Abortion is a highly emotional and polarizing issue. The debate over when life begins and the rights of an unborn verses the rights of a woman to free choice over her own well-being will probably never be fully resolved. It is a significant moral, religious, and political problem. A somewhat different way to view the issue and to frame debate is the Right to Life” verses the “Rights of Lives” (the pragmatic impact of an unwanted pregnancy on the birth, family, and others.
Issues related to the Right to Life include:
- When is an embryo capable of existence outside the womb?
- Should conception by rape or incest be considered?
- What about embryo abnormalities?
- Should fetal tissue be used in medical research even in view of indisputable scientific merits?
Issues related to “Rights of Lives” include:
- Are the mother-father persons able to rear a child responsibly?
- Who will assume the costs of birth and child care?
- What about the mother’s health?
- What are the medical and legal considerations?
- What are the realistic options for say a teenager or unwed mother to bear and provide for a child, for persons or families financially stressed, or for child raising by adoption or by others.
The decision to have an abortion is mainly a personal-medical problem. Each case is unique. The decision should not be made by legislative or judiical edict.