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Posted on March 9th, 2013, by

The main argument of pro-life supporters is that human life begins with fertilization, and abortion tantamount to a murder. Roe v. Wade states that viability begins in 28 week, though in some cases in 24 weeks. Modern medical technologies proved that fetus can move, react and feel pain on earlier stages of development. During the late 1980s Dr. Kanwaljeet (Sunny) Anand made a series of discoveries proving that the biological development of the neonate and fetus (especially after 20 weeks gestation) is sufficient to support an experience of pain. (Anand, Hickey, 1987).
Constitution does not contain the clear answer about the moment of human life beginning. Contemporary science has no clear evidences for this, though the discoveries of neonatologists allow thinking human life starts before 24 weeks in womb. At the same time, the Bible declares the sanctity of human life; every human being has a soul, and this soul appears in the moment of fertilization. Biblical story of Christ birth is always used as an argument. Other world religious don’t support the unlimited abortion, too.

The paradox is that pro-life group also appeals to the Fourteenth Amendment and the violation of civil rights. However, they claim they protect the rights of unborn baby. The Constitution states that All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. Pro-lifers claim unborn baby is the subject of jurisdiction also.

Among other prolife arguments it should be mentioned that many abortion centers obtain state funds, and using tax money to fund abortion is considered to be morally wrong.
Explaining why other side is wrong

I think, this issue cannot be solved before the scientific evidences supporting or rejecting the beginning of human life at the moment of fertilization. The moment of human life beginning should be clearly defined and supported by the Constitution. From this moment the US legislative system can consider fetus on certain stage of development as citizen. Otherwise it cannot be stated that fetus has the same civil rights with mother. The Constitution should realize of support the main ethical, moral, and religious principles of the US citizens. However, the issue of unlimited legal abortion is so contradictive and so related to personal beliefs, that it cannot be stated in the Constitution, at least for now.

Thus, the civil rights of the mother protected by 14th Amendment should be on the first place in this debate. Freedom of choice should be the main argument. Women should be able to make decisions about how to live their lives. Statistics proves that women do their choice anyway by contraceptive methods, and if it is necessary, by abortion. Criminalization of abortion leads women to obtain unsafe abortions, not to refuse the procedure. The real issue of abort debate is the possibility for women to make their decision about education, career and family, or the civil rights of women. Statistics proves that abortion prohibition has not the great impact on the abortion rate. Meantime illegal abortions increase the crime rate and the rate of women’s deaths. So, the negative impact of anti-abortion law is more significant than its impact on birth rate and moral principles. Thus, there is no sense in abortion full prohibition, though some reasonable limitations should exist.

Roe v. Wade is one of the most contradictory and hot-debated laws in the history of the United States. The main contradiction is caused with the lack of scientific evidences regarding the moment of human life beginning. Pro-lifers, or opponents of unlimited legal abortion, claim that fetus has the same civil rights with his mother. Pro-choicers, or advocates of unlimited legal abortion, claim that the rights f mother should b primary in this debate till the moment of baby viability. Scientific data regarding the moment of human life beginning is rather contradictory, so the main arguments in this debate nowadays are based on religion as well as moral and ethical principles of every individual.

Analyzing the arguments of both sides, I think that he arguments pro-choice are more reasonable and better corresponding to the Constitution. Women can become pregnant more often than to give birth according to human physiology. Thus, millions of abortions is not equal to millions killed babies. The issue of abortion centers state financings is the issue of state funds distribution, not the abortion restriction. The religious reasons can be taken an account if the state declares the religion or religions official. As was stated above, the Constitution of the United States declares the freedom of religion, so no religion confession should dominate, especially in legislative system.

In ideal, abortion has to be used in the exclusive cases, not as the widely-spread practice. To decrease the level of abortion in the USA government should use special programs of sex education, family planning counseling, and contraception, not the legal bans and limitation. Abortion prohibition contradicts the Constitution of the United States.

Works cited
Meier KJ, Haider-Markel DP, Stanislawski AJ, McFarlane DR. The impact of state-level restrictions on abortion. Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 53201, USA. Demography. 1996 Aug;33(3):307-12
Anand KJS, Hickey PR. Pain and its effects in the human neonate and fetus. New England Journal of Medicine 1987; 317: 1321-1329.
Jones RK et al., Abortion in the United States: incidence and access to services, 2005, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2008, 40(1):616.

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