Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

“To Abort or not to Abort?”

What is abortion? For those of you who don’t know abortion, it is a mother’s intentional decision to terminate her pregnancy. Abortion involves a medical procedure which is performed within the first 28 weeks of pregnancy where the unborn child is removed from the mothers’ embryo causing death of the foetus. The removal of the foetus is induced by either taking medication in the form of drugs or surgical termination which involves the suction of the pregnancy tissue using a vacuum. By taking away a foetus’ right to life and its chance to survive outside its mother’s uterus raises ethical concerns and is the reason why it is an ongoing issue in today’s society.

There are so many questions we can ask ourselves when it comes to abortion. Isn’t it true that every human has the right to life? So why isn’t this the case when it comes to abortion, shouldn’t a foetus be given a chance at life? If not then is it considered as murder? This is when society starts to question whether or not a foetus is considered to be a human when it is first conceived. “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” Therefore, we can say that according to modern molecular biology, it is biologically true that when a woman conceives, life is present and so abortion should be considered as murder.

Then why is abortion legal in so many countries across the globe? Not all countries have legalized abortion. These countries include Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Paraguay just to name a few. Paraguay is one of the strictest countries when it comes to abortion. In Paraguay abortion is only deemed possible if the mother’s life is at risk, otherwise it is illegal under all other circumstances. Women who fall pregnant due to rape and sexual assault in countries like Paraguay shouldn’t be denied an abortion and shouldn’t be forced into giving birth to their rapist’s child. One of the unfortunate stories includes an 11-year old girl in Paraguay; she had been raped by her stepfather and due to the strict laws of Paraguay she was denied an abortion. I cannot fathom the reason as to why this child is not allowed an abortion. She now has to face the consequences of taking on the role of a mother, being restricted from doing the everyday activities of an average Paraguayan child, and missing out on the education she deserves. Is she not being constrained from a chance at life?

In the case of this 11-year old Paraguayan mother, she should be able to have a say in the termination of her pregnancy and hence we can argue that abortion should be legalized. However we also need to take into account the unborn child’s right to life. In situations like this it’s difficult to come to a decision on whether abortion should or should not be legalized in all countries around the globe.


Buchanan, R. (2015). The six nations where it is still illegal to have an abortion. [online] The Independent. Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2016].

Rafael Romo, a. (2016). 11-year-old rape victim gives birth in Paraguay. [online] CNN. Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2016].

Alcorn, R. (2016). Why Life Begins at Conception | NAAPC. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2016]. (2016). Abortion Facts – Information on Abortion You Can Use. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2016].


4 comments on ““To Abort or not to Abort?”

  1. anberzara
    April 26, 2016

    Hi there,

    Abortion is a very current and controversial topic so I felt compelled to read your blog. The content had great flow as you started by addressing the minor details such as the definition of abortion and grew out into the discussing the complex views around the topic. I really enjoyed reading it.

    In your blog you mention that “every human has a right to life” so a foetus should not be exempt from this inclusion, which makes the reader appeal to a sense of justice. Even as an abortion advocate, I agreed with your statement and can acknowledge how it can be labelled as murder.
    To increase the complexity of this discussion you could have built from this idea how adoption can be an avenue of resolution that gives the foetus a different chance of life. Therefore showing the reader that abortion is not the only answer to strengthen the argument against it.

    You also highlighted the issues were abortion can be effective and for the best interest for the individual. Laws exist to defend the rights of the smallest minorities, which serves its purpose for the foetus in countries where abortion is illegal. However, it does so by stripping the rights of the mother such as the eleven-year old girl who was a mother by rape not by choice. Thus, you made it evident that there are problems when it comes to these laws that really makes the reader acknowledge both sides of the issue.
    To strengthen the readers understanding of why abortion is supported, you could of mentioned how the laws against it provoke mothers to refer to illegal abortionists which is a very dangerous practice.

    Overall, I appreciate how you provided strong arguments for and against abortion as it enabled the reader to develop a well-weighted view. Thanks


  2. ginachin93
    April 26, 2016

    Hi, really interesting topic, a real moral dilemma in society. I like that you start of with a definition, and I think that your piece is structurally well written and flows well, something that I personally struggle with when I write. Just be careful with your terminology; a mother is defined as “a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth”, I’m not sure abortion is a decision made by a ‘mother’ although I can see the emotive reason behind using that word and in that sense I think it works.

    The surgical explanation of abortion techniques is interesting and informative as I didn’t know much about the actual procedure, perhaps use foetus or embryo instead of unborn child as before 28 weeks a foetus or embryo (depending how many weeks through the pregnancy the woman is) is not classified as a child, also small typo it is removed from the mother’s uterus not embryo (I know you know, just so you can change is before handing it in)!

    I personally disagree that abortion is considered murder which is why this is such an interesting topic as there are so many valid arguments for both sides. However i don’t believe that it can be called murder as murder is defined as “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another” and although it is a premeditated action, a foetus has not yet developed a nervous or respiratory system and is not classified as a human. I personally believe that the killing of an animal (which by the above definition is not murder) is more wrong, as they have a functioning nervous and respiratory system. The quote that “life is present from the moment of conception is engaging however and I did some further research and I also found it interesting that pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last period not when the embryo is conceived which I didn’t know! I found the information on the stages of pregnancy here:

    There is a slight confusion between abortion being murder and distinguishing between it being right for rape victims to abort and how this differs and is not murder. It is so hard to fit such a big topic into 500 words but religion is also an intriguing point of view to look from and is also highly contested. On the whole it was a blog that I really sat and thought about which I think is the point of a good blog and really good link back to why it is an issue in society!


  3. Pingback: Applicable Illumination. | Deakin Communicating Science 2016

  4. Adam
    May 4, 2016


    Very socially and politically important topic. I think others have made a great contribution to the conversation and suggest you take there comments on board.

    I think you need a little more science in here, for instance you mention: “By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” (attribute the quote properly). On what criteria? An egg and sperm are ‘living’ and have life. What is the medical argument for making the cut off for abortion at 22 weeks?

    It would be great if you could include references and links to scientific resources related to this source.

    There are a few spelling mistakes and grammatical errors that you should pick up with a second read through.



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This entry was posted on April 21, 2016 by in Burwood - Thursday 2pm, Uncategorized.

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