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. Therefore the question 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. One only needs to look
into American history to see the results of prohibiting abortions to women. The
violence which occurs today because the of pro-choice/pro-life conflicts is
minimal in comparison to the thousands of hopeless women who turned to the
illegal abortions --either self-inflicted or preformed by the backroom
"professionals"-- which resulted in infection, massive blood loss, and
death. It is better now that they have a place to go where abortions can be
performed cleanly and with minimal risk. Legalization of abortion is the only
choice no matter what side one takes in the debate. Women will try to do what
they think is necessary to live as they wish, no matter what the risk. In order
to live as she chooses a woman may give up her freedom, her morals, her beliefs,
her family, or even her life. Abortion has been around for thousands of years in
every inhabited corner of the globe. It has always been accepted as a means to
prevent the suffering of both woman and potential child. It has been practiced
widely in every society for many reasons including famine, war, poverty,
overpopulation, or simply because a woman felt she was not ready for a child
(Whitney 40). No one ever questioned a woman\'s right to this procedure. After
all, who but God had the right to judge what a woman did with her own body? This
thought process lasted till the 1800\'s. During this era of change people began
to turn their attention in a new direction, the fetus. They began to protest
abortion as cruel, inhumane, and murderous. Filled with a new sense of purpose
and the glory of a fresh, righteous cause to uphold this new morality swept the
countryside enveloping everyone in its wake. Abortionists who were once revered
and depended upon were now scorned and threatened. Though abortions still
happened with regularity, they were kept silent and seen as a matter of shame.
"Over the next hundred years, public sentiment for the fetus continued to
rise until the inevitable happened in America during the early 40\'s; Abortion
was made illegal." (Cohen 17). There was much back patting and
congratulations among the pro-life supporters. And why not? They had succeeded
in saving the lives of the hundreds of innocent babies who would have been
senselessly slaughtered for the convenience of selfish, ignorant, and
irresponsible women. Because of this new law, women would settle down and raise
families or give these beautiful children over into the hands of the hundreds of
loving couples who were just waiting for a baby to call their own. It seemed
that the perfect law had just been passed. Or had it? It has been proven time
and time again throughout history that the human spirit will not allow
prohibition. Something inside us feels the need to strike out at that which
restrains us and holds us from the life we want. Just as prohibition of alcohol
made a black market for liquor (a virtual underworld was immediately erected to
fulfill the new need for abortions). Government, through regulation, had once
again created a need that would be fulfilled by the lawless. Most doctors,
fearing incarceration, refused to treat the women who so desperately wanted
abortions. Women, seeing no other solution to their problems, were often
desperate enough to turn to these "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 girls. As if
these backroom clinics were not bad enough, there was an even more appalling
decision a woman might face. If a 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"
(Welton 123). "Emergency rooms primarily in the more urban areas were
reporting higher numbers