Abortion: A Contemporary Social Issue
The issue of abortion has been a widely debated issue over the past twenty years. In fact, it is probably still the most controversial of all the current contemporary social issues heading into the twenty-first century. Abortion poses a moral, social, and medical dillemma that stirs up emotional responses among disputants of the topic.
Usually, there are two point of views on abortion, those that are "pro-choice and those that are "pro-life. Pro-lifers would argue that from the moment of conception, a fetus, or human embryo, is a living person. Abortion deprives this fetus of a chance to live and can be considered murder. The Catholic Church advocates this stance, since we have a moral obligation to preserve all forms of life. Pro-choicers, on the other hand, may feel that the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mother and the state has no right to interfere. Actually, about half of the U.S. population are for abortion and the other half are against it. Clearly, what's at stake in the issue is the fetus' right to life.
The actual procedure involved in abortion can be done in a number of ways. As early as the day after having unprotected sexual intercourse, a woman can be given drugs to halt fetal development, such as the "morning after pill. One of the most common methods of abortion is the vaccum aspiration method. This is usually performed within the first trimester (first three months) of pregnancy. A tube, called a cannula, is simply inserted into the female's cervix and the contents are vacuumed out. However, when the pregnancy reaches the second trimester (second three months), abortion becomes increasingly complicated. In a procedure called dilation and evacuation, a vacuumed is first used to remove as much of the fetus and placenta as possible, then physicians use forceps to extract the remaining parts. Further, after the human embryo has matured