My Child


My Child Essay, Research Paper

The word abortion by definition means, naturally or especially induced expulsion of a fetus from the womb before it is able to survive independently, according to the American Century Dictionary. This is one subject that, when mentioned, completely polarizes individuals. Abortion poses a moral, social and medical dilemma that faces many individuals to create a emotional and sometimes violent atmosphere. There are many points of view toward abortion but the only two fine distinctions are “pro-choice” and “pro-life”. A person that is pro-choice would feel that the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mothers and that the state has no right to interfere. A person that is pro-life would say that from the moment of conception, the fetus is alive. This life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it and that abortion is tantamount to murder (Kolner 5)This is important because part of our society would have to carry the guilt of terminating a human life. This would be severe and almost unbelievable for a society as educated as ours to make this big of a mistake. How could the country that leads in individual rights be so ignorant? We are America where everyone is created equal and deserves a chance to pursue happiness. What if this fetus is not a human life, is this a question that we can really answer? These are questions that haunt our nations soul.

Early in our nations history they had no means of measuring or telling if a fetus was alive in the womb. The colonies inherited English Common Law and operated under it until well into the 19th century. Abortion was illegal according to English Common Law. Abortion prior to quickening (feeling life) was a misdemeanor. Abortion after quickening was a felony. This type of punishment was inherited from earlier ecclesiastic laws. In the early 1800s it was discovered that human life did not begin when she “felt life,” but rather at fertilization. As a direct result of this, the British Parliament in 1869 passed the “Offenses Against the Persons Act,” eliminating misdemeanor charge and dropping the felony punishment back to fertilization. One by one, across the middle years of the 19th century, every then present state passed its own law against abortion. By 1860, 85% of the population lived in states that had prohibited abortion with new laws. These laws, preceding and following the British example, moved the felony punishment from quickening back to conception. It wasn?t until 1967 that California and Colorado legalized abortion. By June, 1970, when the State of New York passed the first Abortion on Demand Law (24-week limit), it became the 16th state to allow abortion. After that year the state legislatures were busy in debate when it came to abortion, and no more state legislatures voluntarily passed permissive abortion laws. In April of ?72, New York State repealed its most permissive law. Governor Nelson Rockefeller vetoed the repeal, and the law remained in force. In the November ?72 elections, however, so many pro-abortion legislators were swept out of office that the New York General Assembly had enough votes to override the governor?s veto. Plans were made to again repeal the law when that legislature reconvened in 1973. Before it could act, however, the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision and nothing was done. After the Supreme Courts decision, many of the state laws that were anti abortion were ruled unconstitutional. Leading many states to allow abortions. All that followed were the

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