Abortion is the medical term for early termination of pregnancy by removing the zygote or fetus from the body of the woman. In general, the procedure is safe for the woman, though the child is never born. A common debate between people who are pro-choice, people who support keeping the procedure legal, and people who are pro-life, who support its being outlawed, is whether or not the fetus is alive or not. In general, conservatives, who are usually pro-life, feel the child is a living thing, while liberals often feel the fetus is not living until a certain point in the woman's pregnancy, at which point the child can survive on its own. Oftentimes, liberals support the ban of abortions at this point in a woman's pregnancy.
Abortion is often described as murder by its detractors. This isn't true, as the fetus at the first trimester (which is when the majority of abortions are carried out) lacks a brain and consciousness, and is entirely dependent on its mother. As such, the abortion at this stage is far closer to removing an appendix or kidney than killing a person. Although the fetus technically still meets the qualifications of life even at this point, since it lacks a central nervous system, aborting the baby could also be compared to cutting down a tree. Ironically, though most conservatives are pro-life, they also show less concern for environmental issues and aren't as upset by deforestation as liberals. In other words, though conservatives often don't mind trees being cut down, they are against a child being aborted in the first trimester, even though the two are highly similar at this point.
Liberals strongly support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion; however, we still strongly advocate the exploration of other options - hence why we identify as pro-choice, not pro-abortion -, including preventing pregnancy in the first place via contraceptives, the "morning after" pill, and, if the child has already been conceived, liberals generally agree that adoption is a better route to follow than abortion. Nonetheless, we recognize that this country was founded upon the notion that every person is the sole controller of their body and has the right to do whatever they please with it. This is why slavery was outlawed, this is why interracial marriage is legal, and this is why abortion is still an option for pregnant women if they so choose to explore it. To outlaw abortion would be to undermine one of the most important values Americans hold dear.
Abortion dates back thousands of years. Every civilization ever studied is known to have performed abortions, including the United States of America in its early years. After the signing of the Constitution, abortions were not only legal but freely advertised and performed.
Abortion is outlawed Edit
In the 1800s, various states began passing laws supporting the ban of abortions. During the time in which these laws were passed, immigration was at its peak, and many states feared that immigrant children would overwhelm the population of native children, thus providing states a legitimate reason to make abortion illegal. It should be noted that today, immigration to America is nowhere near as widespread as it was in the late 1800s and the threat of immigrant populations overpowering native populations due to abortions no longer exists.
Back in those days, all surgical operations were extremely dangerous and childbirth itself was a danger to both parties involved. It was in these days that abortion was legal, when a true threat was posed to the mother. However, when technology advanced and surgeries were no longer a threat to the recipient's safety - among these abortions - most states had already outlawed abortion and women were forced to receive unsafe, illegal abortions. In these abortions, not only were the children "murdered," but the woman's life was also put at a severe risk. Women did not let unjust laws stand in the way of their personal freedom; in the years leading up to Roe vs. Wade, more than one million women sought abortions from illegal providers.
Roe v. Wade Edit
In 1973, abortion was legal in 1/3 of states, all of which had repealed their wrongful anti-abortion laws. However, federal law did not prohibit states from having laws criminalizing abortion. All that changed when one brave woman, Norma McCorvey, stood up and challenged these unjust, intrusive abortion laws. Under the alias of Jane Roe, McCorvey argued that laws in Texas outlawing abortion were unconstitutional. She presented this case to the Supreme Court. Her challenger was Henry Wade, the D.A. of Dallas.
The Court found in favor of Roe by an overwhelming majority; seven justices supported the national legalization of abortion while only two opposed. Finding that the 14th amendment guarantees a right to privacy which extends to a woman's right to have an abortion, the Supreme Court declared that from that day forth, no woman in the U.S.A. could be refused an abortion by state governments in her first two trimesters.
Modern debate Edit
Although Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide, abortion is still the most hotly contested social issue in modern politics. Those in favor of a woman's undying right to choose whether or not to have her child call themselves pro-choice; opposers identify as pro-life. Many politicians support a Constitutional amendment banning abortion in its entirety. Many measures have already been taken to prevent a woman from having an abortion, such as forcing a woman to have a sonogram before having an abortion (though this is only present in some states). Americans must never allow for such an unjust amendment to be passed.
Abortion and Breast CancerEdit
Many conservatives claim that having an abortion can lead to breast cancer. These claims are not at all rooted in fact, however, in five states, doctors have to tell women seeking abortions that having an abortion increses their risk for breast cancer.  However, there is no evidence to suppport this claim, and the national cancer institute has stated that there is no connection between having an abortion and developing breast cancer.