The Abortion Debate


18 Monday 18th October 2010

The abortion debate continues to be a controversial subject and there are always going to be binary views on the matter. But in this modern liberal democracy we live in surely people have the right to make their own choices based around our their bodies. And with Ministers recent grand plan of cutting child benefits, it’s going to make bringing up a child in Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ even harder. But should the current limit of 24 weeks be lowered? With rise in popularity of the likes of anti-abortion politicians such as Sarah Palin and new evidence suggesting a baby can smile in the womb at 17 weeks, the debate is still going on…

Earlier this month a picture taken on 3D scanning equipment of a foetus in the womb aged 17 weeks shows the baby supposedly smiling. A foetus can be aborted up to 24 weeks in the UK and this photo has sparked debate over whether or not the baby can feel much earlier than previously thought. The professor at the London Clinic who took the photo said it does not necessarily show the unborn child has feeling but that it is certainly displaying human behaviour. 
The majority of European countries such as France and Germany have an abortion limit of 12 weeks, which is much lower than ours and with the UK having one of the highest abortion rates in the world, perhaps lowering the limit would have a positive effect on the soaring rates and there are many campaigners out there even in government that are trying to get the limit down to 20 weeks. There has been much deliberation over whether or not the unborn child can feel pain before 24 weeks and most experts say that they cannot. However it has been known for babies to be born as young as 20 weeks and survive, therefore it leaves the question of at what point does abortion become inhumane?


Nonetheless this is no black and white issue. There are as many reasons as to why the abortion rate should be left at 24 weeks as there are for it to be lowered. It is ridiculous for any anti-abortion campaigner to assume that the women getting an abortion must be selfish and have no care for others, be career minded or have used a lack of contraception. In some cases the reason for the need for a late termination is due to not knowing about the pregnancy due to the use of contraception. If a mother is restricted from abortion rights there could be an increase in children with parents who simply cannot cope and manage to bring up a child. This could ultimately put a strain on social services, mental health services and the police.

Society has felt the need to label peoples opinions, misogynist is pro-life, feminist is pro-choice, but surely these are just meaningless slogans and the issue here should be about the science not the politics. No doubt if your are reading this you have an opinion of your own on the matter but surely regardless of your view you must agree that the entire debate is not an easy one.

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  • Guest: mcdolcy
    Thu 21 - Oct - 2010, 17:05
    I think the point of the article "sunshine" is to promote a topical debate on a very serious subject. Would you rather she write about simon cowell or strictly come dancing??????
  • Guest: Sunshine.caulker
    Wed 20 - Oct - 2010, 08:29
    What is the point of this article?