Disagreement on the status of abortion is an old debate dating back to probably nineteenth century. In many countries like the US and Germany, abortion is considered illegal. However, a social movement through the last seven decades has distinctly divided two groups of anti- and pro-abortion advocates.
These two divisions are the pro-life and the pro-choice advocates. The anti-abortion advocates believe that the process of fetal killing amount to murdering. They believe that it is an immoral and unethical act and the right to live of a life that has already begun with conception cannot be taken away by human will.
The pro-abortion advocates presented various arguments from the issue of paternalistic control over choice of women to the choice of the mother who is the bearer of the life. Abortion is the choice of a woman who bears the child and any decision to terminate the pregnancy by a woman is in a way a suicide she commits even to her ‘self’.
I argue in this essay that through abortion a woman commits partial suicide, an assault on her own ‘self’ by ending a part of her own being, and if a woman is willingly ending a life that is a part of her own she should be given that choice.
In the first trimester, a newly conceived fetus is bound to the maternal body for all its needs through the umbilical cord. It is bound to the mother’s body and cannot exist independently. As the fetus has no separate existence it cannot be considered separate from the mother and therefore a mother should have the right to abort it is she so feel due to spurious circumstances.
From the previous argument, it can be deduced that a woman is the mother even to a fetus. If the fetus is joined to the woman, she too is attached to it not only physically but also emotionally. Women who undergo abortion have to go through a conflict situation to decide to abort, as abortion, in its very nature, is a fundamental assault to a woman’s body.
If she ends a life through abortion, she also assaults a part of her own body. A fetus should not only be seen as the budding life of a child but also as a part of the woman’s body and by extension the woman herself. This shows that the fetus is not a lifeless object like a tissue or a fiber but a part of the woman herself. Therefore, the decision and the process of abortion are traumatic even for women as she is willingly destroying a part of her own self.
Based on the above argument of a fetus as a part of a woman’s self, I believe that a woman decides to abort a fetus only due to very strong and serious reasons and is not conducted as a frivolous act. A woman who is letting go a part of her own self should also have the right to decide if she wants or does not want to abort.
The choice should be given to a woman, as she is the one who is most sympathetically and emotionally attached to the fetus. If she decides that, the continuation of the pregnancy is not desirable it must be for a very serious reason.
Many believe that abortion should be an illegal act. However, when a woman decides to forego her pregnancy she takes that decision under a lot of trauma for she is the only one who knows the presence of life in a one-month-old fetus. It is a part of her ‘own’ self.
So how can such an act be considered illegal when a woman undergoes the maximum physical an emotional abuse while she decides to abort her pregnancy? Considering such an act illegal is in a way questioning the emotional bonding of a mother to a child. Therefore, abortion should be a choice that women should have so that she can give a quality life to every child that is born and not just existential being.