Why Abortion Should Be Banned
Considering why abortion should be banned may involve a close examination of the arguments that are presented on both sides of the issue. This is a controversial matter in which there seems to be very little middle ground. This is not surprising considering that the beliefs of those who oppose and those who favor the legal termination of pregnancy are on extreme opposite ends of the scale. Those who oppose abortion, for example, believe strongly that human life begins at the moment of conception. To end a pregnancy by force is equal to murder if conception represents the beginning of life. Those who favor abortion belief that the woman's right to choose to end a pregnancy supersedes any other concern. These individuals make few claims as to the exact beginning of life or may claim that life begins at the moment of birth and therefore no life is destroyed when an abortion takes place. An individual's beliefs regarding when life begins will usually have a major impact on how they feel about why abortion should be banned.
If there is any middle ground here, which is debatable, it may be found in the argument that is presented by those who feel that the law should simply step back and allow each woman to decide for herself what is right and what is wrong when it comes to aborting an unborn child. But does such an argument hold water? The absurdity of legalizing an act that many consider to be equal to murder is one reason that is mentioned when discussing why abortion should be banned. Many abortion opponents point to the arguments that were made during the days of slavery. Those who opposed slavery reasoned that to own another human being was morally wrong and that a moral wrong should not find sanction in the law. Individuals who favored slavery reasoned that each person should be able to make their own decision on this issue since there seemed to be a lot of disagreement on the morality of slavery. As absurd as it may seem now, there were many who saw nothing wrong with owning another human being. How ironic that the same arguments are presented today when discussions are presented for why abortion should be banned.
Additional facts that illustrate why abortion should be banned are the statistics that link abortion and breast cancer. Women who have undergone an abortion before giving birth for the first time would seem to have a far greater chance of developing breast cancer. Studies in several countries including Brazil, Finland, Italy, China, and Russia show an increase in the risk of breast cancer of up to fifty percent for women who terminated a pregnancy before the first live birth. The reason behind this would seem to point to the natural changes in the breast during a first pregnancy. When a woman becomes pregnant for the first time, there is a surge of estrogen in the body. This hormone causes the cells in the breasts to divide in preparation for breast feeding the infant. As the pregnancy progresses, these cells will mature. By the end of the pregnancy, the cells are able to secrete the milk that will provide nourishment for the newborn. If a forced termination of the pregnancy occurs, these cells are not given the chance to mature. It is believed that these immature cells can leave a woman much more vulnerable to breast cancer. These and other health concerns are often cited when making a case for why abortion should be banned. The Bible mentions God's awareness of the human soul before birth. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
Those who do not support arguments for why abortion should be banned cite the fact that a fetus cannot exist independent of the mother during the first trimester, therefore it does not represent a viable life and does not merit protection. To those who passionately oppose abortion, this argument seems cruel. Add to this the fact that abortions can and do legally take place past the first trimester and the dependency argument quickly looses steam. If depending on another human being for survival means that an individual has fewer rights than the person who is able through age or capabilities to fend for themselves, then this would leave the young, the disabled, the old, and the sick open to harm. Some proponents claim that if a child is unwanted, why should the pregnancy be brought to term and the child delivered? When there are so many couples who are willing to adopt infants, the idea of an unwanted child seems ludicrous.
Some abortion proponents argue that there is a major difference between the beginning of human life and actual person hood. This respect for life, or lack thereof, can be one of the most compelling arguments for why abortion should be banned. For some, the existence of life does not designate the existence of an actual human person. Echoes of slavery can be heard here as well. Those who had been enslaved were commonly regarded as less human than their owners. This argument was used to justify the horrible practice of slavery. How sad that such close minded arguments are still presented today when discussing the legal termination of a pregnancy. Still, those who believe in the sanctity of human life continue to stand firm against aborting the unborn.
Reasons To Ban AbortionThere are many reasons to ban abortion that are cited by those who vehemently oppose the legalized termination of unwanted pregnancies. For those who oppose abortion, life is sacred and children are regarded as one of God's most precious blessings. On the other hand, those who believe that women have the right to choose to end an unplanned pregnancy feel and that this right is more important than the need to protect life. On both sides of the issue, that word believe that is central to the disagreement. The beliefs of those on both sides are very passionate. This issue is more than an intellectual or philosophical one. This is about belief. The belief that life is sacred and begins at conception is what drives opponents of legalized abortion. For these individuals, when life is at stake, there is no middle ground. Others may not hold such strong beliefs, and therefore may see the matter in shades of gray rather than stark black and white. For these, reasons to ban abortion may not seem as pressing. Any woman who is contemplating terminating a pregnancy will want to look closely at her own belief system and honestly consider the reasoning that is set forth by those whose belief system differs from her own. With such serious consequences at stake, a close consideration of when life begins is certainly called for.
Even among various religious groups and denominations there are different reasons to ban abortion that are offered for discussion. Many believers contend that since life begins at conception, the fetus represents the same rights as any other human being. Since the Bible commands that to murder another human being is a sin, it would follow that abortion is seen as a sin to those who hold the scriptures as the final authority. A belief that the fetus represents human life is the key factor here. Human beings are created in the image of God Himself. A respect for the sanctity of life is a central tenant of belief for most Christians. While it's acknowledged that in some cases, a mother may have a difficult time raising the expected child, this fact does not justify terminating the pregnancy. Adoption is always an option in these cases.
Other religious denominations may take a more liberal approach, believing that life does not begin until the unborn child has a chance of surviving outside of the mother's room. These individuals take a middle of the road stand and do not always agree with the reasons to ban abortion that are listed by other religious groups. They may be willing to tolerate the termination of pregnancy so long as this occurs within the first trimester or in pregnancies that are the result of rape or to protect the health of the mother. Still other more liberal religious groups may not agree with any of the commonly cited reasons to ban abortion, preferring instead to leave the decision up to the woman and the dictates of her own conscience. But a number of scriptures point to God's awareness of life as it forms within the mother's womb. The Bible frequently describes a God who is actively at work creating life long before birth occurs. "Did not he that made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?" (Job 31:15)
Among the many reasons to ban abortion that are commonly mentioned is the belief that an infant's life begins at the moment of conception. The right of this new life to have a chance to grow and develop supersedes the rights of the mother to end an inconvenient pregnancy. It may be that the parents of this unborn child are not able to raise the baby themselves. When this is the case, the demand for healthy newborns is very great and the child can be adopted by loving parents who, for whatever reason, are not able to conceive their own child. But those who support the legalized termination of pregnancy do not see this as a life and death issue. They instead see the fetus as merely a collection of cells and not a human being. Yet, when it is considered that by the time most abortions occur, the fetus has a beating heart and all vital organs in place, the kidneys are functioning and tiny arms and legs have already formed, such depictions seem ridiculous. This miraculous development provides many compelling reasons to ban abortion.
Holding life itself in high esteem is one of the primary reasons to ban abortion. It is hard to argue against the idea of life beginning at some time other than the moment of conception when certain scientific facts are considered. For example, an individual's DNA code is decided at conception and will remain unchanged throughout life. Each cell of the body will contain this unique code. The color of the eyes and hair, whether the child will be a boy or a girl and so many other traits are already established in this one single moment. This miracle does not occur at the time of birth or at the point of development when an unborn child is considered viable outside of the mother's womb. It happens at conception. Among all of the reasons that are cited, this fact alone may be the most convincing argument for when life begins. The fetus clearly does not simply represent a rag tag group of random cells, but rather, it represents the fundamental features and traits that make a unique human being, indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.