Few issues have fostered such controversy as has the topic of abortion.The
participants in the abortion debate not only have firmly-fixed beliefs, but each group
has a self-designated appellation that clearly reflects what they believe to be the
essential issues.On one side, the pro-choice supporters see individual choice as
central to the debate:If a woman cannot choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, a
condition which affects her body and possibly her entire life, then she has lost one of
her most basic human rights. These proponents of abortion believe that while a fetus is a
potential life, its life cannot be placed on the same level with that of a woman.On the
other side, the pro-life opponents of abortion argue that the fetus is human and
therefore given the same human rights as the mother. Stated simply, they believe that
when a society legalizes abortion, it is sanctioning murder.
In today’s more industrialized societies, technology has simplified the abortion
procedure to a few basic and safe methods.Technology, however, has also enhanced
society’s knowledge of the fetus.Ultrasound, fetal therapy, and amniocentesis
graphically reveal complex life before birth, and it is this potential human life that is
In order to form an opinion on this matter, we mustfirst question and define several
common factors which are numerously debated.
Scientists identify thefirst moment of human life as that instant when a sperm cell
unites with an ovum or egg cell. The billions of cells that collectively make up a
human being are body cells.Unless manipulated, these body cells are and remain what
they appear to be: skin, hair, bone, muscle, and so on.Each has some worthy function in
life and performs that function until it dies.Other rare cells, known as germ cells,
have the power to transform themselves into every other kind of human cell.The sex
cells are the …

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