Prolife Prochoice Essay

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Motherhood is a powerful institution in American life, and both the "Pro-choice" (supporting a woman's right to choose) and the "Pro-life" (anti-abortion) forces see the other as attacking the foundations of the mother-infant bond.

Social analysis argues forcibly for the need for safe, legal and affordable abortions.

And the taxpayer price of supporting a child on welfare is far greater than that of a Medicaid abortion.

But the issue that provokes such anger surrounds the fetus's right to life--its status as a potential human being.

But it is hard to say that he has the right to force you to support him.

You are not legally required to help an old lady across the street.Strictly speaking, then, society has no legal responsibility to the fetus, but rather to the mother.This seems like a rather harsh position, but we can distinguish between the rights of the fetus and the action that a mother might feel morally compelled to take.In analogous fashion, until the fetus is actually, not potentially, a member of society, it does not have constitutional rights.One could object that the fetus in the womb is as signally present in society as the child in the crib, that each are equally members of society.Yet surely the conception of "member" involves some minimal interaction.The fetus reacts to society of the outside world solely through the medium of the mother.You might be very upset, but if it came down to the wire you would probably kick him out of the house.Again, most people would agree you were within your rights to do so.Two arguments delineate the problems in giving the fetus these equivalent rights.The first looks at individual rights as the products of a social doctrine.


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