Ancient world[ edit ] Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt[ edit ] Birth control and abortion are well documented in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.
The issue had been decided years ago. The court had chosen the middle ground. You'd think the fight was over. Instead, there are mass rallies, bombings and intimidation, murders of workers at abortion clinics, arrests, intense lobbying, legislative drama, Congressional hearings, Supreme Court decisions, major political parties almost defining themselves on the issue, and clerics threatening politicians with perdition.
Partisans fling accusations of hypocrisy and murder. The intent of the Constitution and the will of God are equally invoked. Doubtful arguments are trotted out as certitudes.
The contending factions call on science to bolster their positions. Families are divided, husbands and wives agree not to discuss it, old friends are no longer speaking. Politicians check the latest polls to discover the dictates of their consciences.
Amid all the shouting, it is hard for the adversaries to hear one another. Is it wrong to abort a pregnancy? How do we decide? We wrote this article to understand better what the contending views are and to see if we ourselves could find a position that would satisfy us both.
Is there no middle ground? We had to weigh the arguments of both sides for consistency and to pose test cases, some of which are purely hypothetical.
If in some of these tests we seem to go too far, we ask the reader to be patient with us--we're trying to stress the various positions to the breaking point to see their weaknesses and where they fail.
In contemplative moments, nearly everyone recognizes that the issue is not wholly one-sided. Many partisans of differing views, we find, feel some disquiet, some unease when confronting what's behind the opposing arguments.
This is partly why such confrontations are avoided. And the issue surely touches on deep questions: What are our responses to one another?
Should we permit the state to intrude into the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives? Where are the boundaries of freedom?
What does it mean to be human? Of the many actual points of view, it is widely held--especially in the media, which rarely have the time or the inclination to make fine distinctions--that there are only two: In the simplest characterization, a pro-choicer would hold that the decision to abort a pregnancy is to be made only by the woman; the state has no right to interfere.
And a pro-lifer would hold that, from the moment of conception, the embryo or fetus is alive; that this life imposes on us a moral obligation to preserve it; and that abortion is tantamount to murder. Both names--pro-choice and pro-life--were picked with an eye toward influencing those whose minds are not yet made up: Few people wish to be counted either as being against freedom of choice or as opposed to life.
Indeed, freedom and life are two of our most cherished values, and here they seem to be in fundamental conflict. Let's consider these two absolutist positions in turn.Quality Care.
Find out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment. The Pros and Cons of Birth Control - Women spend over 37 million dollars on birth control annually, making it one of the most prescribed drugs on the market.
10,, women are currently on some type of orally ingested birth control. A look at some of the best birth control pills for Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormone disorder that can cause infertility.
Hormonal birth control that contains both estrogen and progestin. The current attack on access to birth control had us thinking back to the first half of the 20th century, when contraceptive methods taken for granted today, like condoms and diaphragms, were.
Pregnancy symptoms differ from woman to woman and pregnancy to pregnancy; however, one of the most significant pregnancy symptoms is a delayed or missed period. Birth control pills can be an effective way of preventing an unwanted pregnancy. They can also ease period pains and help with acne, but they may also have some undesirable side effects.