Abortion Controversy: Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life


There can be no possible doubt that the issue of abortion is one of the most problematic concerns on the present-day agenda. Making the social morals and religious motives collide with the health concerns and common sense, the given issue has spawned a number of arguments and is still considered more than a dubious issue. However, by analyzing the pros and cons of abortion offered by the most authoritative people in the given field, one can possibly find the solution for the problem.

Pro-Choice: Listening to the Voice of Reason

Among the supporters of the pro-choice doctrine, Raquel Lopez, with her work Perspectives on abortion: Pro-Choice, pro-life, and what lies in between makes it obvious that, according to common sense, abortion is merely another surgical operation. In addition, it is important to mark that Lopez drives social reasons to justify abortions: “To a conscientious human, it is painful to live in a world where the majority of the population lives under the poverty line” (516). Indeed, the statement which Lopez makes is rather rational, since giving birth to a child and knowing that the latter is going to suffer all over his/her entire life because of poor living conditions is nonsensical; in the given case, abortion seems a more humane way out.

Pro-Life: When the Morals and the Health Concerns Intertwine

A peculiar specimen of the pro-life arguments, the work by Stephen Napier, Persons, moral worth, and embryos: A critical analysis of pro-choice arguments (2011). Offering rather substantive arguments, the author makes it clear that the cost of human life, whether it is only I its embryo or has already been developed into a fetus, is priceless. Although the arguments which author drives are quite typical and cannot be considered original – appealing to the religious and moral issues, Napier calls for the remnants of humanity in those who are for abortions: “abortion is wrong in the same circumstances in which it is wrong to kill an adult” (19), the author still manages to offer an unusual viewpoint by using pro-choice arguments and proving them wrong.

Another author whose position can be described as the pro-life one, Patrick Lee (2010), adds an important statement to the issue. In his attempt to make it clear that abortion is another choice between morals and common sense, he explains that “what is at stake in this debate about how to treat unborn human beings is whether we will or will not recognize the equal fundamental dignity possessed by every human being, simply in virtue of being a human being, a person” (Lee, 2000, x). According to the author, the idea of allowing abortions will deprive people of “one of the most basic principles central to our civilization” (Lee, 1000, xi) – the right to have equal dignity.

Pro-Common Sense: Balancing between the Two Arguments

It is quite peculiar that the issue tends to trigger a number of discussions, yet the more sides the problem reveals, the more evasive the suggestions concerning the issue turn. At present, the researchers show a trend to offer supporting evidence for both viewpoints, as if fearing to be too straight-forward. One of the most striking examples of the given phenomenon, Connie Naden’s book “Open for debate on abortion” (2008), offers the viewpoints which embrace the reasonability of abortion as well as the support for giving birth to a child. Naden’s work can be characterized as an attempt to remain within the established boundaries – there are no groundbreaking statements on either of the viewpoints: “Both sides of the abortion issue are fervently devoted to their causes” (Naden, 2008, 33). However, the author reveals that the issue is being used for political purposes: “The country’s major political parties also use the abortion issue to lure voters into their side” (Naden, 2008, 33).

Another author who prefers the readers to make their own conclusions, Harris (2012) merely provides the data concerning the rates of abortions in various countries and the relevant statistical data, e.g., the rates of women employment, the suicidal rates as a consequence of post-abortion depression, etc. Emphasizing that the global fertility rates are dropping, the author conveys pro-life ideas rather subtly, which can be considered a rather effective means to persuade the audience in the reasonability to applaud the pro-life ideas.

Thus, according to the specialists, it can be considered that the question of whether abortions should be considered a crime against humankind or merely an operation which is performed legitimately and does not differ from any other surgical intervention is closed. When obviously lacking the desire, the financial means, and/or the possibility of having a baby, a woman can have an abortion. Otherwise, the life of the baby which she will supposedly give birth to will be even more sorrowful than its untimely death, as the majority of the specialists claim. However, since the issue involves not only a social but also a religious aspect, further arguments will most likely spawn.

Reference List

Harris, R. (2012). Epidemiology of chronic disease. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Lee, P. (2010). Abortion & unborn human life (2nd Ed). Pittsboro: The Catholic University of America Press.

Lopez, R. (2012). Perspectives on abortion: Pro-Choice, pro-life, and what lies in between. European Journal of Social Sciences, 27(4), 511-517.

Naden, C. (2008). Abortion. Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish Corporation.

Napier, S. (Ed.). (2011). Persons, moral worth, and embryos: A critical analysis of pro-choice arguments. New York: Springer Publishing.