Every January 22 since the 1973 Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion, opponents of the decision gather in Washington, D.C. to protest what they consider to be a fundamental legal mistake. Thus far, these protectors and their March for Life have failed to achieve the overturning of the famous Roe versus wade decision (The New York Times, 1990, p. A1).
As a matter of course, the 1973 ruling created a national policy on abortion by removing any previous state laws that were varying in their degree of restrictiveness. However, Roe versus Wade may have somewhat decriminalized the practice of abortion in some instances, but it had little impact on either the ethical or moral constraints such actions bring about (Steiner, 1983, p. 1). In the same light, new medical evidence has been given that has profound implications in the ongoing debate on abortion. Doctors, in fact, are now able to keep some infants alive born as early as 22 weeks, thus pushing back the age of viability outside the womb (Gimlin, 1988, p. 533).
The purpose of this study, however, is to examine the issue of abortions from the perspective that a fetus is a human being, or at least potentially a human being.
Therefore, the fetus has certain rights that must be protected by the laws of a civilized society. Primary among these rights is the right to be born and to live. This is not a right that can be denied a potential person because of mitigating circumstances surrounding the pregnancy. For the purpose of this paper, will be to examine the rights of the fetus, rights of the mother, birth control, religious theories, the social and legal considerations surrounding the abortion debate, and conclude with some historical comparisons and future considerations. Because the issue is so complex, this paper will confine itself to anti-abortion arguments and a concurrent thesis throughout the work will be that the unborn fetus does have protected rights in ou...