The Abortion Divide: How Abortion Argument Affects The U.s.
I chose the documentary called “The Abortion Divide” because it dissects one of the most widely debated topics within the last few decades. This documentary follows a PBS veteran journalist, Mark Obenhaus, as he revisits Philadelphia for his new documentary “The Abortion Divide”. Mark had reported on this same topic thirty-six years ago in one of PBS first documentaries at the same Philadelphia clinic, where 6,000 pregnancies are terminated annually. The current documentary flashes back and forth from the original 1983 documentary to the current one to compare just how much has changed since then. It begins with the original program as it followed four women dealing with an unwanted pregnancy, two of which had abortions and two of them didn’t.
The original program observed the abortion providers and interviewed them and the methods of abortion as well as the pro-life protesters outside the clinic and what they had to say about the abortions being performed. One of the protesters in particular that was interviewed heavily in the original program as well as the new documentary was Dr. George Isajiw, whom is still currently protesting outside the same clinic. The new documentary depicts the stories of multiple women who are wrestling with the decision about their pregnancies and reminds the viewers about how similar the abortion front is today from thirty years ago. The program also highlights the differences as well and the changes that have been made since the original documentary.
For example, bulletproof glass windows have been implemented for the protection of the workers due to previous violent outbreaks. The program also follows Dr. Monique Ruberu, a pro-life gynecologist, as she counsels women, without judging, to take medication to reverse the abortion pill, RU-486. To pro-lifers, this new pill has been one of the most devastating methods that has been introduced due to how easy and simple it makes abortions.
However, the documentary shows how the pro-life movement has also made some victories in their battle by passing legislations that require clinics to become more like hospitals along with its regulations. The documentary ends with the women who were interviewed at the start of the program and showed that all of them went through with their abortions, but Mark concludes that the “anti-abortion forces” that he met there at the clinic were unmoved by any setback and were more dedicated, more organized, and more uncompromising than they were three decades ago.
The topic on abortion relates to this class because it covers multiple different major issues. For starters it tackles the issue of civil rights. Over forty years ago, the US Supreme Court decided on Roe v. Wade, the milestone case that gave woman the right to abortion and ever since than the act of terminating a pregnancy has been a civil right for American women. However, there has been a massive divide in America ever since Roe v. Wade. There are those who are for woman to have the right to chose what to do with their bodies and there are those who appose the act of purposely terminating a pregnancy. Many attempts from Republicans have been made to limit and even outlaw abortions. State level legislation is main way the attempts to restrict abortion have been made, for example Texas, Ohio, Alabama, and Pennsylvania politicians are working to outlaw women from getting abortions.
Most recently the “heartbeat bill” has been passed in some states which prevent a women from getting an abortion once a heartbeat is detected in the womb. Alabama has passed a near total ban on abortion all together, effective in November 2019. Some argue that abortion is also a constitutional right. It isn’t strictly in the Constitution, but it has been justified as being a right under the 4th Amendment and it’s protection of privacy. The right to privacy originally was for the purpose to protect us from unreasonable search and seizures from law enforcement, among other things. It also grants the privacy between married couples, between patients and their doctors, and lawyers and their clients. However, now this right to privacy has been extended by the Supreme Court to the right to have an abortion through the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions. Ever since the right to abortion has been made legal, public opinion on the matter has been significantly growing and is now more divided than ever.
Women have the strongest opinion on the topic, about 70% of females believe they should have access legal abortion should they want one and about 1/3 women believe abortion is morally justified for any reason. Some women only believe abortions are only justified in cases that involved rape and cases that the pregnancy will come with health issues for the mother. Most women believe men shouldn’t have a strong opinion on this topic since the act of abortion physically only effects females and therefore any concern that comes from a male should be dismissed.
I have a strong personal opinion on the topic of abortion. When it comes to abortion, I personally believe there are very slim to no justification to end the life of a human. I have had abortion discussion multiple times and most of the disagreement between pro-choice and pro-life is the question “at what point does life begin?”. Both sides of the topic know that terminated an innocent human life is morally wrong, but depending where you believe life begins will determine where you stand on abortion.
Science is constantly evolving and technology is becoming more advanced to determine where life truly begins. There is no definitive answer at this point and my argument is if we do not know 100% when a human life begins, than we should air on the side of caution because the consequences of killing an innocent human child far outweighs the consequence of an unwanted pregnancy. I do understand the opposing side to this debate and I empathize with women who get unplanned pregnancies.
However, after the copious research I’ve done over the years, I truly believe that a human life begins at conception. People argue that if life begins at conception than why not take it a step forward and say male semen and female eggs are considered life and should be treated the same. However, those are ridiculous arguments because a sperm cell and an unfertilized egg do not make up the DNA and chemicals to become life. They must conjoin and federalize to ignite the beginning stages of human life which is why at the moment they start to from a fetus inside the mother’s womb is when we should treat that as a life and an innocent life at that.
When we look at developing babe as actually being alive, regardless at what stage it is at, then we can start to realize the devastating manslaughter this country has condoned over the past decades and how many innocent lives have been lost due to a disagreement at when life begins.
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