The topic of abortion is one of the most controversial of our times. It has
caused countless deaths and several violent confrontations between the two
separate parties of opinion. The fight between pro-life and pro-choice
supporters has been long and brutal. This is because, despite what several
people may believe, abortion is neither right nor wrong. It is a matter of
personal opinion. In this way, each side can say with certainty that the other
is wrong. However, the question still remains; should abortion be legal? Though
some may disagree on this point, the fact is that legalized abortion is the only
option that will protect the lives of American citizens. Therefore, present
abortion laws according to Roe v. Wade should be upheld and maintained in the

United States (Brown 2). Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision that legalized
abortions in the United States. It was about a poor, pregnant woman who filed a
lawsuit against the state law of Texas, which stated that abortions were
illegal. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which meant that
the decision made affected the nation as a whole. On January 22, 1973, the

Supreme Court ruled in favor of Jane Roe and stated that "the 14th
amendment guarantees an adult woman the right to seek a termination of her
pregnancy until viability" (Guernsey 63). From this day on, abortions in
the United States were legal. The definitions of the opinions taken on abortion
are somewhat unclear to many people. Hopefully, the definitions stated below
will be of some help in choosing an opinion. Pro-life supporters believe that a
fetus\'s right to live comes first, before the rights of a pregnant woman.

Pro-choice supporters believe that it is a woman\'s fundamental human right to
decide when and whether or not to have the child (Lowenstein19). Nevertheless,
while the pro-choice side fights the right to have an abortion, they make a
distinction between "pro-choice" and "pro-abortion," These
groups want women to be able to choose an abortion if it is right for them.

However, they do not necessarily believe abortion is the solution for everyone (Lowenstein

52). There are many reasons why abortion should be legal. "The single most
important effect of legalization has been the substitution of safe, legal
procedures for abortions that formerly were obtained illegally" ( Jaffe,

Lindheim, and Lee 147). One only needs to look into American history to see the
results of prohibiting abortions to women. The violence which occurs today
because of the pro-choice/pro-life conflicts is minimal in comparison to the
thousands of hopeless women who turned to illegal abortions. Women, seeing no
other solution to their problems, turned to "back room" clinics. These
clinics were located in poverty-ridden sections of the city and their conditions
were deplorable. The places themselves were layered in filth and disease.

Inexperienced butchers using dirty and crude equipment treated the women. As if
these backroom clinics were not bad enough, there was an even more appalling
decision a woman might face. If she were unable to pay the exorbitant price for
the illegal surgery, she would often perform the act herself. "Knitting
needles, coat hangers, antiseptic douches, and poisons were used most
often" (Welton123). It is better now that women have a place to go where
abortions can be performed cleanly with minimal risk. Legalization of abortion
is the only choice no matter what side on takes in the debate. Women will try to
do what they think is necessary to live as they wish, no matter what the risk.

Each year 84,000 women die worldwide from failed abortion attempts (Lunneborg67)
. Because of anti-abortion legislation, women avoid going to the hospital, often
until it is too late, to avoid prosecution from police. In the cases of rape and
incest, the very idea of being forced to have the child of the woman\'s abuser is
repulsive. There are also cases when a woman\'s health is put in jeopardy by
having a child at all. Forcing a woman to bring the child to term would be no
less than attempted murder (Steffen 49). If a woman is forced to give birth to a
child she does not want, if left in that woman\'s custody, the child could
potentially face hatred and resentment from the mother for the rest of its life.

In countries all over the world, children are found dead and abandoned in places
as degrading as garbage dumps. The only effective method of preventing unwanted
births is abstinence, and this is just not a realistic objective. There is no

100% effective form of birth control, and even men