The question as to whether or not a woman can have an abortion has already been answered. The real question is whether or not abortion should be legal; is abortion murder?
Murder is defined as the willful termination of the life of one human being by another human being without the approval of the state. When the state terminates the life of human being it is a form of punishment and/or justice and is only done when the condemned has been found guilty of a particular crime. Granted, in days of barbarism, this was not always the case but this is the year 2013. Civilized societies such as the one in which we live have very strict laws about murder and execution.
The answer, then is self-apparent. Those who are in favor of abortion will make statements like, when does life begin, (or more to point, when does a group of rapidly deviding cells become a human being and not a tumor?) or a woman has the right to control her body and society can’t legislate what a woman does with her body. Those are important questions that deserve answers.
Whether or not life begins at conception will always be up for debate; however, one thing that we can say with great certainty is that when sperm meets egg there are a specific series of events that will direct the union of sperm and egg to divide rapidly. The entire process usually takes nine months as we are all aware. Yet we are also aware that in many instances the fetus is taken from the womb prematurely, sometimes months ahead of schedule. Yet many of those “premies,” through the miracle of modern medicine, will go on to live normal lives – unless of course they are aborted.
A pregnant woman is in reality a symbiotic organism; her body is no longer her own. In symbiosis, two organisms live together in the same space and effect each other. Lichen, for example, is an organism that is really comprised of two separate organisms, an algae and a fungus. They work together and influence each other, but they occupy the same physical space. A pregnant woman is no different, though granted the woman would continue to live were her fetus to die in vitro.
Therefore, it’s not just the body of the woman to be considered, nor is it her rights to control her re-productivity. We would be alarmed if we had a pregnant friend who insisted on smoking throughout her pregnancy or continued using drugs or alcohol; it’s her body after all.
The bigger issue, however, is one of responsibility. There are lots of ways pregnancy can be avoided to begin with, which would eliminate the need for debate over the issue of abortion. Birth control pills, condoms and the like vary in effectiveness. Not having sex is 100% effective of course. The vast majority of abortions are performed on women who are unmarried or unprepared for the challenges of having the baby. If people were more responsible about their enormous procreative potential, there would be no need to debate the subject of abortion.