Definition Of Abortion
Understanding the definition of abortion will require taking an honest look at the truth about this practice and its impact on both the woman who undergoes this procedure and the unborn child. The way that the term abortion is defined can sometimes depend of the personal views of the group or individual who is offering an explanation on this controversial topic. For those who feel that obtaining abortions should be a matter of personal choice, an abortion is nothing more than the elimination of an unwanted pregnancy. But to those who believe that the legalized termination of a pregnancy should be banned, abortions are seen as the deliberate murder of precious human life.
The debate about the morality of the terminating an unwanted pregnancy has raged for decades. Beginning with the legalization of this practice in 1973 thanks to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, a number of opposing political organizations have been formed. Each organization remains very passionate about their positions to this day. For these groups, the definition of abortion remains distinctly separate. Those with religious views that honor the sanctity of life continue to campaign for legislation that will bring this practice to an end. Groups who see this issue as a matter of civil rights do not support the sanctity of life argument and continue to fight for the expansion of pro choice rights.
Perhaps the best way to arrive a a fair definition of abortion is to take a look at the different methods that are utilized in the termination of a pregnancy. Dilation and curettage involves the forced dilation of the woman's cervix. After this the fetus is cut apart and dismembered and vacuumed from the mother's womb through a suction tube. After the unborn infant is removed, the abortionist must reassemble the various body parts to make sure that nothing has been left inside the mother. When this occurs it is called retained products of conception and can result in infection or further surgery for the aborting mother. Early in the pregnancy, a looped knife may be used to kill and cut apart the unborn child. In later term abortions, the abortionist will use forceps to tear apart the infant through violent twisting actions. Often the spine will need to be broken in two and the skull collapsed. Such descriptions can certainly do much to change an individual's definition of abortion.
After the fourth month of pregnancy, a procedure called saline injection may be used. The abortionist will use a long needle to inject a saline, or salt solution through the mother's abdomen into the amniotic sac. The infant will swallow this solution and be poisoned by it. The outer layer of the unborn child's skin may also be badly burned. This procedure takes time and the unborn child may suffer for an hour or more. In some cases, this approach does not succeed in killing the infant. The mother will then go into labor sometime within the next twenty four hours. She may give birth to a dead baby, but there have been cases of infants who were still living when they were delivered. If left unattended, as is often the case, these infants will die. There are many stories of individuals who have survived these late term abortions and gone on to be adopted and lead full lives. These survivors certainly offer a unique perspective on the definition of abortion.
Laws that govern a minor's access to abortions vary from state to state. Some states take an extremely liberal approach when it comes to the definition of abortion as it applies to girls under eighteen years of age. Many states require that parents be notified before minors are able to obtain abortions. Unfortunately, there is something called the judicial bypass. This loophole allows the minor to receive special permission from a judge to terminate a pregnancy without notifying the girl's parents. Not every state observes this judicial bypass. In other states, only one parent's permission is required, leaving the uninformed parents with no right to know that a daughter will be undergoing this procedure. Other states may have laws on the books that mandate that at least one parent be notified if the minor is under the age of seventeen but in many cases these laws are not enforced due to pending court orders. By trying to change the definition of abortion rights as they apply to young girls, many states are putting minors at serious risk. In addition to the destruction of helpless human life, these young girls are being exposed to the many dangerous physical and emotional complications that can occur after the termination of the pregnancy has taken place.
Still other states do not require that parents give permission, but do require the pregnant teen to inform both parents that she is planning on aborting her unborn child. There may also be a minimum time that applies to this advance notice. Still other states apply a much stricter definition of abortion rights as they pertain to young girls. In addition to parental notification, some states will not allow a minor to terminate a pregnancy without waiting twenty four or forty eight hours and must participate in state directed counseling programs. Sadly, organizations such as Planned Parenthood will assist young girls in obtaining abortions or with going to court to plead for a judicial bypass. The Bible tells believers that children are a blessing from God and not to be regarded as an inconvenience. "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." (Psalm 127:3)
Cons Of Having An AbortionAny discussion of the cons of having an abortion would most certainly lead to some pretty strong feelings on both sides of the issue. Those who favor abortion believe that the woman should have the right to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy. They see this right as a priority that trumps all other concerns, including the life of the unborn child. Those who believe that abortions are wrong and should be banned feel very strongly about the basic sanctity of life. For these individuals, terminating a pregnancy is seen as equal to the destruction of life. Such strong feelings have propelled a debate that still rages in the United States decades after the original Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 that legalized abortion.
Anyone who is considering the pros and cons of having an abortion owes it to themselves to explore the whole truth about what this procedure entails as well as the long term ramifications of terminating a pregnancy. The emotional and financial pressure that many women feel when facing unwanted pregnancies can sometimes block out all other concerns. But it is very important for anyone who is contemplating terminating a pregnancy to take the time to understand that abortions do not simply remove inconvenient situations. A woman does not simply return to a pre-pregnancy existence after the pregnancy has been terminated. This is particularly true if the woman has mixed feelings about going through with an abortion or feels coerced by others to do so. The long lasting emotional costs that have been reported by women who have terminated a pregnancy can serve as one of the most important cons of having an abortion.
But perhaps the most significant reason not to abort an unwanted pregnancy is the very life of the child. Some may shy away from attempting to define exactly when life begins, but science and medicine do not seem to be so timid. At the moment of conception a child's DNA code is established. This genetic information will dictate everything about the child including physical features, hair and eye color and other factors that will follow the child through life. A strong belief that life begins at conception is the deciding factor for most individuals who identify themselves as anti-abortion. Additionally, the right to choose argument that is put forth by abortion proponents wears a little thin in light of the many sources of birth control that are available. Individuals and groups who take an anti-abortion stance belief that the concept of choice applies most effectively to the choice to use birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. An honest understanding of the cons of having an abortion has persuaded many that life is worth preserving regardless of the cost.
Many abortion proponents point to situations in which a woman is raped and becomes pregnant as an argument in favor of legalized abortions. Even those who agree with the many cons of having an abortion have difficulty with the issue of rape. Any feeling human being would surely have sympathy for the woman who has survived the violence of rape only to discover that she is pregnant by the rapist. There is no easy choice available to this woman. Through no fault of her own she must decide whether or not to allow her own child to be surgically dismembered and removed from her body or to go through nine months of pregnancy. If she chooses to carry the child, she faces the decision of whether or not to give up her child for adoption or to raise the child of the man who raped her. Pro-abortion forces would argue that the woman has suffered enough and should be permitted to terminate the pregnancy. Anti-abortion groups would point out that the rapist is the guilty party here and is the one who should be punished. Terminating the pregnancy punishes the innocent child and not the rapist. The sanctity of life is the heart of the issue here and the disregard for human life is often listed as one of the major cons of having an abortion.
Those who believe that life begins at conception would naturally favor that the life of the child be protected regardless of the circumstances surrounding how the child was conceived. The fact remains that pregnancies that are a result of rape represent only one percent of all of the abortions that are conducted each year. For many, such a small fraction of terminated pregnancies does not justify the legalization of abortions. A woman can legally obtain abortions at any stage of pregnancy, resulting in the deliberate killing of infants that are capable of surviving outside of their mother's body. Surely this truth ranks high among the many cons of having an abortion that are frequently cited. However, no one would suggest that such a commitment to life would be easy to follow through on. The Bible assures believers that even during life's most trying times, God is there to provide mercy and help. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
Contemplating the cons of having an abortion is very important for any woman who faces an unplanned pregnancy. Some would argue that any child that is not wanted should not be brought into the world. However, this argument is not grounded in fact. There are long waiting lists of parents who wish to adopt newborn infants. These parents would offer loving homes to these infants which certainly represents a better alternative than to end the child's life before birth. Sorting through the truths and myths surrounding this controversial issue is very important for anyone who is making such an important life and death decision. With help and support, the value of life can be honored in even the most difficult circumstances.