Abortion: Government, Religious and Women’s Perspectives
Abortion has been an issue in society for decades, dating all the way back to the Bible making indirect references to it. More recently, it has become even more of a debate with people choosing between two sides, Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. Both sides have very different opinions on what should happen regarding abortions. Pro-Lifer’s believe that abortions should be done under no circumstance, whereas, Pro-Choicer’s believe that the fate of a baby should be up to the mother carrying the child. There are many situations in which a woman may want an abortion. To get people to understand a situation like this, many different examples are given, one of these are the violinist example. First described to me in an article by Horn, Horn has a BA in history from Arizona State University, and an MA in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, the violinist example states that you wake up and are told that a famous violinist has to be plugged into you for the next nine months. If you unplug it the famous violinist will die, but if you keep him attached to you for nine months he will survive (Horn, 2018). Examples like that make you question what side you on with the abortion debate. Abortion is an issue that has become more popular as states have began to pass more laws resticting it. Due to this people have began to debate what the government should do regarding abortions, which leads to the question, should the state continue to fund abortion?
Many states have began to make their own abortion laws due to the government putting pressure on them. In states like Indiana this has led to some pretty specific rules. Covington, says that in Indiana Mike Pence recently passed a law stating that a woman must get an ultrasound 18 hours before her planned abortion (Covington 2018). However, this can cause many problems for women, because in Indiana there are only four facilities that will do both an ultrasound and an abortion. For women who live far away it is already a struggle to get the abortion clinic, but now they must plan to stay there for at least 24 hours to get both the ultrasound and the abortion. There are many other examples that can be used to show what a forced abortion is like. For example, Pennamon writes about court cases in which people have asked for bone marrow for another person. A case like this is in the McFall v. Shimp case, in this example the plaintiff asked for bone marrow from a family member because they were dying. The judge ruled that they could not force the family member to give them bone marrow, even if they were dying (Pennamon 2019). Looking at these laws and court cases show how the government feels about abortion, and you can assume that they don’t agree with it. Things like this can make women who want an abortion feel like their choice is the wrong one. If the government started to act less bias towards this issue abortion may not be such a debate anymore. In the abortion debate governments should act less bias towards one side, and take a more neutral stance.
Stereotypically in Christianity, which is the most popular religion in the United States, abortion is looked down upon. However, Hunt says that in the Catholic Church, which Christianity is apart of, they say that the woman has a right to choose (Hunt 2002). Another example of religion and abortion is when Almond references how the Freedom from Religion Foundation says that religion does not say yes to abortion (Almond 2007). Both of these show different perspectives on religion and abortion. The Freedom from Religion Foundation also talks about how abortion is never actually mentioned in the Bible. As siad by Andrews, the closest reference in the Bible to abortion is in Genesis 16:1-16, when it talks about the story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, and Ishmael. In this story Abraham and Sarah cannot get pregnant, so Sarah tells her maid Hagar to have a baby with Abraham, but when Hagar gets pregnant Sarah makes her leave, but first tries to get her what we can assume is an abortion. Hagar then has her baby, Ishmael, and the story goes on (Andrews 2014). All of these talk about religion and the abortion, but only one of them talks about the Bible approving of it. From all of these sources you can conclude that religion has a very mixed opinion on abortion. Other religions may have different perspectives on religion, but Christianity seems to have a more negative opinion of it. In the argument of abortion each religion should choose what side they are on based on their religion’s beliefs.
Most people agree that women should have a choice as to what happens to their baby. Whether that women is pro-choice or pro-life, they should have a right to choose. Young talks about women who seemed to be more pro-life. He talks about Karissa Haugeberg’s book, Women Against Abortion: Inside the Largest Moral Reform Movement of the Twentieth Century, and how she talks about women who went as far as to try to kill doctors who were giving out abortions. She clarifies that these were very religious women, but nonetheless, they were still very pro-choice (Young 2018). Women who are pro-life is not something that is generally in the media, but it still does occur. On the other side of the argument, Almond talks about Patricia E. Bauer, and her writing about her daughter with Down Syndrome. Bauer new about her daughter’s genetic disorder before she was born, and still decided to have her daughter (Almond 2007). Women who are pro-choice are a lot more common in the media, as it is something you expect most women to be. It should not only be a woman’s choice if they want an abortion or not, but it should also be their choice on what side of the argument they’re on. In the abortion argument every woman should have the right to not only choose the fate of their baby, but also what side they are on.
Due to all the arguments and debates around abortion states have been able to make their own laws based on their states beliefs. This has led to the funding of abortion clinics around the country because the government leans towards more pro-life. If there was less public debate around abortion in the government, or just less debate in general, many f these clinic would not be funded, which would not help women who are seeking an abortion. However, if the debate continues new abotion clinics would open, which would help women seeking an abortion, but not help those who don’t like abortion. Either way, there will still be someone who argues that their side is less fortunate than the other side. A solution to this would be that the government could stop having such public debates and arguments on abortion, but still continue to fund it the same as they ahve previously. This would help those who don’t like abortion to stop seeing it in the media so much, and those who support abortion would still be able to get one if needed. However, this plan is something that we need to work towards, not just something that we can do overnight. This issue should be put in the hands of a responsible person, who sees the benefit in both sides of the abortion agruement.