Anti-abortion activists call themselves pro-life as if everyone else is anti-life. I can't imagine anyone is truly anti-life. Charles Manson wanted to reduce the amount of human life on the planet, but he claimed it was for the benefit of the other life that humans are constantly overpowering. In an interview I saw, he said, "I'll kill me about 50 million people, then I can save my air, my trees, and my water."

What I find most odd is that many of the conservatives who are most adamantly anti-abortion are also in favor of the death penalty. That pretty much contradicts the whole "pro-life" line. Does a murderer have less rights than an unborn fetus? You decide.

The thing is, science can not tell us, in any way that we'll all agree on, when life begins. Is it at conception? If so, then God kills many lives simply by not letting them implant on the uterine lining. Is it when the heart begins to beat? Or is it when the fetus would be able to survive on its own? That time is constantly changing as we develop better and better medical technology for premature infants.

The other side of this question is when does life end? If someone is only being kept alive by machines and can't communicate at all, are they still alive? If someone is sitting in a nursing home eating all her meals through a straw and having CNA's change her diapers every few hours, and she can't speak to anyone in any way, we'd probably say she's still alive, but does she want to be? Does she even know she is?

Abortion stops a beating heart. So does euthanasia. But if we think it's okay to go to war and kill a bunch of people who want to live, why is it then wrong to kill a cancer victim who hardly lives at all, or a baby who will be born unloved, unwanted, addicted to crack?

Some people are so caught up in preserving quantity of life, they forget to consider quality.

The Pro-Life position (as it relates to abortion) can be given by syllogism. As much as I dislike Aristotle in general, in this case, the position is logically fairly simple:

  • A fetus is a human being.
  • A human being is entitled to legal protection.
  • A fetus is entitled to legal protection.

That is theoretically the basis of the pro-life movement. I personally believe that there is a good deal of other motivations involved with many pro-lifers, many involving people's probably undue concern about other people's sexual mores. Be that as it may, and altough it may be that when couples are in a situation of unwanted pregnancy syllogisms don't count for much; still, the basic form of this argument has to be acknowledged without having to be a facist theocrat.

It could be argued that the first term of the argument is up for debate, and is a matter of personal interpretation. But even though pregnancy is a very personal situation, the way that it is so special that people are allowed to interpret other people's personhood in a way that is not otherwise allowed in legal or moral situations has to be clearly explained if the syllogism is to be argued against.

I am posting this for several reasons. 1) I believe there needs to be a central, mutifaceted write-up on what pro-lifers stand for here and whether you agree or not, this is actually more of an educational write-up on the pro-life beliefs. 2) People have told me that this is a well-written paper and I would like all my E2 comrades to judge for themselves. I believe you are all excellent writers and can help me perfect my craft. 3) I really, really want to.

On January 22nd, 1973, the Supreme Court made a decision that would ultimately affect the entire country. A pregnant woman wanted to get an abortion, but under Texas laws she was unable to do so legally, unless her life was in danger. An immense battle then erupted between constitutional rights and moral beliefs. Roe vs. Wade has since divided our country down the middle, or at least widening the divide between the religious right and the liberal left. Though it must be pointed out that not all right-wingers are religious and not all left-wingers are liberal. The Supreme Court decided that it was unconstitutional to deprive Ms. Roe (whose real name is Norma McCorvey) of her right to have an abortion. Over 30 years later, Norma McCorvey (Crossing Over Ministry) has changed her view and is now fighting to reverse the law she helped put into motion.

In this paper I hope to show you the true story of what an abortion is and what the consequences are of choosing one. My position on the sanctity of life is firmly grounded in the belief that every life serves a purpose and that no life, whether just beginning or near its end, should be forced to not have the opportunity to live. I approach this issue as a young male who has never had to experience pregnancy or the decisions that most women face, but I do know several women of various ages, some mothers, and I have asked different women from all walks of life their stance on this issue. I also have gathered information from various sources; mainly the Internet.

Let me present to you some statistics (Alan Guttmacher Institute):

In 54 countries abortion is legal and in 97 countries abortions is illegal.
46 million abortions are performed each year. A little under half of those are illegal.
In America, 1.3 million abortions are performed each year.

These numbers are staggering to me. If these numbers were applied to adults, it would be like wiping out a fifth of the United States people.

The main argument between those who are mostly for abortion (called Pro-Choice) and those who are mostly against abortion (called Pro-Life), is when life actually begins, whether it is at conception or at birth. I believe that life begins at conception, when the sperm meets the egg and the cells begin to multiply and grow within the womb. Scientifically this is when life begins, because the unborn child is growing. To deny that would be denying our own natural process, because even outside the womb, we continue to grow. Even premature babies continue to grow.

There are different types of abortions and many of them are disgusting procedures. I will briefly discuss them. If you have a weak stomach, you might want to skip the next few paragraphs.

At 6-16 weeks, when the child is developing eyes and ears, the operation most commonly used is vacuum suction. With this method, a tube is inserted into the cervix and all of the fetal tissue and placenta is sucked into a jar and thrown away. The unborn child is often torn apart by the force of the suction.

At 5-7 weeks, Mifepristone is used to create a chemical reaction with the placenta to basically starve the child to death. Suppositories are then given to expel the fetus.

Late term abortions (13-32 weeks), have many different methods. One is to pry open the cervix and take the child out, piece by piece until every part is out of the womb. The one that most people condemn and is used for the 32 week period is the “partial birth abortion”. In this procedure, the abortionist takes the baby out by the feet, with the head still partially in the uterus and makes a hole in the back of the skull with a utensil, then proceeds to suck the brains out with a vacuum suction.

All these methods would absolutely not be allowed if it were done illegally. The so called back alley abortionist would be put away for life. Or would he? These point to a double standard in our society. If someone went to congress and proposed a law that said it is legally “okay” to kill someone unwanted in your life as long as it is done by a licensed professional, they would be labeled as absolutely mad! But yet this is not far from what is going on in our very day and age. The only difference is that the victims can’t scream when you kill them.

Proponents of abortion also try to downplay the victims in this “silent holocaust”, by labeling the unborn child a “fetus” or “tissue”. Such methods were also used in American history, when the Indians were being wiped out, people called them “savages” to justify their extermination. This was also used to enslave Africans, by calling them “niggers” we degraded them to something less than human. Even scientists tried to prove that they were less then human and closer to apes by their skull structure.

There are several different reasons women have abortions, but the most common reason is because of an unwanted pregnancy.
Over 52% of women who have abortions are under 25.
25.5% want postpone childbearing.
21.3% cannot afford a baby.
14.1% the partner doesn’t want them to have a child.
12.2% are too young.
10.8% of women feel a child would disrupt their education or career.
These numbers are very saddening to me, because it shows how our society’s favor towards individualism and self-interest has reduced children to a burden and a liability. There are alternatives to abortion, such as adoptionand maternal assistance through crisis pregnancy organizations. Adoption can give barren couples, who desperately desire to, the chance to be parents. There are emotional and separation issues with such a decision, but the heart sacrifice is worth it. Though today there are more laws to give the biological mom more access to the child she birthed.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers are growing in numbers in the United States, but they are up against tough opposition with organizations like Planned Parenthood (a pro-choice clinic). CPCs give women of all ages and types of crisis pregnancy situations alternatives to abortion. Instead of giving an easy out to their problems, women are given choices which will benefit both them and the child. Also, single mothers who have difficulty raising a baby are given free diapers and mother training. Many CPCs have been criticized for some of the unorthodox tactics they sometimes use to persuade women to choose life over an abortion. These tactics include: videos of pre-birth babies being aborted, women having abortions and showing the psychological effects after the abortion on the woman. The critics may think of these as scare tactics, but sometimes the truth is scary.

The psychological effects of an abortion can be devastating. Many women have reported deep depression and withdrawl, sometimes even suicidal tendencies.

“Shortly after the abortion I went into a deep depression. I dropped out of school and fought with my parents. I had an abusive manipulating boyfriend and I was miserable. I didn't care about myself anymore. I was suicidal and cold hearted. Two months later, I got pregnant again (this time I was on the pill). I couldn't even imagine going through the pain and torment of another abortion. It was hard to tell my parents I was pregnant. They had never known (and still don't) about the previous pregnancy. When I told my father, he look at me with soulful eyes (and my father is NOT one to show any emotion) and said, "please don't do anything as horrendous as having an abortion". My stomach turned. My boyfriend threatened to kill me if I carried the child, then he threatened to kill me if I kept the child. All my "friends" (yeah, where are they now?) urged me to get an abortion. I talked to someone who used abortion as a form a birth control. The thought of her doing that made me want to puke!” (Gargaro, March 1999)

What about the women who have an abortion because of health problems? Let’s take a look at this side of the issue.
55% of Americans believe abortion should be legal only to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape. (USA Today, CNN)
3.3% of women have an abortion because of the health of the baby.
2.8% of women have an abortion because of their own health.
As you can see, the percentage is very low for health related abortions. I don’t believe government should at all force these women who have been put through so much trauma already, to give birth, but I do believe it is still wrong in a sense. As I stated before, every life serves a purpose and even a child that came in to being through rape must have the chance to live. And the woman who has the child has many different alternatives then abortion, as stated in the above paragraphs. As for women who could die in childbirth; I cannot speak for myself, being a male, but I have spoken to two women about this subject. One has a religious affiliation, whom I will refer to as Woman #1 and the other has no religious affiliation., whom I will refer to as Woman #2.

I asked both the question, “Is it right for a woman to have an abortion if her own health is at risk?”

Woman #1 answered, “I believe that it is still not. In the Bible, Jesus tells us that ‘greater love hath no man then that he lays down his life’. For a woman to give her own life so that her child can have one is the greatest sacrifice a mother can give.”

Woman #2 answered, “If I was raped or knew I could die in childbirth, I would sacrifice my own life for the baby. Because I know that I have had a full life and I wouldn’t want to deprive my child of having one either. It comes down to the question of, ‘What is important to you?’.”

I view contraceptives as not a form of abortion, unless it is a pill like “The Morning After Pill”, which itself is debatable as a contraceptive, because it stops the egg from being fertilized, but doesn't kill the fetus after fertilization. The Morning After Pill has been known to be accidently taken after the 72 hour period and aborted fertilized fetuses. There is a stark difference between preventing something from happening and then cleaning up what already has happened. Contraceptives don’t always work though. Many women become pregnant, while using contraceptives, so they try to justify an abortion by saying they didn’t want it in the first place. Even some married women do this. Such excuses are blatantly selfish and unjustified. Everyone in our society knows that sex is used for creating life, though we also use it for ‘recreation’ these days, which in itself isn't necessarily wrong, but wreckless pre-marital sexual activity can be. Sex is taken lightly by many people who think it won’t ever happen to them, until it does. The core problem in this debate over abortion is that we do not take enough steps to educate people as to how contraceptives fail, how sex is a sacred act, and that abstinence can be fulfilling. Abstinence in itself does not always work either, because many women have an abortion even when they are married for reason such as; not wanting more children, wanting children later in life, or their husband objects to having a child.

There have been many people who call them selves “pro-life”, who have bombed Planned Parenthood buildings and killed abortion doctors, but they do not represent the pro-life movement. I myself find it disgusting and hypocritical. Many Americans, 43% in fact, call themselves pro-life. 55% of Americans say that abortion should only be legal to protect the life of the mother, as opposed to 16% who say that abortion should be totally legal.

Many people have proposed solutions to this debate, but no one has come up with a proper solution that works. There is no legislation of abortion in the USA, of any kind, primarily because the Supreme Court decided it's not the governments business what a woman does with her body. I believe though, that there can be some sort of legislation which will still give women a choice, but still protect life itself. I am willing to take steps to meet in the middle of this issue, such as proposing that abortion is seriously not recommended except for the reason of women endangerment, walk-in abortion clinics be eliminated and after 12 weeks abortion is not an option. Constitutionally, I believe every woman should have free choice, but I also believed they should be properly educated on the effects of abortions and be offered alternative solutions, in high schools and in the workplace. Places like Planned Parenthood rarely offer adoption or maternal help as a solution, making the woman feel there is no other way, but it has been proven there are better ways to deal with unplanned pregnancies. These will also benefit the health of the woman, because most abortions put women at risk for serious infection and other diseases.

In conclusion, I will answer the question, “What if outlawing optional abortions opens the door for back alley abortions?” The only way we can prevent such from happening or at least eliminating a majority of such “back alley doctors” is by increasing the number of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, educating women about the health risks, and taking decisive action to eliminate it on a local basis.

All of life is sacred and created for a purpose. Perhaps millions of great minds have been wasted and never even given a chance, because of this new genocide. We could have had the next Einstein, Van Gogh, Mozart, or even the next great President, had it not been for that fatal decision in 1973 and after. I urge all women to think over hard their position on this issue, for it could possibly give you the joy of a lifetime or the heartbreak of a lifetime.

Node your homework. This is an argumentative paper I wrote for my English class.

Without one having any other social or political context, "pro-life" sounds like the stance you would take if you were, well, all for life and living. In short, it sounds awesome!

It sounds like a happy, healthy, up-with-people, save-the-world kind of view. After all, who could be against life? Life is beautiful. The opposite of pro-life would be ... what? Pro-death? Ack! Only freaky goth types or gimlet-eyed killers would turn out to support that cause.

If you declared yourself to be ardently "pro-life" to the visitor fresh off the spaceship from Alpha Centauri, he'd think you to be a swell person. He'd peg you as being against abortion, sure, but surely you'd also be working to eliminate the death penalty and suicide (both of which mean you'd be interested in wiping out poverty and other human misery and in finding better treatments for mental illness) and war. War would be a huge source of worry for you, because you realize that no matter how noble or righteous a nation's reasons for going to war, it always leads to an enormous amount of death and suffering.

And you'd give money to researchers doing work to extend the human lifespan. You'd be all in support of seatbelts, helmet laws, and OSHA requirements. You'd be working to eliminate the ready availability of guns and poisons. You'd want to rid public places of smoking, that's for sure, and you'd try to educate smokers on the dangers of their nicotine habit.

As soon as the words "All of life is sacred and created for a purpose" left your lips, you'd realize that you'd never, ever harm another living thing to support your beliefs.

You might consider speaking out against birth control -- more babies means more life to hold sacred, right? -- but then you'd have a good hard think and realize that "all life" includes the plants and animals on the lovely planet Earth.

Instead of hunting in the fall, you take hay bales to the woods so the deer don't starve. You start to adopt animals from the pound whenever you can -- the unwanted children you've been fostering love having kitties and puppies to play with. You and the kids start planting trees and setting up community gardens. And in addition to your volunteer work on the various crisis lines, you start helping out at the local wildlife rehabilitation center.

And then you'd start to see the terrible damage that cars, pesticides, and habitat loss are doing to wildlife. You realize that uncontrolled human population growth and consumption are driving many plant and animal species to extinction.

You do a little reading in basic biology, and you realize that humans, like every other animal species on the face of the planet, are designed to produce far more babies than the environment can support because in the wild so few would survive infancy. A healthy human woman has a solid 25 or 30 years of fertility -- if she married young and went without birth control, she could have 10, 15, maybe even 20 kids! And one human baby in a developed country consumes as much planetary energy in a year as a sperm whale. Ack!

You'd start to realize that human life comes at great cost to the other life on the planet. But you'd be determined to stick to your ideals.

You start small. You get rid of your car and use your own two feet or a bicycle to get around to eliminate poisonous emissions and the chance you might accidentally hit an animal or another person. You stop using pesticides (mice and insects are life, too! Better to discourage their presence than kill them) and start buying organic produce. You'd certainly stop eating meat and fish; you'd probably become a fruitarian.

You simplify your life so that you use as few natural resources as possible -- and no non-self-generated electricity if possible -- and you'd encourage others to do the same. All so the rest of Earth's life can keep on living.

Wait! That's not what "pro-life" means, silly!

Indeed, many people who label themselves as "pro-life" are primarily concerned with preserving human life, and in particular the lives of the unborn.

So in many ways, "pro-life" is a crackerjack bit of good marketing that was first used in the 1960s (if you believe Wikipedia) or 1973 (if you believe the Catholic Bishops' Association), but it is a fundamentally nebulous and misleading label.

Certainly, there's no ideological compulsion to want to save other species from extinction or to work against the death penalty if one is against abortion. You can dislike abortion for a whole host of reasons that are independent of any of your other views.

But to use the term "pro-life" to describe a person who cares deeply about protecting the innocent unborn but cares equally deeply that criminals be executed and that his or her rights to shoot animals for fun be protected ... well, that definition of "pro-life" seems a bit narrow and misleading in the grand scheme of things. Seriously, is the other 99.99% of the life on the planet that is not composed of human fetuses irrelevant somehow?

If you're against abortion and against obfuscation and spin doctoring, why not be a bit more specific when describing your views in 30 words or less? Call yourself "pro fetal life" or "pro mass birthing of {insert ethnicity here} babies" or "pro forcing immoral fornicators to bear the fruit of their sins" if that's what you believe.

But if you want to stick with the general, a better term that should be applied is "anti-abortion", which of course sounds clinical and not nearly as compelling as "pro-life".

The pro abortion rights contingent decided to use the label "pro-choice", which also is somewhat nebulous but doesn't sound nearly as cool as "pro-life". Choice is great and all, but in the grand scheme of things, it sounds like a luxury. This is life we're talking about! Life, people!

If you're paying attention to media bias, watch to see which newspapers and networks refer to "pro-life activists" and "pro-choice activists" and which use the less politically loaded terms "anti-abortion activists" and "abortion rights activists". The differences in news coverage can be quite educational.

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