Should Abortion be Legal or Illegal: Legalization vs. Criminalization

664 (1 page)
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only

Table of contents

The question of whether abortion should be legal or illegal is at the heart of a contentious and deeply complex debate. In this argumentative essay, we will examine the merits and drawbacks of both sides of the argument, exploring the ethical, medical, and societal considerations that inform the stance on whether abortion should be legal or illegal.

Legalization: Ensuring Women's Autonomy

The argument for legalizing abortion emphasizes the importance of women's autonomy and their right to make decisions about their own bodies. Advocates assert that women should have the freedom to choose whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy based on their unique circumstances, health considerations, and personal beliefs. Denying women access to safe and legal abortion services infringes upon their basic rights and forces them to bear the physical, emotional, and financial burdens of unwanted pregnancies.

Moreover, legalizing abortion acknowledges the diversity of situations in which women find themselves. Each woman's life is distinct, and legal access to abortion allows her to make decisions that align with her life goals and circumstances. This stance respects women as capable decision-makers who deserve the agency to choose the best path for their own lives.

Criminalization: Protecting the Unborn

The argument against legal abortion centers on the belief that the unborn fetus possesses inherent value and should be protected. Many opponents of abortion assert that life begins at conception, and ending a pregnancy is equivalent to ending a human life. From this perspective, legalizing abortion condones what they view as a moral wrong and challenges the sanctity of life.

No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

Furthermore, proponents of making abortion illegal argue that alternatives, such as adoption, should be promoted as a more ethical solution to unwanted pregnancies. They emphasize that a society that values life should prioritize the preservation of life whenever possible, and making abortion illegal aligns with that value.

Complex Ethical Considerations

The abortion debate hinges on complex ethical considerations that require a delicate balance between individual rights and broader moral concerns. Advocates for legal abortion emphasize the right to autonomy and the importance of allowing women to make choices about their own bodies. On the other hand, opponents prioritize the moral status of the unborn and the protection of life.

The ethical dilemma also extends to situations involving health risks to the woman or fetal abnormalities. Medical professionals are faced with decisions that require weighing the well-being of the woman against the potential life of the fetus, highlighting the intricate nature of ethical considerations in the abortion debate.

Societal Impacts and Compromises

Legalization or criminalization of abortion also carries societal implications. Legal abortion services provide a safe and regulated option, reducing the risks associated with unsafe procedures. However, legalizing abortion could raise concerns about the potential devaluation of life or a societal shift towards convenience rather than responsibility.

Striking a balance between individual rights and moral values requires a nuanced approach. Some advocate for middle-ground solutions, such as promoting comprehensive sex education, increasing access to contraceptives, and supporting policies that reduce unwanted pregnancies. These measures aim to address the root causes of the abortion debate by preventing unintended pregnancies in the first place.


The debate over whether abortion should be legal or illegal underscores the complex interplay of ethical, medical, and societal factors. Both sides of the argument bring valid concerns and perspectives to the table. Ultimately, finding common ground and fostering respectful dialogue are essential to navigating this emotionally charged issue, as societies grapple with how to balance the rights of women, the moral status of the unborn, and the well-being of society as a whole.

Works Cited:

  • Thomson, Judith Jarvis. "A Defense of Abortion." Philosophy & Public Affairs, vol. 1, no. 1, 1971, pp. 47-66.
  • Marquis, Don. "Why Abortion is Immoral." The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 86, no. 4, 1989, pp. 183-202.
  • Warren, Mary Anne. "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion." The Monist, vol. 57, no. 4, 1973, pp. 43-61.
  • Guttmacher Institute. "Abortion Laws Around the World." Guttmacher Institute, 2021,
  • McGinn, Margaret M., and Nancy E. Johnson-Martin. "Abortion: Medical and Social Aspects." Pediatrics in Review, vol. 18, no. 5, 1997, pp. 161-168.
  • You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

    *minimum deadline

    Cite this Essay

    To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

    Copy to Clipboard
    Should Abortion be Legal or Illegal: Legalization vs. Criminalization. (2023, August 29). WritingBros. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
    “Should Abortion be Legal or Illegal: Legalization vs. Criminalization.” WritingBros, 29 Aug. 2023,
    Should Abortion be Legal or Illegal: Legalization vs. Criminalization. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Sept. 2023].
    Should Abortion be Legal or Illegal: Legalization vs. Criminalization [Internet]. WritingBros. 2023 Aug 29 [cited 2023 Sept 24]. Available from:
    Copy to Clipboard

    Need writing help?

    You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

    Order My Paper

    *No hidden charges