This paper will focus on the pros and cons of abortion. The discussion will include theories which support the pro-choice movement as well as the right to life movement. Before concluding, the paper will show which of these two theories is best for society.
Before the end of the 20th century, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in America. This case reversed years of legal doctrine which provided that, except for extreme cases where an abortion was absolutely required to protect the health of the mother, abortion was an illegal act. The 1973 decision was heralded by many feminists as supporting the theory that each woman has a "right to choose" (Ginsburg 24-25). The effect of the decision was that low-cost abortion services became more available to women within the United States (Ginsburg 25-26).
Every year on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling, also known as the U.S. Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion, a "March for Life" is held in Washington, D.C. This annual march provides a chance for the more socially active members of the right-to-life movement to gain national attention for their point of view. The pro-life movement includes a number of organizations. The largest right-to-life organization is the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC). The NRLC propounds an image which is "broad-based, voluntary, non-denominational, [and] non-sectarian" (Ginsburg 44).
Although the NRLC, and other similarly active pro-life groups such as the Feminists for Life organization, claim to have been founded to overturn the Roe v. Wade movement. In recent years, these groups' activism has focused more and more on the activities of abortion clinics in local communities. Beginning in the 1970s, pro-life groups adopted numerous direct action techniques such as supporting and imposing local ordinances, harrassing local abortion providers, picketing abortion clinics, and stag