During the past quarter century, abortion has joined race and war as one of the most debatable subject of controversy in the United States. It discusses human interaction where ethics, emotions and law come together. Abortion poses a moral, social and medical dilemma that faces many individuals to create an emotional and violent atmosphere. There are many points of view toward abortion but the only two fine distinctions are "pro-choice" and "pro-life". A pro-choicer would feel that the decision to abort a pregnancy is that of the mothers and the state has no right to interfere. A pro-lifer would hold that from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive and therefore, the fetus exclusion is murder.
The coexistence of opposite and conflicting feelings about abortion is centuries old. Disagreements between public policy, morality and individual behavior on this issue existed even at the time of Plato and Aristotle. In the past few decades abortion issue has been brought into sharper focus and has been vigorously debated. A number of factors are responsible for this, but perhaps the major one has been that associated with the sexual revolution that emphasizes freedom in all matters of sexuality and in spite of or even because of the tremendous and indiscriminate increase in the distribution of contraceptives. Judges have ruled, politicians have legislated, but the dispute on this issue is still shaking our society.
Abortion induced by herbs or manipulation was used as a form of birth control in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and probably earlier. In the middle Ages in Western Europe it was generally accepted in the early months of pregnancy prior to quickening. However, in the 19th century opinion about abortion changed, when medical community realized the growing of midwives who did not carry a medical degree, and campaigned to illegalize such practices. In 1869 the Roman Catholic Church prohibited abortion under any circumstances.