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guttmacher Abortion: Who Really Cares


Life or Death:  Who Chooses?

   In Roman times, abortion and the destruction of unwanted children was
permissible, but as out civilization has aged, it seems that such acts were
no longer acceptable by rational human beings, so that in 1948, Canada
along with most other nations in the world signed a declaration of the
United Nations promising every human being the right to life. The World
Medical Association meeting in Geneve at the same time, stated that the
utmost respect for human life was to be from the moment of conception. This
declaration was re-affirmed when the World Medical Association met in Oslo
in 1970. Should we go backwards in our concern for the life of an
individual human being?

   The unborn human is still a human life and not all the wishful thinking
of those advocating repeal of abortion laws, can alter this. Those of us
who would seek to protect the human who is still to small to cry aloud for
it's own protection, have been accused of having a 19th Century approach to
life in the last third of the 20th Century. But who in reality is using
arguments of a bygone Century? It is an incontrovertible fact of biological
science - Make no Mistake - that from the moment of conception, a new human
life has been created.

   Only those who allow their emotional passion to overide their
knowledge, can deny it: only those who are irrational or ignorant of
science, doubt that when a human sperm fertilizes a human ovum a new human
being is created. A new human being who carries genes in its cells that
make that human being uniquely different from any and other human being and
yet, undeniably a member, as we all are, of the great human family. All the
fetus needs to grow into a babe, a child, an old man, is time, nutrition
and a suitable environment. It is determined at that very moment of
conception whether the baby will be a boy or a girl; which of his parents
he will look like; what blood type he will have. His whole heritage is
forever fixed. Look at a human being 8 weeks after conception and you, yes
every person here who can tell the difference between a man and a women,
will be able to look at the fetus and tell me whether it is a baby boy or a
girl.

   No, a fetus is not just another part of a women's body like an appendix
or appendage. These appendages, these perfectly formed tiny feel belong to
a 10 week developed baby, not to his or her mother.

   The fetus is distinct and different and has it's own heart beat. Do you
know that the fetus' heart started beating just 18 days after a new life
was created, beating before the mother even knew she was pregnant? By 3
months of pregnancy the developing baby is just small enough to be help in
the palm of a man's hand but look closely at this 3 month old fetus. All
his organs are formed and all his systems working. He swims, he grasps a
pointer, he moves freely, he excretes urine. If you inject a sweet solution
into the water around him, he will swallaw because he likes the taste.
Inject a bitter solution and he will quit swallowing because he does not
like the taste. By 16 weeks it is obvious to all, except those who have
eyes but deliberately do not see, that this is a young human being.

   Who chooses life or death for this little one because abortion is the
taking of a human life? This fact is undeniable; however much of the
members of the Women's Liberation Movement, the new Feminists, Dr. Henry
Morgentaler or the Canadian Medical Association President feel about it,
does not alter the fact of the matter. An incontrovertible fact that cannot
change as feelings change.

   If abortion is undeniably the taking of human life and yet sincere
misguided people feel that it should be just a personal matter between a
women and the doctor, there seems to be 2 choices open to them. (1) That
they would believe that other acts of destruction of human beings such as
infanticide and homicide should be of no concern of society and therefore,
eliminate them from the criminal code. This I cannot believe is the
thinking of the majority, although the tendency for doctors to respect the
selfish desire of parents and ... more

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Adolescent Abortion

ADOLESCENT ABORTION
LEGALIZATION
Less then twenty-five years ago, any women who elected to terminate her pregnancy usually had to resort to illegal, unsanitary, and unsafe means. Abortion was frequently considered a criminal offense committed by the woman and the physician performing the procedure. The Supreme Court cases leading to the legalization of abortion began in 1963 with Griswold v. Connecticut. The court invalidated a Connecticut statute that made possession and use of contraceptives by married couples a criminal offense. The case of Griswold was later expanded to encompass the woman’s right not only to prevent but also to terminate her pregnancy. In the case of Roe v. Wade, the court held that state regulation of woman’s access to abortion at all times during her pregnancy is impermissible. In finding unconstitutional a Texas statute that did not allow abortion unless it was performed to save the mother’s life, the Court eliminated most restrictions on an adult woman’s right to an abortion.
STATISTICS
According to the book, abortion data are difficult to collect , and national statistics can only be considered estimates. The figures included in this paper are primarily based on the data provided by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI). AGI data are based on national surveys of health institutions and private physicians providing abortion services.
Today, about 40% of the 1.1 million pregnancies of females under the age of twenty annually are terminated by induced abortions. Nearly one-third of all abortions are done on women under the age of twenty. (Melton, 1986:41)
A substantial number and proportion of abortions are obtained by teenagers. In 1981 more than 1 in 4 of the estimated 1,577,340 abortions performed were to teenagers; 6 out of 10 to 15-19 year olds were to teenagers 18-19 years of age. The chart that I included on the following page lists the number and distribution of legal abortions, abortion rates per 1,000 women, and percentage of pregnancies terminated by abortion, by age group from 1973 to 1981. (Melton 1986:43)
The number of teenage abortions has risen since the Supreme Court decision in 1973, but not as rapidly as the number of abortions to other woman of childbearing age. From 1973 to 1981, the number of abortions to women aged 20-44 went from744,620 to 1,577,340 a rise of 112%. In contrast, the number of abortions to teenagers increased from 244,570 a rise of 84%. (Melton 1986:45)
The increase in number of abortions has been greater for older teenagers. Between the ages 15-19, the number of abortions went from 232,440 in 1973 to 433,330 in 1981, an increase of 86%. Below age 15, the increase was 31%, from 11,630 to 15,240. (Melton 1986:45)
Teenagers between 18 and 19 years of age have the highest demand for abortion services for women of any age, at 61.8 per 1,000 in 1981. For teenagers aged 15-17 years, the rate was 30.1%. For teenagers below age 15 it was 8.6. (Melton 1986:60)
The rise in teenage abortion rates has been greater than that for women of childbearing age overall. Between 1973 and 1981, abortion rates for teenagers between 15 and 19 years went from 22.8 to 43.3 an increase of 90%. For teenagers below 15, the increase was 54%, from 5.6 to 8.6. In comparison the increase for all females of childbearing age was 80%, from 16.3 to 29.3 (Melon 1986:46)
The rising rates of abortion in 1973 reflect a substantial rise in teenage sexual activity. By 1979 premarital sexual intercourse was not uncommon, with one out of two woman aged 15-19 reporting they had ever had sexual intercourse. For women, the average age for initial intercourse was 16.2 years. The average age for males was 15.7 years. Black women experienced intercourse at younger ages than whites. Over 36% of black females aged 15-19 had first experienced intercourse before age 15 and for whites it was 19%. (Melton 1986:81)
Among sexually active woman who wish to avoid pregnancy but do not practice effective contraception, the percentage of pregnancies terminated by abortion is high because many unwanted pregnancies are aborted.
A majority of teenage abortions are obtained by unmarried women, and abortion rates are higher for unmarried than for married teenagers overall.
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS
Women who receive abortions usually have a number of psychological effects. ... more

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  • U: Abortion: Who Really Cares U: Abortion: Who Really Cares Abortion: Who Really Cares Life or Death: Who Chooses? In Roman times, abortion and the destruction of unwanted children was permissible, but as out civilization has aged, it seems that such acts were no longer acceptable by rational human beings, so that in 1948, Canada along with most other nations in the world signed a declaration of the United Nations promising every human being the right to life. The World Medical Association meeting in Geneve at the same time, stated that the utmost respec...
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