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Abortion: Religion versus Practicality versus Morality

In America, the abortion debate is often separated into either pro-life or pro-choice. However, the many reasons for and against abortions are not often publicly discussed. These different reasons can be organized into these three categories: religion, practicality, and morality.

First, religions are the easiest to understand, since most religions are quite clear that abortions are either allowed or not allowed. Because of separation of church and state, most governments can not impose a certain religion’s ideals to people of a different religion or even people of the same religion. Thus, most governments, including the United States, can not make abortions illegal or legal because of religious beliefs. Yet individuals can choose to follow or not follow the doctrines of their religion.

Second, the practicality of abortions is extremely diverse. For example, some reasons why women choose abortions are:
  1. Health risks for the mother and/or child

  2. Rape or incest

  3. Unable to afford the costs of a child

  4. Single parenthood

  5. The father does not want the child

  6. Too young or immature, thus not ready for responsibility

  7. The mother is too old to raise a child

  8. The mother already has too many children or existing children are too old

  9. Severe genetic malfunction, in other words, the child did not develop properly

  10. Disruption to education or career

  11. Lifestyle choice or unwanted child
Some of these reasons may appear to be cold hearted to some of us, but these reasons are deemed as necessary and logical by some people.

Furthermore, it has been proven that countries with laws against abortions have unique problems that are not addressed via any other means. Such as, some women die because of “back alley” or illegal abortions. Also, it is discriminatory against poor women who cannot afford to travel to other countries where abortions are legal. Furthermore, economic and social constraints for forcing women to bear unwanted children are unhealthy for the development and growth of any woman, society, and economy. On the other hand, there is at least one country that forces abortions on women as a means of population control. As a result, these practical reasons for allowing abortions may not be popular, but many people believe it is a necessity required for a more stable and prosperous society.

Finally, the morality of abortions is often not as clear as religion or practicality, because almost no one believes that killing an unborn fetus is without a moral dilemma. For example, is it moral to force a woman to have an unwanted child? Or is it moral to allow an unborn child to be terminated for the sake of the mother? Does a woman have full control over her own body? Or does an unborn fetus have human rights? Is killing an unborn fetus murder? Would a woman later regret terminating her pregnancy?

I think if we asked a hundred people these questions, we would get a hundred different answers. Therefore, I do not think these questions can be identically answered for everyone by anyone, and the rights to an abortion will always be an unresolved debate in most people’s opinions.

The decision for or against an abortion is not simple or easy, yet it a fact of modern life. It is a decision with no middle ground and no means of undoing. Each person needs to come to their own decision concerning abortions based upon their own religion, practicality, and morality.

by Phil for Humanity
on 07/05/2007

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