Should abortions be legal or illegal?
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The debate of abortion has been an issue worldwide, but did not gain momentum in the United States until around the 1970’s. The debate question has centered on, “Should abortions be legal or illegal?” The abortion debate is a very complicated issue because not only does it affect a woman’s life in the U.S. but also the future child’s. Much of the debate rests upon who has the right to make decisions whether or not to abort. In 1973 a verdict in the Supreme Court, Roe vs. Wade, altered the lives of a child and woman in the United States. It all started in Texas when Wade, a district attorney from Dallas County, had enacted a law that a woman could only have an abortion if the mother’s life was in danger. Roe, a pregnant single lady in Texas who wanted an abortion, brought a class action suit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas law . The case was then presented to the Supreme Court.
It was in the year 1973 when the case went to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that it was a mothers’ choice whether or not to abort the child. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decisions an estimated 1.2 million women in the U.S. have had an abortion every year. Since 1973 about 50 million women in the U.S. have had abortions. There are three different groups of people in the abortion debate ; the pro-choice, which are the men and women who think abortion should be legal, the pro-life, which are the men and women who are against abortion who think abortion should be illegal, and the last group are indecisive about the whole issue.
The pro-choice mainly consist of feminist who believe that it’s their choice whether to terminate the pregnancy or not because they have to have a say in what goes on in their body. The pro-life mainly consists of Christian men and women claiming that the child is a gift and blessing from God and God has sent the child to live on Earth for a reason and that having an abortion is murder. The third group has people who feel both sides should compromise, which they still have not. Setting
This study will take place at Gunderson High School in San Jose, California. It will involve 20 students in each grade level, and 15-20 teachers/staff members. A second study will take place on adults outside of school, ranging between 15-25. Participants will be answering a few question on a one-on-one basis and possibly a survey. Problem Statement
The purpose of this study seeks to understand the status of student and adult perception on abortion as well as what factors affect those perceptions. Research Questions: Should abortions be legal or illegal?
Should women only have a say in abortions?
Should there be special circumstances in order to get an abortion?
Chapter 2- Review of Literature
Adult Learning Theory
Over several centuries and in different cultures, there is a rich history of women helping each other to abort. Until the late 1800s, women healers in Western Europe and the U.S. provided abortions and trained other women to do so, without legal prohibitions. The State didn’t prohibit abortion until the 19th century, nor did the Church lead in the new repression. In 1803, Britain first passed anti abortion laws, which then became stricter throughout the century. The U.S. followed as individual states began to outlaw abortion. By 1880, most abortions were illegal in the U.S., except those “necessary to save the life of the woman.” But the tradition of women’s right to early abortion was rooted in U.S. society by then; abortionists continued to practice openly with public support, and juries refused to convict them.
Abortion became a crime and a sin for several reasons. A trend of humanitarian reform in the mid-19th century broadened liberal support for criminalization, because at that time abortion was a dangerous procedure done with crude methods, few antiseptics, and high mortality rates. But this alone cannot explain the attack on abortion. For instance, other risky surgical techniques were considered necessary for people’s health and welfare and were not prohibited. “Protecting” women from the dangers of abortion was actually meant to control them and restrict them to their traditional childbearing role. Antiabortion legislation was part of an antifeminist backlash to the growing movements for suffrage, voluntary motherhood, and other women’s rights in the 19th century.
Abortion is an option that many women have considered and has thus become a more popular choice. For many women, abortion could be used as an escape. Women have a right to choose whether to abort the baby or not because pregnancy could be accidental or the woman could have been raped. Then abortion should be allowed tenet it could cause an adverse impact on the mother’s life. Abortion was illegal before the 1973 Supreme Court hearing of Roe v. Wade. Now that abortion is legalized, women have the right and the option to lead the way they want. Abortion should be acceptable so that the mother can prevent execution and prevent unwanted children. From a historical perspective, abortion has been to serve as a lifesaver for both baby and mother. In twenty years before abortion was legalized in America, it is estimated that a million women per year underwent illegal abortions. During the process, thousands of American women were maimed and thousands more died.
People outlaw abortions, it induces in the back alleys where the action become violent, exorbitant, and tarnishing. Thus, to protect the woman’s life, we must keep abortion legal in America. According to abortion statistics from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, about 15,000 women have had abortions each year because they become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. Fortunately, the nation’s leaders were able to stop this genocide of women. In Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1973, stated that a woman and her doctor may freely choose to terminate a pregnancy during the first trimester, state governments can regulate abortion access after the first trimester with laws intended to protect the woman’s health, and abortion after fetal viability must be present if the woman’s life is at risk. Women are often forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term; the result is unwanted children.
Chapter 3 – Methodology
The population for this study consisted of an anonymous group of males and females. For each group, twenty-five people were asked the same five questions about abortions, one of which divided them into different age categories. The participants in the survey were randomly picked and gave their opinion anonymously. Their identity will not be named at all. We selected these people by talking to them during SDL, on the streets, our relatives, and through social media. Instrumentation
The method we used to gather our information was by doing multiple surveys. The first survey was done by social media, where we did not ask for their gender, just to have a more general idea on what people thought about abortions. We asked the same questions on every survey. But the next two surveys were divided by gender and had the same questions on them. The questions on them were about how old were they, if they thought abortions should be legal or illegal, if women should be the only ones to make a decision on abortions and on abortion related stuff, if abortions were to be illegal, should it legal in certain situations , and their overall opinion about abortions. The questions on these surveys covered the three questions we proposed and wanted to be answered as well as gave us an overview of what society thinks about abortions.
The interviews were conducted in a neat and orderly fashion way by first going up to the person and asking them if they wanted to take a short survey on a controversial topic about ‘Abortions.’ Keep in mind, we went by genders. We then proceeded with the survey, asking all the necessary questions and letting the people know which question they do not need to answer if they are too uncomfortable with it. We also clarified questions that the person taking the survey has trouble understanding and providing background information to those who ask. The surveys were not conducted by age, even though ‘What is your age?’ was one of the questions. Any member of the same sex that we saw were asked if they were willing to give their opinion about ‘Abortions.’
Chapter IV – Findings of the Study
This graph was based on the question, ‘Should abortions be legal or illegal?’ This was the primary question asked in our survey and research project. The survey was conducted with separate female and male perspective on the question, but when doing the graph seen above both the male and female point of view were combined showing what the overall population in Gunderson thought about the subject. After analyzing the survey done for the females, it revealed that the majority of the females wanted abortions to be legal. On the contrary, after studying what the males thought about this question, half of them stated that abortions should be legal while the other half stated that abortions should be illegal. When incorporating both points of view, the outlook of most of the people in Gunderson, is that abortions should be legal. 66.7% of the population thinks abortions should be legal while 33.3% of the population thinks abortions should be illegal.
Men should have a say in abortions. They helped make the baby just as much as the woman did. Like the expression says, “It takes two to tango.” If a woman decides she doesn’t want a baby, she can abort it without the husband’s permission. And yet, if the man doesn’t want the child, he will be forced to pay child support because they say it takes two people to make a baby. And men shouldn’t be allowed to abandon their responsibilities. However, the same is true for the woman. She shouldn’t be allowed to abandon her responsibilities of caring for the baby who is alive. It takes two to make a baby, and the man should have an equal say in whether or not the child is aborted, because it is his child too. He can’t force a woman to get an abortion, and she shouldn’t force him to have his child aborted. Both people are involved, both people should have a say.
Abortions should be legal especially in the case of rape if the mother’s life is in danger. If a mother does not want a child and was forcefully made to have a child against her will then the mother has a right to abort the child. These cases are often unfair to the child as the parent doesn’t want the child and may not have the means to support the child. Abortions should be illegal in all cases. Even if the child was conceived to an unwilling mother the child is still alive at point of conception and therefore killing the baby is killing a person. Also, religious group say that every child is a child of God and deserves the greatest gift of all; life.
Chapter V – Conclusions and Recommendations
During our surveys, we asked the three questions; Should abortions be Legal or Illegal?; Should Women be the only ones to have a say in Abortions?; and If Abortions were Illegal, should it be Legal in Certain Situations?. We had the same amount of students answer each question. Our expectation as a group were that the majority of the people would say abortions should be illegal, women should be the only ones to have a say, and abortions should be legal in certain situations. The majority of the surveys match up with our expectations except for one.
For the first survey question, ‘Should Abortions be Legal or Illegal?’, we as a group had different viewpoints. Some said abortions should be illegal while others said it should be legal. The majority of the people interviewed said that abortions should be legal. There were two main reasons why people thought abortions should be legal. First most people said that women should have a say in what goes on in their body and the second argu
ment is that the government cannot make laws forbidding abortions because they do not know the situation the mother is in to make her want to abort her unborn baby. Of course different people had different reasons on why they thought abortions should be legal. On the other side of the debate, the minority stated that abortions should be illegal because everyone has to have a chance to live.
The next question in the survey was, ‘Should only women have a say in getting an abortion?’ In our group discussion we concluded that, yes, only women should have a say because a man can never understand the hardships a woman goes through when being pregnant. Most of the students, staffs, and teachers in Gunderson also agreed with our perspective in the issue. However, the minority claimed that man and the woman have to decide together because it is also the man’s child.
Our final survey question was, ‘If Abortions were Illegal, should it be Legal in certain situations?’ Before doing the survey, we as a group, came to a conclusion that indeed abortions should be legal in certain situations if it were illegal. A reason for this is because, in the case of rape, it is not fair that the woman has to suffer the consequences of an act that she did not engage willingly in. After analyzing the survey and graph, it is clear that nearly all the participants in the research project agreed with us that if abortions were illegal it should be legal in certain situation. On the other hand, people stated that abortions should always remain illegal and it doesn’t matter what circumstance the woman finds herself in because it is not the childs fault and they have to have a chance to live.
From all the answers for these research questions, we are able to deduct that the majority of the population believe abortions should be ‘legal’, and if the government did ever prohibit abortion it should only be exempted in specific conditions.
The next steps that should be taken, since the majority of the people agreed that abortions should be legal, are to limit the amount of unplanned and unwanted pregnancies to help reduce the amount of abortions that are done yearly. We, as a group, hope that our research helps open the eyes of some people on what exactly happens during an abortion, some of the arguments of pro-life and pro-choice , and some history and background about abortions.We also hope as a group that this project all-in-all has made you think differently about abortions, makes you think twice about getting an abortion, and make people more cautious when having intercourse so they will not get pregnant and go through this.
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