Abortion Abortion is one of the most heated debates in the world right now; people are dying, and killing for what they believe in. I find it kind of ironic because anti abortion activists are killing doctors for the unborn babies that were killed; does two wrongs make a right? In the following paper I will describe the methods of abortion, the arguments of both pro-life and pro-choice, and my own personal opinion on abortion. There are many arguments for and against abortion, way too many to write so Ill just describe a few. One of the main arguments is when does life begin? The people who agree with abortion believe that life begins when the baby is out of the womb. The people who disagree with abortion believe that human life begins at conception; therefore abortion would be murder. So, which one is it? Is abortion murder or not? There really isnt a straight answer.

What you think all depends on your values and norms. Even scientists cannot answer the question of when does life begin. There is a huge discrepancy on this topic. Personally I believe that human life doesnt begin at conception but when the babys heart begins to beat which is somewhere around 18 days. The first thing that I will talk about in this essay is the many different methods of abortion. There are a lot of different ways that abortions could be done, some legal and some illegal. Sharp curettage, suction aspiration, saline injection, prostaglandin abortion, hysterectomy, dilation and extraction (D&X), RU-486 and prostaglandin are the few that I will be describing in detail.

The first method I will be describing is sharp curettage, also called dilation and curettage (D&C.) These abortions are usually done before 12 weeks development. In a sharp curettage a tiny hoe-like instrument called a curret is inserted into the womb. The abortionist uses the curret to scrape the embryo or fetus and placenta from the uterine wall. Body parts are then pulled out piece by piece through the cervix. Suction Aspiration (Also called “vacuum aspiration”) This method of abortion has replaced D & C in the majority of abortions done prior to 12 weeks.

A tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus and connected to a strong suction apparatus. The embryo or fetus and the placenta are torn to pieces and sucked out into a jar. Although the baby is extremely small, body parts are often easily identified. Sometimes this method follows a D & C. Possible complications include bleeding, infection, and performation of the uterus.

SALINE INJECTION: (Salt Poisoning) After sixteen weeks, with this procedure, a needle is inserted through the mother’s abdomen and a solution of concentrated salt is injected into the amniotic fluid which surrounds the child. The baby breathes in and swallows the solution and usually dies in one to two hours, sometimes death takes many hours, from salt poisoning, dehydration, hemorrhages of the brain, and failure of other organs. The baby’s skin is burned by the salt. The mother goes into labor and a dead baby is delivered, usually within 24 to 48 hours. This abortion method is no longer used in the United States.

PROSTAGLANDIN ABORTION: This drug causes a woman to go into labor at any stage of pregnancy. It is generally used in middle to late pregnancy to induce abortion. The potent hormone-like drug, prostaglandin, is injected into the amniotic sac. It produces labor and premature birth. The unborn baby, in some cases, is born alive and placed aside to die. In order to avoid what abortionists describe as “The Dreaded Complication” of a live birth from a prostaglandin or salt-poisoning, abortionists now customarily kill the child first before evacuating the baby. Abortionists use ultrasound to guide an injection of lethal potassium chloride into an unborn baby’s heart. Other abortionists use an injection of digoxin to cause fetal cardiac arrest.

Sometimes salt is injected first, to kill the baby before birth and make the procedure less distressful for the mother. This method results in a very painful abortion for the mother. Prostaglandins are accompanied by serious problems of their own, including potentially lethal side effects. HYSTEROTOMY: A hysterectomy or Caesarean section abortion is used in the last trimester. The womb is entered by surgery through the wall of the abdomen. It is the same as a live delivery except that the baby is killed in the uterus, or is allowed to die from neglect if he is not yet dead upon removal.

This surgical method is done if a saline or prostaglandin abortion has failed or when a tubal ligation is done. This is a major surgery with inherent difficulties, possible complications, and a potentially painful recovery. DILATION AND EXTRACTION (D): This method of abortion (also known as a Partial Birth Abortion) was publically unveiled in 1992 and is used to kill babies from 20 weeks through full term. Because the opening of the woman’s cervix must be greatly enlarged, the abortion requires three days with repeated visits for insertion of laminaria. These are cylindrical shaped or tapered devices which are inserted into the cervix and which gradually increase in diameter as they absorb water to dilate the cervix. Three days later the abortion is performed. The abortionist ruptures the membranes and drains the amniotic fluid. Using an ultrasound on the mother’s abdomen, the baby is identified and orientated within the uterus. Having turned the unborn baby inside the uterus so that he or she is orientated feet first and face down toward the floor, the abortionist inserts forceps into the vagina, the cervical canal, and into the uterus and grasps one of the baby’s legs. The other leg with the remainder of the torso up to the baby’s neck is then pulled outside of the uterus.

The head is usually too large to deliver, so a blunt scissors is inserted into the base of the living baby’s skull and spread apart to enlarge the hole. The scissors are removed and a suction tube is inserted into the skull and the brains are suctioned out. This kills the baby, collapses the head, and the child is removed. Then the afterbirth is cut away. To put the size of the unborn baby at 20 weeks of development into perspective, the majority of D&X aborted babies weigh about a pound, are approximately 8 inches in length (measuring from the top of the head to the bottom of the rump), and are fully formed, with feet roughly 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches in length. Babies born at this stage of development (19 or 20 weeks) have survived.

RU 486 AND PROSTAGLANDIN: The French-developed “abortion pill” is a powerful anti-hormone (steroid) called mifepristone that interrupts the natural life process by inhibiting production of the progesterone necessary to prepare the uterine wall to support the pregnancy. As a result, the tiny developing baby literally starves to death as the nutrient lining of the womb sloughs off, and muscular contractions cause the dead baby to be expelled from the uterus. It is used to induce abortions between the fifth to ninth weeks of pregnancy. Women first take RU486 alone. Within 48 hours, only three percent have a completed abortion. The remainder of the women, ninety-seven percent, must take a second powerful drug, a prostaglandin.

In approximately five to ten percent of the women who use the RU486 abortion method, the drugs fail to kill the developing baby and the women usually have follow-up surgical abortions. RU486 can cause severe disabilities in babies who survive the abortion, can injure and possibly kill women, and could harm a woman’s subsequent offspring. Preliminary findings of the first independent studies reveal serious under- reporting of the abortion technique’s adverse side effects. At present, RU486 is licensed for use only in France, Britain and Sweden. It is being tested in other countries, including the United States, with the objective of marketing it extensively over the next several years. With RU486, a mother will more directly participate in ending the life of her unborn child, and verify that she has passed the “uterine content” that is her dead baby.

Nearly half of the French women polled report that they find this verification process disturbing.