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The Legalized of Abortion in the United States

On the 22nd of January, 1973, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision that held that a woman has the right to privacy and could choose to abort the fetus in the early months of pregnancy without any restrictions and with restrictions in the later months of her pregnancy (U.S. Supreme Court, ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113, 1973). This is a landmark ruling of America and the decision was issued for an ongoing Roe versus Wade case which is one of the most significant cases of America concerning the rights of a woman to abort her fetus. The court granted selective rights to the pregnant woman to undergo an abortion for whatever reason and abortion was legalized in the United States with the historic decision of the Supreme Court until the fetus is about 24 to 28 weeks old.

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This case sparked a debate in America concerning the ethical and moral issues surrounding the issue and a divide was created between proponents and opponents of abortion. Ever since, a national controversy has been initiated which continues even today as opponents and proponents discuss and debate the religious, moral, ethical issues revolving around the debate. The debate has created two rival camps, the proponents of abortion known as the “pro-choice” camp and the opponents of abortion popularly known as the “pro-life” camp.

Rita Putatunda published an online article “Facts about Abortion” in 2008 through the website,, which explains the concepts of abortion in detail which is an extremely informatory article, exploring the concept of abortion and all the issues related to it. The article begins in a systematic manner with the basic meaning of abortion as “the termination of a pregnancy” in which “the fetus is removed from the womb”.

The basic idea of abortion is carried on methodically in the article, and the voluntary, as well as involuntary aspects of abortion, are discussed. Putatunda states the various methods of abortion such as abortion which can be induced artificially “via surgical means or through the use of chemicals” or may be natural in the form of “miscarriage”. A thorough discussion of the debate, particularly the moral concerns revolving around the issue are discussed, such as the rights of the fetus, rights of a woman over her body and the methods used for terminating the pregnancy, educate a reader who has little or no knowledge of the topic.

Putatunda (2008) provides the reader with a brief historical background of abortion and states that “the modern laws of abortion” actually date back to the common law prevalent in England in the earlier times when abortion was permitted before the fetus “showed any signs of life” and since then there are two groups in the abortion debate “the pro life group” and “pro choice group”. Putatunda (2008) explains the distinction between pro life group which opposes abortion due to their stance that “human life begins at conception” and that aborting a fetus is “akin to murdering a human being”.

The group believes that the fetus is a living being since all the functional organs including the brain, heart and limbs are completely developed by the time the abortion is carried out to terminate the pregnancy. Additionally, pro-life members arguer that the methods used for abortion are gruesome and that the “fertilized egg has a soul” (Putatunda, 2008).

In the same article, Putatunda (2008) goes on to explain about the opponents of abortion, who are termed as ‘pro-choice’ and believe the fetus to be “nothing more than a protozoan” at conception claiming that the choice to deliver a baby should be given solely to the pregnant woman who will be responsible for looking after it. The pro-choice group, Putatunda (2008) explains, asserts that the child should be “wanted” and several issues impact the choice of abortion including “overpopulation, poverty of the mother and the reduction of abused children due to unwanted pregnancies” (Putatunda, 2008).

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Finally, Putatunda (2008) explains the scientific terms to describe the various methods of terminating pregnancies including drugs, clinical methods such as ‘suction aspiration’, ‘dilation or curettage’, ‘dilation and evacuation’ and labor induced abortion are summarized. Through the article, Putatunda (2008) expresses that her “natural inclination is pro choice” which gives her the authority and responsibility “not to conceive a child irresponsibly”.

Altogether, the article is highly informative and is presented to the reader is a succinct and analytical manner. All the concepts are clearly explained and the reader has expressed her personal position on the issue. For a person who is new to this issue, the article will serve the purpose of an excellent beginning to gain insight of all the relevant issues revolving around the issue.

Presenting a more recent and fresh perspective of the debate around abortion, is a reporter, Rob Stein (2009) who explains the new move of the new president, Obama, concerning the issue. On the 6th of February, 2009, Rob Stein, a news reporter wrote an article in the Washington post “President Works To Find Common Ground On Divisive Issue. Obama Steps Into Abortion” in which the writer reports that the president as “trying to blunt the edge” on the highly divisive issue of abortion. Stein (2009) reports that rather than assuming any particular position on the sensitive issue, president Obama is trying to work towards a common and constructive goal of “decreasing the number of women who terminate their pregnancies by addressing the reasons they might choose the procedure”. By doing so the president aims to place importance on action rather than thought with an attempt to “reshape one of the nation’s most intransigent political stalemates” (Stein, 2009).

Stein (2009) reports the opinion of several leaders who support Obama’s moves, of applying strategies and implementing programs will prioritize the reduction of abortion rather than debating all the issues surrounding it. Stein reports Cynthia Daniels’ position on the issue as she states that with the new move in a completely novel direction, Obama faces the risk of “trying to shift to a new paradigm”, from “both, the right and left” (Cynthia Daniels, in Stein, 2009). Stein also reports in his article that the president has taken serious steps to effectively test his approach, by lifting the ban on programs which support abortions and abortions counseling and has proposed several stimulus packages supporting abortion and more importantly reducing it (Stein, 2009).

In his article, Stein (2009) reports the distinct manner which president Obama has adopted to deal with the century old issue of abortion. The article throws light on the fact that rather than talking any particular stance, the president has made a serious attempt to reduce the occurrence of abortion rather that taking any moral position, for or against it. The article is not very detailed, but is self explanatory and briefly describes the president’s new approach and policies towards the century-old controversial issue of abortion.

Works Cited

Rita Putatunda, 2008. Facts About Abortion. Web.

Stein. Rob, (2009). Washington Post: President Works To Find Common Ground On Divisive Issue. Obama Steps Into Abortion Debate.

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U.S. Supreme Court Center, ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113, 1973. Web.

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