The abortion debate is a heated one, and there is a need for compromise. This sample political science essay argues that both sides of the abortion debate have merit and that the supporters of each school of thought must be aware that the other side is worthy of respect.
The abortion debate: A need for compromise
Abortion has been a contentious issue for many decades because strong emotions regarding abortion cause a breakdown in rational thought. The problem with the abortion debate is that both the pro-life and pro-choice supporters have strong ethical arguments. The main issue of contention is whether abortion is protecting the reproductive rights of the mother, or violating the rights of the fetus. Abortion is such a polarizing issue that it will never be truly decided in favor of one side or the other. The only option is for the opposite sides of the debate to work together and create abortion legislation that is based on logic and compromise.
Do women have the right to an abortion?
The pro-choice supporters claim that a woman’s right to an abortion is a part of her sexual freedom.
“Given women’s body, sexuality, and reproductive potential, reproductive rights affirm equality as an extension of the principle of bodily integrity, and self-determination” (Porter 70).
Women deserve to have reproductive freedom, and the right to an abortion certainly falls in this category. However, this position will have to make concessions to the pro-life side in order to end the abortion debate. A woman who makes an informed decision to engage in sexual activity must know that her decision carries the possibility of creating a child. If a woman is responsible enough to make such a decision, then she should be responsible enough to accept any consequences of her decision. However, in cases where a woman did not consent to sexual activity, she should not be held accountable for a consequence that she had no control over.
On the opposite side of the argument, pro-life supporters claim that an abortion violates a fetus’ rights. The main argument is that a fetus is a human and it is morally wrong, and illegal, to kill a human being (Jones 45).
Every case is not equal
This position needs to make some concessions to the pro-choice side. For instance, it cannot be considered morally wrong to have an abortion in cases where the birth will kill the child, harm the mother, or both. It is also not immoral to have an abortion in cases of rape. Unfortunately, these logical compromises may never happen because the legislative bodies in our government have a vested interest in prolonging the debate. According to political pundit David Orentlicher, “politicians often stake out their positions as a means to electoral victory rather than as an end to be pursued for their intrinsic value” (14). The compromises that would benefit the abortion debate are not being considered because politicians have a vested interest in keeping the debate open.
Abortion debate: Both sides need to concede
In conclusion, both sides of the abortion debate have arguments that are supported by ethics and logic. Both sides have arguments that can be interpreted as being morally correct. This is why the abortion debate continues. There must be a compromise in order to reach an acceptable conclusion for both sides. However, the main inhibitor of these compromises is government officials that vote on abortion laws based on their desire to be re-elected rather than a desire to create logical and reasonable abortion legislation, such as Oklahoma’s attempt to ban abortions in the state.
Jones, Kiera. “Ethics of Abortion: The Arguments for and Against. (Cover Story).” Nursing Standard 21.37 (2007): 45-48. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.
Orentlicher, David. “The Legislative Process is not Fit for the Abortion Debate.” Hastings Center Report 41.4 (2011): 13-14. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.Porter, Porter, Elisabeth. “Abortion Ethics: Rights and Responsibilities.” Hypatia 9.3 (1994): 66. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.
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