Most of the debate around the world about abortion has centered on the question of morality. Is it ever moral or responsible for a woman to request and receive an abortion, or is abortion always immoral, sinful, and criminal? This is a very serious issue. Both men and women today react very strongly about this question, because it raises larger questions about relations between men and women and the whole way society is organized. But there is a right and wrong side to the argument.
In the United States, abortion is still legal. But state laws and anti-abortion forces are making it harder for women to exercise this right. Ever day there are fewer doctors performing abortions. At the result of this, women will find themselves trapped--forced into waiting longer for more difficult abortions, forced to take poisons in the hope of killing the fetus, forced to bear unwanted children or find some unsafe way to fast abortions at the risk of either death or serious injury. All this was routine in the United States prior to 1973 and continues to be routine in many parts of the world today.
A pregnancy is a nine-month process with a series of transformations before a fetus can finally become a baby-a new human being. BEFORE birth, a fetus is not a child or a person. It is a developing mass of tissue integrally connected to the woman's vital biological processes. It is part of that woman. It has the potential to become human. But it is not yet a separate social being that should have separate social rights. For that, it must have entered society as a separate entity. That is, it must have been born.
It is not ones duty to save the life of another unless one chose to volunteer to take on the responsibility to do so, as a lifeguard does on contracting to save lives at a swimming pool. No woman should be forced to give up her life, health or family security to save the life of a fetus that is threatening her well-being.