have alleged that there is a law that prohibits them from teaching college courses concerning abortion, producing scholarship in favor of abortion, and grading papers concerning abortion,” the state’s lawyers write in the November motion to dismiss. “There is no such law in the state of Idaho.”

The state’s attorneys argue that any reasonable reader of the law would see that the statute refers only to the act of advising a specific person to have an abortion. As written, they argue the law could not be interpreted as a prohibition on, say, giving a strong grade on a writing assignment where the student had chosen to make an ethical argument in favor of abortion. 

Because of the attorney general’s opinion and the “plain language” in the law, the state’s lawyers say the professors are imagining themselves to be at risk of prosecution when, in reality, no such risk exists.  

Lawyers for the plaintiffs disagree. Federal courts have issued rulings with varied interpretations of the word “promote.” And the lawsuit offers numerous hypothetical situations in which a professor could be prosecuted for promoting abortion even if that were not their intent.

Norton, the University of Colorado law professor, said it was reasonable for the professors to question the law’s language.

“That’s shown so far to be the focus of the dispute — what does ‘promoting’ or ‘counseling’ mean?” she said. “And it seems like that’s an important thing to nail down.”

Because there’s no definition of the terms in the law, she said, “there’s absolutely room for folks to argue about whether or not we should be quick or slow to interpret broadly or narrowly.”

The current case challenging Idaho’s No Public Funds for Abortion Act does not directly include the state’s many other public employees, like social workers and school counselors, who are unlikely to qualify for any special First Amendment protections. 

Public school teachers in the K-12 system do not have the same level of academic freedom protections as professors, either. But a high school history teacher could face the same concerns that speaking about abortion in class could be construed as either promoting or counseling in favor of it. 

However, those employees would no longer have their speech curtailed if the professors prevail and a court strikes the law down.

That matters because Idaho’s restrictions surrounding abortion are so tight at this point that nearly every other action connected to encouraging abortion has been outlawed some other way. At this point, regulating how public employees speak about abortion is arguably the only thing the No Public Funds law still does. Opponents of the law have questioned why the state is fighting to uphold it, if not to limit speech about abortion.

Wendy Heipt, a reproductive rights attorney with Legal Voice who is working on a challenge to Idaho’s ban on helping minors travel to receive abortions without parental consent, calls the state Legislature “extremist.” She worries that the state has become a “testing ground” for the far right.

“You would notice [these laws] in Texas,” where more than 30 million people live, she said, “not Idaho,” home to less than 2 million.

Indeed, copycat travel ban bills restricting the movement of minors seeking an abortion were introduced in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Oklahoma this session, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization that works to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.

No one interviewed for this story had heard about a copycat law that raised the same combination of First and 14th Amendment concerns as Idaho’s No Public Funds measure.

A judge heard the professors’ case in Idaho District Court in April. His decision on whether the preliminary injunction they’ve asked for will be granted is expected soon. The judge could also decide to dismiss the case, as the attorney general’s office has proposed. If the judge doesn’t dismiss the case, he will likely ask both parties to reconvene for another hearing before a final resolution.

In the meantime, professors are continuing to stay quiet about abortion in class. 

For someone dedicated to the free exchange of ideas like Quinn, that silence feels wrong. When she started teaching, her goal was to make the world a slightly better place by helping young people learn how to think, not what to think. She feels like she’s not fulfilling her duty to her students by ignoring an ethical debate as relevant to daily life as abortion.

“Philosophy is thinking critically about ideas and concepts and arguments, and considering which arguments are stronger and which are weaker and how they apply and all their implications,” Quinn said. “My goal is to enable people to have the skills to evaluate positions on their own.”

Kludt-Painter, the University of Idaho student, is the president of the Young Democrats. But her issues with the No Public Funds law weren’t about the politics of abortion. It’s an education she wants and feels she is being at least partially denied.

“It's a form of censorship,” she said. “College students should be able to handle hearing about these difficult topics. And educators should be able to discuss them and have a free exchange of ideas without being worried about getting fired or having criminal charges be brought against them.”

Hayden Cassinelli, the vice president of the College Republicans at the University of Idaho, said the topic of abortion came up in one of his classes recently but was "quickly avoided" when a teaching assistant told students he couldn’t discuss it. 

Despite Cassinelli’s opposition to abortion, the sophomore education major believes the topic should be discussed in class. He doesn’t think the No Public Funds law prevents such discussions. But he supported his university’s decision to issue guidance to professors in fall 2022, urging them to be cautious when talking about abortion.

"Given many professors' thoughts on abortion — including the fact that some of them may advocate for it and [encourage] a student to commit a crime — a temporary hold on any abortion-related discussion until legal clarity is established is a sound decision," Cassinelli wrote in an email.

Kludt-Painter thinks professors are just trying to protect their jobs when they avoid discussing abortion in class, but she wishes they didn’t feel that way. 

“It takes away from the whole academic freedom thing that post-secondary education is supposed to be about,” she said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: In Idaho, don’t say ‘abortion’? A state law limits teachers at public universities, they say

Demonstrators gather in front of the Supreme Court as the court hears oral arguments in the case of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine on March 26, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Ohio Capital Journal

  • Politics & Gov
  • Health Care
  • Public Corruption
  • Election 2024
  • Abortion Policy

Ohio abortion rights groups add challenges to other laws to their 2021 telehealth lawsuit

By: susan tebben - may 14, 2024 4:55 am.

legalising abortion argumentative essay

The FDA approved mifepristone under the brand-name Mifeprex. (Photo by Peter Dazeley/GettyImages).

A long-standing lawsuit challenging Ohio law with regard to telehealth abortions might now challenge other abortion-related laws in the state, according to a new filing.

The ACLU, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and two other law firms filed an amendment to their original lawsuit, asking a Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas judge to add new complaints against state laws that keep certain medical professionals from prescribing a drug called mifepristone, commonly used in combination with misoprostol for medication abortions.

A separate law being challenged prohibits physician assistants, nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives from providing medication abortions, according to a press release by the ACLU announcing the new challenges.

The amended complaint is an update to a lawsuit that has been active since 2021 in Hamilton County. The suit started out as a case against a law banning telehealth abortion services, that is, medication abortion appointments conducted virtually.

Senate Bill 260

Back in April 2021, Planned Parenthood groups sued to stop Senate Bill 260, which had been passed months prior to ban the telehealth option for medication abortions, requiring in-person visits with a physician to receive medication abortion treatment and making it a fourth-degree felony for a physician to violate the law.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Alison Hatheway has twice granted a preliminary injunction in the case , which keeps SB 260 from being enforced. The most recent preliminary injunction was put in place “until final judgment is entered in this case,” according to Hatheway’s order.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifted in-person dispensing requirements for mifepristone that same year.

When the health clinics first sued the state over the law, they argued the law “irrationally prohibits abortion providers from using telemedicine to provide medication abortion to Ohioans.”

The clinics also said the law violates the state constitution’s due process, equal protection and “free choice in health care” guarantees.

An attorney for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office argued at the time that there was “no fundamental right at issue” in the case, and that the law impacted “a very narrow subset” of patients seeking abortions.

As of November of last year, there’s a new amendment in the Ohio Constitution, one that protects the right to reproductive health, including abortion and miscarriage care. The mifepristone-misoprostol treatment can also be used in miscarriages, which are referred to in medical terms as “spontaneous abortions.”

Attorneys hope to use the newest constitutional amendment as an argument against not only the telehealth law, but the other laws they’ve added in as well.

“The Amendment therefore creates a new cause of action that applies directly to the challenged law … further rendering it unconstitutional,” attorneys wrote in the most recent court filing.

They call the amendment’s passage “a major legal development” that “establishes a clear and unequivocal right to abortion” while also barring the state from interfering in abortion care.

“Individually and collectively, the challenged laws ‘burden, penalize … interfere with, (and) discriminate against’ both Ohioans who seek to exercise their fundamental right to abortion and plaintiffs who assist Ohioans in exercising that right by providing abortion care, by delaying, impeding and restricting access to medication abortion,” court documents stated.

Other law(suits)

Ohio law already requires a minimum of two visits to a provider before an abortion can take place, identification of fetal cardiac activity before the procedure and a 24-hour waiting period before the procedure is conducted. All of these laws are now being challenged in one court case or another.

In Franklin County, a lawsuit asks the court to eliminate the 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can take place and the requirements that doctors provide certain information and a fetal heartbeat exam before they can provide an abortion.

A separate lawsuit is still chugging along in Hamilton County as well, seeking to kill the six-week abortion ban enacted in 2019. The law was almost immediately challenged, but the state was able to bring the ban back after the Dobbs decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned the national abortion legalization in Roe. v. Wade.

After the Ohio Supreme Court didn’t act on a lawsuit submitted to them, clinics moved the lawsuit to Hamilton County, where they successfully got the ban paused as the lawsuit continues.

The state tried to appeal the pause to the state’s highest court, but the court cited “a change in law” when it rejected the appeal .

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has pushed back against the Franklin County lawsuit, along with certain aspects of the six-week abortion ban suit.

In both cases, he acknowledged the constitutional amendment “invalidated” the six-week ban, but he pushed back on arguments that the amendment covers abortion issues as broadly as abortion rights advocates think it does.

In a filing related to the six-week abortion ban case, Yost said the amendment does not bar “all laws that touch on abortion – and even some laws that have nothing to do with abortion or anything else the amendment mentions.”

Telehealth abortions went up following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs. A national study from the Society of Family Planning showed 16% of abortions were conducted via telehealth as of September 2023, up from 4% pre-Dobbs.

GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX

SUPPORT NEWS YOU TRUST.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our website. AP and Getty images may not be republished. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of any other photos and graphics.

Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

Ohio Capital Journal is part of States Newsroom , the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.

Related News

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, left, Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, center, and North Carolina Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning at a press conference on contraception access outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. (Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

Largest Latino group backs Biden in battleground Arizona while spotlighting ballot measures

Joe Biden.

The largest Latino group in the country endorsed President Joe Biden in Arizona on Tuesday and said the group will also work to turn out voters to influence potential ballot measures on abortion, minimum wage and immigration. These measures, the group says, are as important in driving Latino voters to the polls .

Janet Murguía, president of UnidosUS and its political arm, UnidosUS Action Fund, threw the group's support behind Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and endorsed Rep. Ruben Gallego in his U.S. Senate race and Raquel Terán and Kirsten Engel in their House races. All are Democrats.

Proposed measures in the highly competitive state include asking voters to legalize abortion and to increase the minimum wage. The Legislature also was scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to put on the ballot a Republican-backed immigration measure with several proposals, including one to create a state law similar to a Texas law that allows police to arrest people in the country illegally and judges to deport them.

Kids play outside a polling precinct

"We are looking at this state in a comprehensive way," Murguía said. "Of course the national presidential election is crucial to us, but we see opportunity to leverage the turnout for representation in Congress ... and beyond that it's those key issues that are going to impact our community, minimum wage ... and then the ongoing battle that we're in for women's reproductive health rights."

Arizona Republicans won a state Supreme Court decision to enforce an 1864 near-total abortion ban and had fought efforts to repeal it. The governor has signed a repeal of the law after a handful of Republicans joined Democrats to pass it.

Endorsements, Murguía said, can be leveraged not for just one candidate but also to benefit the community on several fronts across candidates and several issues.

UnidosUS announced its endorsement as the state is nearing a boiling point over immigration. The battle is reminiscent of the atmosphere that reigned more than a decade ago because of the anti-immigrant measure SB 1070, which allowed police in the state to question people about whether they were legally in the country for any reason. Much of that law, known as the "Show Me Your Papers" law, was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled immigration enforcement is a federal, not state, authority.

President Joe Biden greets people.

At the same time, Joe Arpaio, then the sheriff of Maricopa County, was using racial profiling as part of an anti-immigrant campaign that included dressing detained migrants in pink underwear and holding them in tent camps in the hot weather.

UnidosUs joined other organizations in boycotting the state, which led to lost tourism revenue and business sales.

"This ballot measure would take us backward, not forward," Enrique Davis Mazlum, Arizona state director for UnidosUS Action Fund, said about the proposed immigration measure. "If approved, it opens the door to discrimination, including racial profiling for immigrant and Latino Arizonans in places where our community should feel safe, like schools, churches and hospitals."

Murguía said the organization and others are "better prepared to push back" against measures seen as harmful to the Latino community.

"I think we found our voice and our vote matters, and we have a record of success when we come together and use both," she said.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, NALEO, has projected that 855,000 Arizona voters in the November election, or 1 in 4, will be Latino.

About 814,000 Arizona Latinos voted in 2020, up from 543,000 in 2016, according to UnidosUS' Hispanic Electorate Data Hub.

Biden won Arizona by 10,457 votes in 2020, and Latino voters were seen as critical. His victory flipped the state, which had historically been red. Although Biden won a majority of Hispanic voters, Donald Trump made inroads, and polls suggest he could make a better showing this election.

UnidosUS, with Voto Latino, Mi Familia Vota and Latino Victory Project, plan to spend a combined $50 million on registration, canvassing, media buys and voter turnout. Davis Mazlum said they will particularly target people without strong histories of voting in urban areas and in communities on the U.S.-Mexico border.

For more from NBC Latino,  sign up for our weekly newsletter .

legalising abortion argumentative essay

Suzanne Gamboa is a national reporter for NBC Latino and NBCNews.com

Georgia’s governor and others pile into state court race where challenger has focused on abortion

FILE -- Supreme Court Justice Andrew Pinson poses for a photo, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Atlanta. Ga. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday, May 14, 2024 that his political committee would spend $500,000 to support Pinson in his nonpartisan election race against John Barrow in a nonpartisan election for Supreme Court Justice, in May. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, file)

  • Show more sharing options
  • Copy Link URL Copied!

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says he will spend more than $500,000 from his political committee to help a state Supreme Court justice he appointed win election.

The Republican Kemp isn’t the only conservative supporting Justice Andrew Pinson in his May 21 nonpartisan election against John Barrow, a former Democratic congressman who has built his campaign around abortion rights .

It’s a notable escalation as Barrow tries to knock off an incumbent justice, something almost unheard of in Georgia. While the contest hasn’t grown as intense as high court races in other states including Wisconsin , attention and spending are higher than in the state’s historically sleepy judicial campaigns. Three other justices are running unopposed for new six-year terms, despite Georgia’s battleground status in partisan elections.

At least two religiously conservative groups are also spending to support Pinson, while some backers of abortion rights are trying to mobilize votes for Barrow.

Kemp rolled out a television ad Tuesday endorsing Pinson that campaign strategist Cody Hall said is airing on Atlanta-area stations.

“We need judges who follow the law and uphold the Constitution, not more partisan politicians in the courtroom,” Kemp said in the ad, describing Pinson as “a conservative voice we can trust.”

Kemp’s Georgians First Leadership Committee is also advertising on digital media and radio and texting voters, Hall said. The Kemp campaign joined the fight with only a week before election day, and after more than 314,000 Georgians had already cast early ballots as of Monday.

Barrow said Kemp’s intervention proves Pinson can’t be trusted to protect abortion rights. Barrow argues that the state constitution protects abortion rights in the same way Roe v. Wade did before the U.S. Supreme Court overruled that decision. A case making that argument is pending before a lower court in Georgia and is likely to eventually reach the state Supreme Court.

“It confirms what I’ve been saying about his record,” Barrow said. “It shows that he cannot be counted on to rule that women have the rights under the Georgia Constitution that they used to under Roe. vs. Wade, or these folks wouldn’t be backing him.”

Kemp named Pinson, 37, to the high court in 2022. Many lawyers, including some Democrats, have endorsed him. Pinson has declined to interpret Georgia’s abortion law in interviews, saying it’s improper for a judge to discuss an issue he might later rule on. He warns against politicizing the courts.

Barrow argues that when Pinson was Georgia’s solicitor general, he was the lawyer most responsible for the state supporting the Mississippi case that led to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe in 2022. That decision cleared the way for a 2019 Georgia law to take effect banning most abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected — usually around the sixth week, before many women know they are pregnant.

Cole Muzio, the president of Frontline Policy, a Christian conservative group aligned with Kemp, urged supporters to back Pinson in a Monday email.

“Your vote for Andrew Pinson in this race is a moral imperative,” Muzio wrote. “The winner of this race will have a vote on Georgia’s Heartbeat Law.”

Muzio said he didn’t know yet how much his group would spend.

Barrow, 69, served five terms in Congress and for a time was the only white Democratic representative from the Deep South. If he wins election, it wouldn’t change the conservative leaning of the court, where eight of the nine justices were appointed by Republican governors.

Endorsements for Barrow have come from Fair Fight Action, the political group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams , which sent a joint fundraising email with Barrow; Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates and Reproductive Freedom for All, formerly known as NARAL Pro-Choice America; and Reproductive Freedom for All, which is mobilizing members and volunteers to reach voters.

Pinson is outraising Barrow in campaign funds. Barrow gave nearly $175,000 from a previous state Supreme Court campaign to Georgians for Abortion Rights, a political committee created by state Senate Democrats, which he said is spending in the race.

Barrow is also fighting a state Judicial Qualifications Commission warning that his campaign speech may violate ethics rules barring judicial candidates from committing to how they will rule on issues. Barrow has sued the agency, saying it is trying to restrict his freedom of speech, and has asked a judge to block it from sanctioning him.

Top headlines by email, weekday mornings

Get top headlines from the Union-Tribune in your inbox weekday mornings, including top news, local, sports, business, entertainment and opinion.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

More in this section

Dawud Assad, 92, stands in front of Palestinian decor in his home in Monroe Township, N.J., on May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Noreen Nasir)

Nation-World

Palestinians recount painful history with war in Gaza as a reminder

Dawud Assad still has nightmares of the day Jewish militias attacked his village of Deir Yassin outside Jerusalem 76 years ago, killing more than 100 people

People sit on the beach on a weekday afternoon in Ocean Grove, N.J. on May 2, 2024 as a Christian flag and an American flag flutter in the breeze. The state of New Jersey says the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is violating state beach access laws by keeping people off the beach until noon on Sundays. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

This, too, could pass: Christian group’s rule keeping beaches closed on Sunday mornings may end

A big change may be coming to a Jersey Shore town that was founded as a religious retreat and prevents people from using the beach on Sunday mornings

Students leave after attending a Catholic Mass at Benedictine College Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Atchison, Kan. Students told The Associated Press in interviews they embrace the college's emphasis on Catholic teaching and practice. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Why the speech by Kansas City Chiefs kicker was embraced at Benedictine College’s commencement

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker may have stirred controversy for his proclamations of conservative politics and Catholicism, but he received a standing ovation at the May 11 commencement ceremony at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas

Colorado teen pleads guilty in death of driver who was hit in the head by a rock

A second teen has pleaded guilty in the death of a 20-year-old driver who was hit in the head by a rock that crashed through her windshield in suburban Denver last year

New York Giants first round draft pick Malik Nabers holds a jersey as he poses with head coach Brian Dabol, left, Giants' president John Mara, second from left, and general manager Joe Schoen, right, during an NFL football press conference, Friday, April 26, 2024, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

The Giants will be making their ‘Hard Knocks’ debut on a new series focusing on the offseason

The New York Giants are appearing on a new version of “Hard Knocks.”

Interior Dept staffer becomes first Jewish Biden appointee to publicly resign over war in Gaza

An Interior Department staffer has become the first Jewish political appointee to publicly resign in protest of U.S. support for Israel’s war in Gaza

  • Newsletters
  • Account Activating this button will toggle the display of additional content Account Sign out

A 1938 Mob Case Has Mind-Boggling Parallels to Trump’s N.Y. Prosecution

If you’re wondering how Donald Trump’s hush money trial is likely to turn out, it’s worth casting an eye back to a 1938 mob case. The decision in People v. Luciano —ironically also a trial involving “family business”—will help prosecutors connect Trump to all the crimes with which he’s charged. That is so even if the jury discounts the few parts of the testimony from Michael Cohen that were uncorroborated, including his one-on-one conversations with Trump tying him to the crimes.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Charles “Lucky” Luciano , the convicted defendant in People v. Luciano . He was once the “very public head” of the Five Families in the golden age of American mobsters. His conviction for running a prostitution enterprise was affirmed by New York’s highest court in a case with powerful application to Trump’s prosecution. (Luciano’s prosecutor was, incidentally, the young Manhattan District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey, the future Republican governor of New York and presidential candidate against FDR in 1944 and Harry Truman in 1948.)

Much of Trump’s defense at trial consists of getting prosecution witnesses to admit that Trump himself didn’t falsify his company’s books, because others in his tightknit enterprise made the physical entries and drafted the checks that he signed with his notorious black Sharpie.

His attempt to insulate himself from the final stages of the scheme enables Trump and his lawyers to assure his credulous supporters that the district attorney has nothing on him. But the jury will soon hear that New York criminal law is not so naïve as to allow the ringleader of a criminal scheme to get off scot-free, simply because his minions did the deeds.

Under a long-standing rule of Criminal Law 101, acts by any co-conspirator are attributable to each member of the conspiracy, if the acts are intended to further the object of the conspiracy. In other words, each conspirator is liable for the crimes of the others committed in pursuit of the illegal objective. It doesn’t matter who committed the act or who didn’t.

But wait, you say! Prosecutors did not charge a conspiracy in this case.

That’s where People v. Luciano comes in. The New York Court of Appeals there made clear that if a conspiracy is proven by the evidence, it need not be charged for the rule of vicarious liability to apply.

Accordingly, because prosecutors in Trump’s case have laid a sufficient evidentiary foundation for the jury to find that there was a criminal scheme with multiple participants, Justice Juan Merchan will instruct jurors that, should they determine that Trump participated in the broader conspiracy, they may find him liable for any and all other conspirators’ actions.

Trump is on trial on 34 counts of falsifying business records :

●   11 Trump checks marked “retainer” though they were allegedly reimbursements to Cohen for buying “Stormy Daniels”’ silence;

●   11 invoices Cohen created for the checks with the words “per retainer”; and

●   12 entries in books kept and maintained by the Trump Organization that recorded the expenditures.

The Manhattan DA alleges that it was all done to cover up the $130,000 payoff to Daniels to keep voters in the 2016 election from knowing about the predatory sexual encounter Trump had with her around the time his wife Melania was giving birth to their child, Barron.

Going back to the rule of co-conspirators’ vicarious liability for the conduct of their partners in crime, let’s examine the actions of Trump’s alleged co-conspirators and how imputing them to Trump connects him to the allegedly falsified invoices and business entries in the ledgers.

Cohen testified that he followed Trump’s directions , which Trump often gave in “code” like a mob boss. Consider Cohen’s testimony that in a meeting, he outlined to Trump the scheme to pay off Stormy Daniels and the need for Trump to reimburse him for fronting the payoff. According to Cohen, Trump directed him, in classic mafia don style, to “Just do it!”

Similarly, back in October 2016, Trump instructed Cohen, according to his testimony, to “meet up with Allen Weisselberg and figure this whole thing out .” Cohen also explained that Trump never had an email address. According to Cohen, Trump would comment that “he knows too many people who have gone down as a direct result of having emails that prosecutors can use in a case.”

In addition, Cohen told jurors that, contrary to the words on his own invoices and on the checks Trump signed, he never drafted a retainer agreement with Trump, a statement corroborated by Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney’s testimony that he never saw one . (Retainers must be written under New York’s rules of professional conduct.) McConney also testified that Cohen was paid in monthly installments per direction from Weisselberg.

Cohen testified on Tuesday that he created the 11 falsified invoices. Those actions were clearly part of the conspiracy. That will allow the jury, under the rules of conspiracy law, to find Trump liable for the false invoices so long as he was part of the scheme, as the evidence shows he was.

The actions that jurors have been told Weisselberg took to “figure this whole thing out” demonstrate that the CFO, too, joined the conspiracy as “Mr. Inside,” directing how the records would be fabricated and recorded.

That conclusion is corroborated by Weisselberg’s handwritten notes , authenticated and described by McConney, about how Weisselberg directed the doubling of the $130,000 reimbursement for paying Daniels—along with another $50,000 reimbursement—to compensate Cohen for taxes he would need to pay on the phony “retainer.”

If the jury finds that Weisselberg conspired with Trump and Cohen, it can also use the CFO’s actions—and his statements to which trial witnesses testified—against Trump. Co-conspirator liability becomes the basis to connect Trump to Cohen’s invoices and Weisselberg’s direction about the recording of false vouchers in ledgers kept and maintained by the Trump organization. Along with the invoices, that accounts for 23 of the 34 counts of the indictment.

The other 11 counts, of course, are about the various checks for $35,000 or more that Trump signed with the notation “Retainer” printed on the stub. Perhaps Trump’s lawyers will argue that he believed it was a retainer; in other words, Trump innocently thought that the checks were for legal services. Perhaps his defense counsel will argue, in conjunction, that Cohen paid off Daniels on his own, as Hope Hicks testified that Trump later told her in 2018—statements that even she, a Trump loyalist, did not believe.

Indeed, Trump’s lead defense counsel, Todd Blanche, said in his opening statement that “the $35,000 a month to Mr. Cohen was not a payback for the money he gave to Ms. Daniels.” Trump’s denial that the checks he signed were reimbursements to Cohen was the crux of the defense’s argument.

Unfortunately for that denial and defense, in a 2018 lawsuit against Daniels, Trump represented in a court filing via his lawyers that he had reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels. Because Trump avoided sending personal emails and texts and had others do his dirty work (in traditional mob fashion), most of the other evidence against him will be largely circumstantial or come in via the co-conspirator liability rule.

Which brings us back to People v. Luciano . When the mobster argued on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to tie him to the crimes charged, the court answered in terms that are too deliciously applicable to paraphrase:

[Luciano’s] position as head of this combination did not bring him in direct contact with the victims of this scheme, and he displayed an anxiety that his name be not too openly associated with the … enterprise. Thus the evidence against him is not so easily available as it was against some of those lower in the organization. … While no conspiracy is charged in the indictment, there was ample proof of a conspiracy among appellants to organize prostitution on a basis most profitable for them. … The acts and declarations of the conspirators in furtherance of the joint enterprise were admissible against all of those participating in the conspiracy.

You may have heard the clever aphorism that “history never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” If ever there was a poetic irony that rhymes in the long history of the law, it may be the application of People v. Luciano to People v. Trump.

comscore beacon

IMAGES

  1. ⇉Should Abortion Be Legal? Essay Example

    legalising abortion argumentative essay

  2. Legalization of abortion

    legalising abortion argumentative essay

  3. ≫ Legalizing Abortion Free Essay Sample on Samploon.com

    legalising abortion argumentative essay

  4. ⇉Argumentative against Abortion Essay Example

    legalising abortion argumentative essay

  5. Legalization of abortion

    legalising abortion argumentative essay

  6. Argumentative Abortion Essay

    legalising abortion argumentative essay

VIDEO

  1. ARGUMENTATIVE SPEECH ABOUT ABORTION- 10 CATHERINE

  2. Lawmakers debate bill on legalising abortion in Argentina

  3. CI News: 8 September 2023

  4. No Cover for Tyrants: 1 Peter 2:13-17 Explained

COMMENTS

  1. Why Abortion Should Be Legalized: [Essay Example], 1331 words

    Conclusion. In conclusion, this argumentative essay has proven that permitting abortion to be legalized is important to guarantee the human rights, survival and well-being of women. Without it, we are sentencing women to experience the ill effects of risky abortion. Despite the fact that abortion ought to be lawful yet debilitated.

  2. Argumentative Essay Example Why Abortion Should Be Legal

    However, the reasons why abortion should be legal are compelling and numerous. By legalizing abortion, we can ensure that women have access to safe and regulated procedures, reducing the risk of complications and even death. Additionally, women should have the right to make choices about their own bodies, which includes the right to choose ...

  3. The First Amendment and the Abortion Rights Debate

    Sofia Cipriano. Following Dobbs v.Jackson's (2022) reversal of Roe v.Wade (1973) — and the subsequent revocation of federal abortion protection — activists and scholars have begun to reconsider how to best ground abortion rights in the Constitution. In the past year, numerous Jewish rights groups have attempted to overturn state abortion bans by arguing that abortion rights are protected ...

  4. Why Lawmakers Should Legalize Abortion

    The bill would legalize abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy—and later, if the pregnancy resulted from rape or threatened the person's life or health, exceptions currently allowed ...

  5. Views on whether abortion should be legal, and in what circumstances

    Fewer adults say abortion should be legal 24 weeks into a pregnancy - about when a healthy fetus could survive outside the womb with medical care. At this stage, 22% of adults say abortion should be legal, while nearly twice as many (43%) say it should be illegal. Again, about one-in-five adults (18%) say whether abortion should be legal at ...

  6. US: Abortion Access is a Human Right

    Human Rights Watch released a new question-and-answer document that articulates the human rights imperative, guided by international law, to ensure access to abortion, which is critical to ...

  7. Key facts about abortion views in the U.S.

    Women (66%) are more likely than men (57%) to say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, according to the survey conducted after the court's ruling. More than half of U.S. adults - including 60% of women and 51% of men - said in March that women should have a greater say than men in setting abortion policy.

  8. How Abortion Changed the Arc of Women's Lives

    A frequently quoted statistic from a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, which reports that one in four women will have an abortion before the age of forty-five, may strike you as high, but ...

  9. As the Supreme Court considers Roe v. Wade, a look at how abortion

    The future of abortion, always a contentious issue, is up at the Supreme Court on Dec. 1. Arguments are planned challenging Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court's major decisions ...

  10. Pro-Choice Does Not Mean Pro-Abortion: An Argument for Abortion Rights

    Since the Supreme Court's historic 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the issue of a woman's right to an abortion has fostered one of the most contentious moral and political debates in America.Opponents of abortion rights argue that life begins at conception - making abortion tantamount to homicide.

  11. Pro and Con: Abortion

    Legal abortion promotes a culture in which life is disposable. Increased access to birth control, health insurance, and sexual education would make abortion unnecessary. This article was published on June 24, 2022, at Britannica's ProCon.org, a nonpartisan issue-information source. Some argue that believe abortion is a safe medical procedure ...

  12. Q&A: Access to Abortion is a Human Right

    As such, States parties should legalize abortion at least in cases of rape, incest, threats to the life and/or health of the mother, or severe fetal impairment, as well as provide women with ...

  13. Positions for and Against Abortion

    Pro-Life Arguments. abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking human life. Abortion is in direct defiance of the commonly accepted idea of the sanctity of human life. No civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different.

  14. Opinion

    The Case Against Abortion. Nov. 30, 2021. Crosses representing abortions in Lindale, Tex. Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times. Share full article. 3367. By Ross Douthat. Opinion Columnist. A ...

  15. Persuasive Essay About Abortion: Examples, Topics, and Facts

    Here are some facts about abortion that will help you formulate better arguments. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion. The majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with less than a 0.5% risk of major complications.

  16. How Abortion Views Are Different

    By David Leonhardt. May 19, 2021. For nearly 50 years, public opinion has had only a limited effect on abortion policy. The Roe v. Wade decision, which the Supreme Court issued in 1973 ...

  17. Argumentative Essays On Legalizing Abortion

    This fact is supported using data from Scotland for a period of two decades of banning abortion (Wilson, 2000). Secondly, legalizing abortion will protect the health of a woman. "There are many life-threatening diseases that are related with child bearing such as kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, severe hypertension, sick-cell anemia ...

  18. Persuasive Essay Why Abortion Should Be Legalized

    The essay articulates a compelling argument for the legalization of abortion, emphasizing women's autonomy and considering factors such as financial stability and fetal defects. The writer effectively employs examples and quotes to bolster their points. The overall structure is coherent, with smooth transitions between ideas.

  19. 5.1: Arguments Against Abortion

    5.1.2 Fetuses are human beings. Some respond to the arguments above—against the significance of being merely biologically human—by observing that fetuses aren't just mere human cells, but are organized in ways that make them beings or organisms. (A kidney is part of a "being," but the "being" is the whole organism.)That suggests this argument:

  20. Legalized Abortion and the Public Health: Report of a Study

    Abortion as a substitute for contraception is one possibility raised by the adoption of non-restrictive abortion laws. Limited data do not allow definitive conclusions, but they suggest that the introduction of non-restrictive abortion laws in the U.S. has not lead to any documented decline in demand for contraceptive services. Among women who ...

  21. Argumentative Essay on Abortion

    Argumentative Essay on Abortion. The abortion debate is an ongoing controversy, continually dividing Americans along moral, legal, and religious lines. Most people tend to assume one of two positions: "pro-life" (an embryo or fetus should be given the right to gestate to term and be born. Simply put, women should not be given the right to ...

  22. In Idaho, don't say 'abortion'? A state law limits teachers ...

    The essay about her work as a nurse in an abortion clinic explores the complicated morality of helping women end their pregnancies. It's also considered to be an example of powerful writing. He ...

  23. Ohio abortion rights groups add challenges to other laws to their 2021

    A separate lawsuit is still chugging along in Hamilton County as well, seeking to kill the six-week abortion ban enacted in 2019. The law was almost immediately challenged, but the state was able to bring the ban back after the Dobbs decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned the national abortion legalization in Roe. v. Wade.

  24. UnidosUS backs Biden, Gallego in Arizona and puts focus on ballot measures

    Proposed measures in the highly competitive state include asking voters to legalize abortion and to increase the minimum wage. The Legislature also was scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to put ...

  25. Georgia's governor and others pile into state court race where

    Pinson has declined to interpret Georgia's abortion law in interviews, saying it's improper for a judge to discuss an issue he might later rule on. He warns against politicizing the courts.

  26. Trump trial: A 1938 mob case has some mind-boggling parallels to the

    Indeed, Trump's lead defense counsel, Todd Blanche, said in his opening statement that "the $35,000 a month to Mr. Cohen was not a payback for the money he gave to Ms. Daniels.". Trump's ...