Sociological Acceptance of Abortion

In three weeks, Jennifer will leave for college. She broke up with her
boyfriend two weeks ago, and today she found out she was pregnant.
Should Jennifer have an abortion, or stop all her plans and have a baby
at eighteen? Either way the decision is hers to make. On January 22,
1973 the landmark decision of Roe vs. Wade occurring in the Supreme
Court made abortion a "constitutional liberty" (Francome 20). Legally,
Jennifer can receive an abortion. Socially, however, she will endure
many more obstacles.
Fighting for society\'s acceptance
In today\'s American society, viewpoints on certain topics often
conflict with what individuals believe is right. This is very evident
in the argument for acceptance of abortions among college students.
However, with the rise of the anti-abortion movement this procedure has
become less accepted and harder to obtain. Should abortions among
college students be more widely accepted in society? According to a
Planned Parenthood study done in 1997, forty percent of seventeen year
olds will become pregnant before their twenty-fifth birthday. This
statistic is directly targeted at college age females. The answer is
far from being strictly a black and white issue, but my own viewpoint is
"yes" abortions should be accepted among society for many reasons. The
controversial issue of abortion has many intertwining, surrounding
complications. Such an issue is never concrete, "in

America, about 20% of Americans thoroughly oppose abortions, 20%
thoroughly favor abortions, while a vast majority are \'muddled in the
middle\'" (Pojman and Beckwith 59). As with any pregnancy there are
impending risks involved and many extenuating circumstances that justify
an abortion. In a perfect world, abortions are not the best way to
prevent unwanted pregnancies, but there are many "bumps in the road,"
keeping the United States from being perfect.
Defining Life?
The main question facing society is the definition of a fetus\' point of
living. Pro-Lifers believe that, "a fertilized embryo is the foundation
for a living human being" (National College Students for Life). In
contrast, pro-choicers argue that a human being is something more
concrete with it\'s own thought processes and consciousness. Petchesky
argues, "the fetus is only a potential human being, and we confuse
actual with potential" (432). So who is right and who is wrong? Who
makes the definition of a living human being? These however, are
questions that will most likely never be resolved. Therefore, both
sides need to accept and respect each other views on the issue for
society as a whole to be more accepting of abortion.
Emotional Instability
The emotions that result from being in a college atmosphere and the
emotions that occur with pregnancy do not coincide. Most college
students are not emotionally stable enough to carry or give birth to a
child. As stated by Rosalind Petchesky, "women between the ages of
eighteen and twenty are at the highest level of emotional insecurity

and have proven to be unfit mothers" (322). Entering college is a new
experience for teenagers which involves a new sense of freedom and
responsibility. College students are battling with being on their own
for the first time, managing their time and studying. College students
have too much emotional strain and stress on them to add the additional
stress of having a child. A survey was conducted among college males
and females on their various viewpoints of abortion. Of those surveyed,
82% of both males and females claimed they did not feel that they would
make a capable parent while still remaining in college. Having a child
brings a whole new sense of responsibility that I do not believe college
students are able to handle. The added stress of morning sickness, mood
swings, weight gain and other anxieties attributed to pregnancy would
place to much of a emotional strain on an already tense college
student. Pro-Lifers argue, "if one is responsible enough to have sex,
one should be responsible enough to deal with the consequences"
(National College Students for Life). I am in agreement with the
responsibility necessary to be a part of a sexual relationship but the
reality of unwanted pregnancies is far too large to overlook. Studies
show that "each year, one million teenagers become pregnant and 85% of
these pregnancies are unwanted" (Detroit News). Of course there is
always the counter argument of putting the child up for adoption, but
that leads to more emotional entanglements. Having to go through a nine
month period carrying a child growing inside you may cause you to become
attached to that child, which may not receive the life it deserves at
that time.

Consequences of unwanted pregnancies
When examining the records of any mental or penal institution and