Abortion: Will the debate ever end?

Every woman has the right to give birth but does that mean that she also has the right to abort her unborn child? The righteousness of abortion is an issue that has been debated upon, time and again. Christianity denounces abortion claiming it to be an act against the will of God. The bible says, “You should know that you, yourself are God’s temple. God’s spirit lives in you. If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him, because God’s temple is holy. You yourself are God’s temple.”


Abortion is the intentional premature expulsion of the foetus from the womb. The abortion law in most countries states that abortion can take place in the event of pregnancy complications; if the pregnancy poses a threat to the physical or mental health of the woman or may result in the birth of a child with serious handicap. According to The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 of India, a registered medical practitioner can terminate pregnancy up to 12 weeks of gestation; however the opinion of two practitioners is required when dealing with a period of twelve to twenty months.


Most religions in the world oppose abortion since it kills human life however scientifically whether or not the foetus can be considered as a child is debatable. Religious fanatics claim that mere conception means that human life has been created and abortion is nothing but the destruction of life; a life with potential and promise. On the other hand the right of a woman over her own body and its processes cannot be demeaned. Pregnancy is a private matter and any religious or legal binding is unjustifiable but up to a certain extent. Because if we consider the rights of a woman we shall also be deemed to consider the rights of a child; which again leads us to the same question: Can an unborn foetus be called a child?


In the recent scenario where morals and ethics seem to have acquired an altogether different perspective; not necessarily a desirable one! Abortion has in a sense become an easy tool to get rid of an unwanted “child”, reducing the importance of safe and controlled sexual intercourse. Numerous cases in the USA, UK and many other countries have shown an upward trend in the number of teenage abortion cases. Billions of dollars are spent each year on sex education but abortion trends put a black blot on these attempts. Could this education be somehow responsible for the increase in teenage abortions? Could it be generating a sense of overconfidence as far as any hitch towards sexual intercourse is considered? I hope not. But the fact remains that abortion has become an easy way out for youngsters today which covers up for their lack of proper precautions.


Abortion is definitely not an unethical practice. It may be the cause of the termination of a life that could have seen the light of world but if that puts the mother in any kind of danger then it is better that the unborn life remains in darkness rather than spelling doom for the existing one. But gender sensitive abortion and abortion as a back up plan for unsafe sex is not justifiable and is nothing short of a crime. The technique of abortion is a gift of medical science, we need to value it and not burden it with fanatic views and human desires.


Neha Maheshwari

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