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    Abortion is one of the most commonly debated issues in America today. There are many issues surrounding this procedure, ranging from religious views to health stipulations. Although this is a very popular topic, there are so many subcategories and confusing terminologies that many do not fully understand what the debate is surrounded around. This issue did not become a policy issue until the 1960s and 1970s and before this was solely the business of women healers and those in the medical field (Stolley and Hall). Furthermore, because of its politicization, abortion has become part of religious and family issues in the public sphere.

     

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    Catholics, for example, are extremely pro-life and shun abortions. One group that advocates for these beliefs is the Michigan Catholic Conference. This organization has stated that:
    From the first moment of existence, a human being must be identified as a unified individual endowed with human nature and as such is the proper bearer of fundamental human rights. Every life is sacred because the person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of God” (MI Catholic Conference). They highly prioritize the will of God in the debate on abortion.

    On the other hand, this has become a family issue because another resolution to an unwanted pregnancy is adoption, in the place of abortion. According to Michigan’s Department of Human Services website, 2,589 children were adopted through Department of Human Services' offices and private adoption agencies between October 1, 2005 and September 30, 2006. As is shown with this data, there are opportunities for unwanted children to still be taken care of, whether it is by their birth mother or some sort of substitute.

    There are many different types of abortion that can be carried out on an individual. Life Site News provides a thorough explanation of all of the methods, below are some summaries, followed by the link to the website.

    ·         Suction aspiration: This method is most commonly used and is done around 12 weeks into the pregnancy. The woman’s cervix is dilated and a vacuum is inserted into the womb that sucks and tears the baby out of the womb and discards it.

    ·         Dilation and Evacuation: A pair of forceps is inserted into the womb to grasp onto the baby and twist and pull it out. Usually the skull and spine are severely damaged in this process. Usually occurs around 18 week’s gestation.

    ·         Partial-birth abortion: A pair of forceps is inserted and pulls the baby’s legs into the birth canal by use of the ultrasound. The abortionist delivers the entire baby except for the head, and then he/she jams scissors into the skull, opens it, injects a catheter and sucks the brains out of the baby. Then the dead baby is delivered.

    Link to the website

                A great controversy that exists in this lively debate is whether or not it is the government’s right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. Should the government go so far as to dictate the most personal aspects of a woman’s life? On the other hand, should this unborn baby; who quite possibly already has hair and fingernails; have no right to life? Should its destiny be determined by a woman who could be psychologically imbalanced? 

                This issue also raises many societal implications. For example, if abortion is legal at any stage, will young adults stop practicing safe sex because they know they can fall back on abortion? If abortion is made illegal, will unwanted babies be born into lives that are below standards? These are just a few of the implications raised by pro-choice and pro-life advocates.

                According to Michigan.gov, in 2007, 24,683 induced abortions were performed in Michigan, which was a decrease from 2006. Many of these women were young, single, and used the suction method to terminate their pregnancies. This link provides many statistics on abortions in 2007 in Michigan.

     Works cited:

    Kahy Shepherd Stolley and Elaine J. Hall. Family Relations,Vol. 43, No. 3 (Jul., 1994), pp. 267-273. Published by: National Council on Family Relations.

    Department of Human Services website. http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/. 29 September 2008.

    Life Site News. http://www.lifesitenews.com/abortiontypes/. 29 September 2008.

    Michigan.gov. http://www.mdch.state.mi.us/PHA/OSR/abortion/intro.asp. 29 September 2008.

     

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    Jocelyn Cutean serves as Morality and Family policy correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student at Michigan State, majoring in Theatre and English. Jocelyn has experience working on the executive board of the Waterford Chapter Coalition for Youth. She has also piloted a grant funded city wide public service announcement entitled, "It Just Wasn't Worth It" which exposes the repercussions of driving while intoxicated. Jocelyn enjoys art of all forms, from writing to performance.