Building Up Pro Choice Abortion Arguments

Abortion is one of the most divisive social issues in western society and has been so for years. This makes it a topic that often comes up for essays. Both sides of the debate can put forward many arguments; some of these are good, others not so good. This is a short guide to writing an essay on abortion from the pro-choice point of view. Whether you've been asked to write an essay from this point of view or it's the one you hold yourself, these five discussion topics will help you put together a compelling argument.

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  • Individual Freedom. It isn't up to the government to tell women to give birth or not, and this is what denying access to abortion amounts to. It doesn't matter if a government is acting out of its own convictions or because of public demand, either; if 99 people out of a hundred are opposed to abortion the other one still has the right to control her own reproductive capacity.
  • Personhood. Abortion is not "killing babies," as over-emotive opponents argue. Most abortions take place in the first trimester of pregnancy, when the foetus is not capable of living independently and in many cases hasn't even developed a nervous system or functioning brain yet. It has the potential to become a person, but it isn't one yet. It certainly can't feel pain or emotional distress.
  • Victim Protection. Every year thousands of women become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. These are very traumatic crimes and it's already difficult to cope with them. Forcing victims to carry a physical reminder for nine months can cause enormous stress, often leading to mental health issues. Abortion is often the best way to protect the health of these women.
  • Birth Control. Opponents of abortion often claim that it's used as a form of birth control, but this simply isn't true. Only a small fraction of women who have abortions weren't using any form of birth control when they became pregnant; it's less than one in ten. Most were using a method that didn't work properly. Denying access to abortion forces women who never intended to become pregnant to have children they don't want.
  • Life Opportunities. Teenagers who become parents are likely to suffer serious damage to their future prospects; they frequently drop out of education, rely on welfare funding to support themselves and raise their children, have limited or no careers and experience a high rate of depression and other health problems. Abortion is often their only chance of getting their lives back on a successful path.

There are many more arguments in favour of access to abortion, but these five are a good basis for an essay. Use them to deny your opponent the "pro-life" label; advocates of abortion access are not "anti-life," so it's a misleading tag. Turn it round and call them anti-choice, which has the advantage of being accurate.