The Debate Between Pro-Life and Pro-ChoiceStudent’s name
This policy brief paper discusses the abortion laws of the United States of America and, at the same time, presents what different organizations view these laws that support them and those that do not keep them. The paper will also discuss the reasons given by the other organizations as to why they do not support abortion and why those who support it have the firm conviction that it is the right thing to do.
The paper brings views from a religious organization, i.e., the Catholic Church, which has a strong standing against abortion and anything related to abortion. This paper also brings the reader the views of the pro-choice groups that are very passionate about abortion being made accessible and made a right for every person, especially women. Most of the groups claim that a woman’s body is her choice, and she can decide to do what she wants to do with this. Therefore with this belief, they advocate rally, campaign, and politicize the issue of abortion to get a voice and the legality of abortion to be approved. Most of them have been fruitful in their discourse. Some of these organizations and groups include religious, medical, research institutes, ethnic organizations, women, legal, and youth organizations, all in line to support abortion rights.
The same thing applies to pro-life organizations, which also have the same amount of concern and influence. These organizations are mostly religious, but they also cooperate with youths and women, medical and other types of organizations against abortion.
This paper will discuss the opposing groups’ beliefs and assertions, i.e., the Catholic Church and the NARAL Pro-Choice America. The Catholic Church is a religious organization with its capital in Italy in the Vatican City state, and it is spread all over the world. It is against abortion as it claims that human life is sacred (Humanae vitae, 1968).
NARAL Pro-Choice America is an organization founded in 1969 by Betty Friedan. Based in the United States, it engages itself in lobbying, advocacy efforts, paid parental leave, political action, birth control, and pushes for extensive access to abortion services by more people, especially women in the United States of America. It is a pro-choice group.
This paper will compare and contrast these two organizations and bring to the reader their views and beliefs regarding abortion, its rights, its effects, and their influence so far on humanity and mainly basing the discussion on the geographical location of the united states. The policy adopted for the forum is the decision being placed on individuals to decide about their expected babies’ life and death.
Life and the decision to decide who is responsible for a person’s life has always been an impressive debate for an extended period. The Catholic Church teaches that God creates a person’s life, and it belongs to God, and it has to be protected because God is the one to take life back to him. “Since the first century, the ChurchChurch has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1992)
Most of the United States states have legalized abortion, which leads to giving the population the power to decide whether to procure an abortion or not; the Catholic Church regards this as evil. NARAL pro-choice America considers this the best policy because it gives the women the freedom of choice, and by doing this, they can make the best decision.
This debate brings the government to a standstill in the issue of whether to legalize abortion or not. The deadlock is because both pro-choice and pro-life organizations put a lot of pressure on the government, making the government b in a position they are supposed to choose and the choice made to affect both of the groups either positively or negatively.
NARAL pro-choice America
NARAL is a group that was founded by a woman by the name of Betty Friedan, who was an American activist and a feminist writer. She founded this organization intending to spearhead the government to legalize abortion and make Planned Parenthood and other reproductive concerns and needs addressed. According to (Dionne 2017), it has done this through lobbying and political action. This organization has led to the NARAL pro-choice America Foundation and NARAL pro-choice America, a political committee of action. The organization is one of the oldest organizations of its kind.
The organization was conceived and established at the first national conference on abortion laws, which happened in Chicago from 14th to 16th February 1969. The meeting split from the ideas of those who supported the laws by then of America’s united states, which stated that abortion was only possible when a mother was on the verge of death or if the pregnancy came from incest or rape. The other group believed that o everyone should access abortion regardless of their situation because a person may not want to carry on a pregnancy. Conni Betty and Friedan Bille led this group. The conference ended with choosing a pro-choice option, and this was the beginning of the campaign for pro-choice possibilities for everyone in America.
There was an election of a committee to oversee the activities and develop these ideas into an entire organization. The committee was to comprise of 12 members who were elected and began working with immediate effect. The first executive director was Lee Gidding, who opened their first office in New York on 3rd March 1969. The committee met and formed the different goals to pressure relentlessly and make sure the government heard them and that women got to obtain their rights to access reproductive health care with more ease. It had six parts, which included;
Formation of action groups in all the country’s states to put political pressure on laws to be put in place that favor women. Train field workers for legislative action. Raise funds for the activities they were to engage in. create materials that tell of the story of the organization and further its ideas among people and other parts, which were all in support of the organization.
The Catholic Church
The Catholic Church is an organization that has been in existence for more than 2000 years. It is a religious organization with its leadership structure, and its stand about reproductive health has remained fixed so long a time. However, it has tried to explain some issues arising and still hold the position about abortion. Many other reproductive health measures to stop the ability to bear a child the Church has complementary views on some of these methods used and have negative and firm opinions about others like abortion.
The ChurchChurch was founded after the resurrection of Jesus Christ as recorded in their religious book, the Bible. The apostles founded it on the principles of Christianity, which regard life to be sacred. The Catholic Church believes that life is more than the physical body but includes the soul that belongs to God. Christians believe that the soul cannot die, and due to this fact, life has to be respected because it is part and parcel of the soul and the physical body we have.
This faith leads to the conclusion that abortion is murder. This faith comes from the conviction that life begins at conception, where the two gametes meet. Therefore based on this belief, ChurchChurch says that abortion under no circumstance cannot be suitable for humanity; consequently, it pushes and asserts pressure on most governments not to allow abortion. In 1968 when the pressure was becoming too much for the Catholic Church to answer the many questions presented to it by the different members of it and other bodies concerning the question of abortion. The questions focused on reproductive health matters like birth control and planned parenthood. Through its leader, the pope was pope paul VIThe Church produced a document answering all these questions. The document is called humane vitae.
This document issued on 25th July 1968 was to affirm the Church’sChurch’s belief when it comes to abortion. It stated clearly that abortion, even if for therapeutical reasons, was contrary to God’s plan and was not supposed to be allowed. Through this, the ChurchChurch held its position about abortion. Through the document, the ChurchChurch urged the governments and other stakeholders to prevent the passing of laws supporting abortion. In the United States of America, the body of the catholic ChurchChurch charged with taking care of these laws and making sure that the government did not pass laws that support abortion in the United States Conference of catholic bishops.
The stand of NARAL pro-choice America
This organization believes that a person’s choice to keep a baby lies with her. Therefore it has always pressured the different states to pass laws allowing people to access abortion services whenever they want to discontinue their pregnancies. This organization believes that the power to decide lies within a person’s body and mind. This organization is involved in tracking states to see if they are about to pass laws that allow everyone to have access to abortion. The tracking happens after putting pressure and organizing different activities to ensure that various states’ governments know the importance of abortion.
The organization goes to the extent of filing and funding lawsuits against the government and hospitals that engage in activities which they do not approve of concerning abortion rights (Suzanne, 1994). The organization is also involved in donating money to politicians, making links, and urging Congress members to support their ideas about abortion rights.
In 2004 NARAL supported the march for women’s rights in Washington, D.C., on 25th April 2004. The protest had a tremendous impact as it attracted more than 1.2 million attendants and the main issues which came out in the march for women were abortion rights for women, women’s rights, reproductive health care, etc. NARAL pro-choice America was supported by other organizations to make this dream a reality, for example, feminist majority organization, black women’s health imperative, national organization for women, etc. (Elizabeth, 2004).
This organization is also involved in public sex education by sporting it, and it engages in reviewing the laws enacted by different states and the national legislation concerning abortion. However, sometimes they go overboard, which leads to unwanted experiences like a case of 2005 whereby they had an ad campaign running which targeted chief justice elect by the name of John Roberts. They criticized him for supporting violence, a clinic bomber, and a violent group in the ad. The violent group they referred to was the Ku Klux Klan group. The ad was incorrect, and they had to pull it down due to the many criticisms, and the truth revealed.
Stand of The Catholic Church
Catholic Church bases its argument about life on the Bible, and the sacred traditions passed below to them by the Church’s founders. Both of these bring together a firm belief and faith that life begins at conception. The bible verses that talk about abortion do not directly speak of abortion because of the time difference when the inspired writers wrote the Bible. There is a firm belief among Catholics that the bible talks of abortion as evil. This belief portrays itself in the teachings of the Catholic Church. These include encyclicals like the humane vitae as well as the catechism of the Catholic Church.
When looked into carefully and keenly, these documents of the Catholic Church suggest that abortion is very evil and utterly contrary to God’s plan. The catholic ChurchChurch categorizes abortion as murder and that it goes against the moral law. The Bible condemns murder and views it as an immoral activity (Exodus 20:13). Therefore the belief and faith that abortion is evil stem from this.
The Catholic Church also teaches about abortion being morally evil, and this has its basis in ethics. It teaches that abortion goes against natural law and therefore believes that abortion is wrong at all times, and there is no instance when it can be allowed as good for humanity. the catholic Church argues that all life has value, and it has to be protected. “From the first moment of his (her) existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 2270). The Catholic Church teaches that God alone is the maker of life, and therefore he alone has the duty and the power to take life away. Thus, some of the states in America’s decision to legalize abortion contradict the moral law and go against God’s will, according to the Catholic Church.
According to an encyclical written by Pope Paul (VI), abortion is murder, and it can never, by any means, become a safe way to embrace in the medical field. “We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children” (Humanae vitae, 1968).
These two opposing groups bring us to the central question of this discussion. Who is responsible for life? What decisions have been made by different states concerning abortion? Is giving women and generally everyone the freedom to choose if they want an abortion morally wrong? Is abortion for cases like rape, incest, and when the mother on the verge of death downright evil? Is encouraging people to procure abortion harmfully, and to what extent?
These questions arise when a person tries to think of abortion and the nightmare his issue causes many leaders and states. to examine these questions, we have to look at American people’s history, their freedom rights, and whether allowing abortion is a freedom or a necessity.
Abortion in the United States of America has been a big issue, mostly in the recent past. From the time of the European colonization, abortion was a normal thing among Americans, especially when 15 weeks we did not over during the pregnancy period. There have been many issues to do with morality in the recent past. The problems have raised concerns about whether a person should procure abortion or not (Blackwell 2000). The women in need procured abortion due to their inability to maintain the baby, maybe because of financial constraints or other factors.
In the 18th century, some of the states began making abortion illegal. One of the reasons there was a need to do away with it because it was harmful to the women who took part. Most states enacted laws to punish the doctor involved in the procedure and the woman who had hired such a doctor. The Hippocratic Oath and the mentality to defend human life after realizing that life was a continuous process and that pregnancy, if uninterrupted, could lead to child-bearing (Mohr, 1978).
During this period, most medical professionals decided to support the anti-abortion campaign, and due to this, many states abolished abortion. According to (Lewis 2006), anti-abortion campaigns increased from the late 1860s. In 1873 the United States Congress passed the Comstock Law, which prohibited any lewd and obscene materials from being passed through the U.S. mail system. This law also prohibited any passage of materials concerned with abortion even to medical students. By 1900 abortion was made illegal in every part of the United States. Some states allowed it in some instances, but it was generally not allowed for just any person who wanted to get it.
In the 1960s, groups were being formed for and against abortion laws. An example is whereby the national conference of catholic bishops of the United States of America appointed Bishop James T. McHugh to look into and document the efforts put into place to reform abortion laws that were in existence before. In the same degree of concern, the NARAL pro-choice America was on the way to being formed in 1969.
Therefore we can conclude that policies regarding abortion rights in the United States of America have been wavering with time and have only been steady for some time, after which they were interrupted. There were issues in the manner in which the unqualified doctors carried out this practice.
According to women’s help women consultation, currently, abortion has been legalized in the United States of America, and there is at least one abortion clinic in every state. In most countries, teenagers can procure abortion, but in 37 states, there must be parent involvement with consent or a note from the parent. Some states like New York passed a law making abortion illegal for women in their third trimester because this is likely to endanger their lives.
Abortion is a political issue whose debate has continues increasing in most states with pro-lifers like the Catholic Church bringing their views to the table and, at the same time, pro-choice organizations like NARAL prochoice America having their opinions about abortion. Whether to allow women to make choices about their bodies and decide about contraception or not enable them and make the laws they should follow has been a big debate. It is a two-sided debate with the Catholics on one side representing pro-lifers while NERAL pro-choice America on the other side is representing pro-choice.
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