This is pretty much last week’s draft plus a paragraph… any criticism is appreciated!
Every year on January 22, thousands of people from throughout the country gather in the streets of Washington, D.C. for a peaceful demonstration. Armed with homemade posters and a desire for equal rights, they trek up to Capitol Hill, where they hope to persuade Congressmen to believe in their cause. They suffer through a variety of wintry weather conditions and bear the freezing wind that is especially strong in the city. They hope to use their gift of life as a means by which they can save another – a life unborn. This peaceful protest is the annual March for Life, held on the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion. Those who attend the March for Life believe that life begins at conception – robbing that unborn child of its life is, in essence, murder.
The life of an unborn child is so easily taken for granted. She cannot be recognized for several months because she is so small and fragile. But every single person on earth was once in her position, too tiny to be noticed, but still a living being. Every single person on earth was given life. How is it possible that there are seven billion humans that are lucky enough to live, while fifty million children were legally robbed of their lives between 1973 and 2008 in the United States alone? Over a million future CEOs with plans for a strong global economy, famous athletes who play not just for the money but for the love of the game, Nobel Prize winners who spent countless hours studying their respective subjects, and scientists with the cure for cancer were lost to abortion in 2008. (Abortion Decisions: Many Voices. Many Choices) The future best friend of a child who desperately needs support to help him deal with the daily trials of life could not comfort him because she was not given the chance to live in the first place. Abortion is murder, perhaps the worst form of such an awful deed because the victim is as innocent as can be. The unborn child’s life must be treated as exactly that – a life. It is as important as yours and mine because we all were in her place once.
It is crucial to recognize that a child’s life begins not at birth, but at conception. She is a human from the moment the mother’s egg is fertilized ( Development — From Conception to birth). She has unique DNA with 23 paired chromosomes just like every other living human (Human Chromosomes). By the twenty-second day of her life, she has developed a heartbeat. Her nervous system, spine, and other organs have started forming by the end of her third week. Eyes, legs, and hands have grown by the end of the fifth. After six weeks, she has brain waves, fingernails, a mouth, and lips. A week later, she has eyelids and is able to both kick and swim. Another seven days pass, and all of her organs are situated, her bones solidify, and she can hear. Within the following three weeks, she can turn her head, frown, hiccup, urinate, breathe amniotic fluid, and grab objects. ( Development — From Conception to birth) She is very obviously a human, and yet almost 90% of abortions occur during this vital period of development. Approximately 7% of abortions occur during the following nine weeks of the child’s development. ( Development — From Conception to birth) At this point, the baby can experience pain, suck her thumb, dream while sleeping, and recognize her mother’s voice. Her vocal chords, taste buds, and bone marrow have formed. Her heart is hard at work as it pumps 25 quarts of blood daily. She is strong enough to be saved and live outside the womb if there are pregnancy complications. ( Development — From Conception to birth)
Why do these facts still not convince women to abandon the option of abortion? Many women do not have knowledge of all their options. They see abortion as an easy way out of a complicated situation. 85% of women who have abortions are unmarried. Without a partner or husband, it would be difficult to raise a child on a single payroll. The largest percentage of women who have abortions are between 20-24 years of age; many are studying in college or working a job that does not pay enough to support a mother and child. There are patterns that show that women who live in cities, depend on Medicaid, or are of a minority are more likely to abort their child than women who do not. In general, these women have fewer educational opportunities, which, in the long run, prevents them from applying for high-paying jobs. A child would be an added burden to an already difficult life (Abortion Decisions: Many Voices. Many Choices). Although these women believe they are making the right decision because their lives will be easier, they are still stealing the right to life from a child who cannot yet speak for herself.
The first step to preventing abortion in the future is a policy that informs women of all their options before they undergo the procedure that will kill an innocent child. There are plenty of alternatives to abortion for these women who are unable to deal with an unplanned pregnancy:
“Throughout the United States, there are nearly 3,000 Crisis Pregnancy Centers staffed by volunteers ready to provide real help to women facing unplanned or untimely pregnancies.  In addition to providing pregnancy tests and counseling, these centers often offer a full range of services, helping women obtain housing, maternity and baby clothes, baby equipment, pre- and post-natal medical care, legal assistance and financial support, information about adoption, and even advice on how a woman in school can continue her education.  Offering real and tangible assistance, these centers have helped thousands of women to realize that they didn’t have to choose between their own lives and the lives of their unborn babies.” (Abortion: Some Medical Facts)
Adoption is an important alternative to consider. There are plenty of couples who are unable to conceive a child who want a child of their own. Many prefer to adopt a child during her infancy, so planning to give the child up for adoption is a viable option that will provide the child with proper parenting, care, and – most importantly – a chance at life.
Perhaps the real root of the problem, and the potential second step to the solution, are the social and economic statuses of the women who resort to abortion due to unplanned pregnancies. It is often easy for a pro-life supporter to assume that women who have abortions are doing so for selfish reasons, but the statistics mentioned previously prove that assumption wrong. Many women who choose abortion see no way out of their current situation. A feminist website home to a page entitled “Personal Stories” allows women to post about their abortion experiences. One woman wrote that she could not afford to take care of a child. Another woman was the victim of an abusive relationship and felt pressured into the abortion. Others wrote about the difficulty of caring for a newborn without the support of a husband. (Abortion Decisions: Many Voices. Many Choices)