Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
ABORTION IN THE UNITED STATES
According to the Guttmacher Institute, there are roughly 3,322 abortions per day; amounting to 1.21 million abortions performed every year in the United States. There are many different opinions about abortion, such as “pro-life” or “pro-choice”. People who believe that abortion is wrong and should be stopped in our society are considered to be on the “pro-life” side of the controversy. Those who believe a woman should be able to decide what she does with her body and who support abortions in the United States would be considered “pro-choice”. In today’s society, the issue of illegalization of abortions in some states, if not all, has become more and more of a controversial topic. In order to have an opinion about this controversy, people should be informed about both sides as well as other perspectives.
Beginning of the Controversy: Roe v. Wade
Roe v. Wade is a well-known Supreme Court decision that ultimately made abortion legal in the United States. “The decision held that a woman, with her doctor, could choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without legal restriction, and with restrictions in later months, based on the right to privacy” (Roe v. Wade). The decision to make abortion legal in the United States sparked the controversial views and many debates about this issue in today’s society. An interesting detail that most people are unaware of is about the first abortion laws in history. “The first abortion laws were aimed at protecting the mother from the abortionist. They were not necessarily set in the context that the fetus was, from conception, a human being that happened to be protected” (Burrell). It wasn’t until later that the controversy in legality began to circle around the life of the fetus, not necessarily the safety of the mother.
The definition of pro-choice according to American Heritage: “Favoring or supporting the legal right of women and girls to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy to term” . There are many reasons why pro-choice advocates believe this about abortion. An important argument from this side of the controversy includes: “If people want to stop abortion, they should turn to methods that do work” according to the ten arguments supporting pro-choice. This is extremely important in my opinion because if there are people who are against abortions, they should not blatantly say something is wrong without providing possible solutions. There are many ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies that result with abortions. For example, offering sex education in order for people to be informed about the decisions they are making. Pro-choice advocates also argue that, “Doctors, not governments, should always be the people to make medical recommendations and opinions” according to ten arguments supporting pro-choice. This argument is especially important because in today’s society, people feel more and more controlled by our government, causing a feeling of less power. For the government to illegalize abortions in the United States would be comparable with the President telling everyone they had to receive an operation, which is outrageous and would never be allowed. These are only a limited amount of reasons why people should have a right to their own decisions, especially when involving their own body.
The definition of pro-life according to American Heritage: “Advocating the legal protection of human embryos and fetuses, especially by favoring the outlawing of abortion on the ground that it is the taking of a human life”. On the other side of the controversy, pro-life advocates believe that abortion should be illegal and should be banned from the United States. An important argument that pro-life defenders embody is that life begins at conception, and therefore abortion is equivalent to murdering a human being. Since murder is obviously illegal in our country, it would make sense to think that abortion should also be illegal. A different, less emotional argument would be that most Americans who pay taxes may have conflicting views about the legality of abortions since often times, U.S. tax dollars are used in order to fund a majority of abortions according to Women's Issues. Abortion has been made illegal in some States in the past, however has later been overturned. People advocating for pro-life are intensively trying to pass laws in order to make abortions illegal, but only time will tell what the outcome will be.
Recent controversy about government funding of public health centers such as Planned Parenthood has caused government officials to consider reducing the funding significantly. According to the Los Angeles Times, "Republicans want to allow states to redirect money away from abortion providers" and also take away $317 million Planned Parenthood for the 2011 fiscal year. This would mean a significant decrease in family planning, health services such as cancer screenings, and birth control availability along with many more services.
The Right Argument
In my opinion, pro-choice is the more logical answer in the debate of abortion in the United States. To me, the arguments for pro-life appear to be more of an emotionally biased decision when in reality, the right choice may vary for different people. The choice to keep or abort a baby should be entirely up to the woman. It is her body therefore the choice should not belong to any governmental laws or officials. In many cases, abortion is the only logical thing to do in situations of poverty, lack of family support, abusive relationships, rape, etc.
Possible solutions for this well-known controversy are still debatable and many people with opinions about this topic may not agree with the compromises or solutions for abortion in the United States. In order to make abortion more agreeable in the United States, our government could withdraw it's financial support for the funding of abortions, not necessarily all of it's funding (other health services that Planned Parenthood provides) but solely the funding of abortions. If a woman has the ability to choose abortion, she should be able to pay for it herself, not rely on other people's tax money. Another possible solution, that is more favored by pro-life supporters, would be adoption. Adoption gives a life to the unborn child while also giving it to a family that truly wants to have a baby. Although adoption has been known to be one of the hardest decisions a pregnant woman can make, it would ultimately be beneficial for everyone involved.
Akinrinola Bankole, et al. "Legal Abortion Worldwide In 2008: Levels And Recent Trends." Perspectives On Sexual & Reproductive Health 43.3 (2011): 188-198. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2011.
Burrell, Barbara. "Roe V. Wade: The Abortion Rights Controversy In American History." Rhetoric & Public Affairs 5.3 (2002): 546-548. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2011.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
November 3 2011
Abortion: The Arguments in Today's Society
Abortion is one of the most highly debated topics among the world to this day. There are many different views and opinions that surround this topic that make the situation all that more complicated. The sides of the argument include Pro-Choice and Pro-Life and it is one of the only arguments that effects people morally, socially and medically. Pro-Choice refers to those who support women’s rights to abort a fetus. Pro- Life activists believe abortion should be made illegal and believe abortion is murder. When a woman is given the option to abort, immediately there is a lot of emotion and pressure surrounding the decision to be made. Depending on the circumstance, a woman’s right to abort a fetus is crucial, always controversial, but ultimately it is a very impactful decision from all angles. Pro-Life activists have valid arguments and support the right to life, but there are times where abortion is done in an understandable situation. Abortions are part of a woman’s right to choose and the law protects that right. Overall, I believe abortions can be done for the right reasons and they are always going to be needed in various circumstances, I support a woman’s right to choose.
WHO HAS ABORTIONS
According to the Guttmacher Institute, the number of abortions have been on the decline since the 1970s. 61.8% of abortions happen in 9 weeks or less into the pregnancy, it is healthiest for a woman to get an abortion done early and an easier procedure for doctors to complete. Of the women who are getting abortions, over half of them are under the age of 20. According to the picture to the right, majority of abortions happen because of financial issues, women aren’t ready for a child, there are problems with the father, and a few other reasons as well. Although there is the option of adoption after the child is born, would you really want a mother who isn’t mature enough to take care of a fetus for nine months in her womb and expect her to raise it to be healthy? I understand why Pro-Life activists want to preserve the fetus and give it a good life if a mother is unable to, but Pro-Life activists ignore the other factors such as a woman’s feelings about the situations. Teen mom’s sometimes can’t emotionally handle the effects of having or carrying a child. Their bodies haven’t planned for it and it is physically demanding and changes their childhood forever. The mother’s life is equally important the fetus and both parties are accounted for in the abortion decision.
The Guttmacher Institute provides accurate and current statistics about abortion. People who get abortions come from many different ages, races, religions and locations. Their website, link previously listed, contains a video that summarizes who, what, where, when and why all about terminating pregnancies. Along with the video and statistics, Guttmacher also provides abortion services and explains the laws surrounding the process.
The main argument made by pro-choice supporters is for choices to remain an open option for any individual, there should not be a law against deciding if having a child would be a good option for the carrier or for the unborn. By the Freed Dictionary definition, pro choice is described as “favoring or supporting the legal right of women and girls to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy to term,” (Freed). Freed Dictionary also describes pro-choice as a woman’s right to control her own body.
When a fetus isn’t recognized as entering personhood, abortion is not able to be judged by the government as murder. Recently the government has put many restrictions on abortion rights. According to the article The Case for Pro-Choice Participation in Drafting Fetal Homicide Laws, by Mary Beth Hickcox-Howard, fetal homicide laws are putting a lot of restrictions on women who want to abort. “The only acceptable response to a proposed fetal homicide law is to attempt to block its passage entirely and substitute a bill that enhances punishments for assaulting a pregnant woman, but does not create a separate criminal offense for harming of killing the fetus,” (Hickcox-Howard 319). This is an example of fetal homicide laws in action. If the government can’t make a firm destinction between attacking a pregnant woman as one person or attacking a pregnant woman as two people (the fetus being the second person), we can tell that pro-life arguments aren’t strong enough to be put into action. Pro-Choice activists do not like when new laws are passed, it creates more work for them to prove their stance. Not to say that pro-life supporters don’t have valid arguments but the fact of the matter is, the government has yet to distinguish a fetus as a human. The new laws put restrictions on abortions and make it more difficult for a woman in need to get the surgery. Each side of the abortion debate have very strong points to be made, but when looking at the facts, abortion has yet to be outlawed and women have yet to stop needing the medical procedure.
When researching the topic of abortion, a lot of results came up as personal stories and experiences. Many pro-choice activists post about positive abortion experiences, Kimberly Blessing goes into detail about the reasons of why she is pro-choice. Many of her points can resonate with many people across the United States. Blessings makes the statement, “I’m pro-choice because I know the panic a woman can suffer when she thinks she’s pregnant,” (Blessings). This feeling is common amongst countless women everywhere, we see it in everyday life, movies, TV shows and books. Maybe there was a misuse or no use of contraceptives or maybe there was an incident of rape, sometimes women feel like their life is over when they have an unplanned pregnancy. Women must know if they will be able to take care of this baby and possibly need to decide if they would be able to handle giving it up for adoption.
Blessing’s blog is very personal, her writing is very informal and appeals to many readers. After reading what she had to say it made me realize how pro-life supporters in the government are trying to get these laws passed that are ultimately stripping women’s right to choose away from them. Another point made in this blog that really opened my eyes was “I’m pro-choice because there are already too many unwanted and uncared-for children in this world, and I believe to bring another unwanted one in is cruel to that child,” (Blessings). Statements like this cannot be overlooked. Forcing a woman to go through with an unwanted pregnancy to result in an unwanted baby is an act of disrespect to those women and their child-to-be. When a woman is choosing to terminate her pregnancy, she is doing it to take care of something that would never result in a good situation for anybody. More personal abortions stories can be found at Our Bodies Ourselves.
Supporters of Pro-Life beliefs use The Bible and government policy to support their anti-abortion opinions. They believe that all lives should be saved, no matter what circumstance, no matter how long the fetus has been in the womb, according to the pro-life side of the argument, once a woman has conception of the fetus, it is a living person and abortion is murder. About every anti-abortion support group will tell you that terminating a pregnancy is the same thing is voluntarily killing an innocent human being. In my research I came across a website that fully supported life starting the second of conception. Many people contribute to the question of why pro-life? At this website readers will find personal stories of how the pro-life movement has affected them.
Most women who have gotten an abortion typically have misused contraceptives or didn’t use them, very few women use protection methods correctly who get abortions. Pro-life supporters believe abortion questions some women’s morality. A blog found about Religion and Pro-Life Issues explains why they believe a woman is guilty of murder when she is choosing to have an abortion. The blog uses God in the argument and explains how the bibles says you should not kill people. This is another way anti-abortionists say abortion is murder. Many pro-life activists use God as their reasoning as to why they do not support abortions. A blog by Frank Pavone, Priests for Life, uses different verses in the Bible to prove many reasons toward anti-abortion. Each post uses a different excerpt from the Bible and brings it back to why they feel abortion is morally wrong.
The topic is black and white for anti-abortionists, if a woman is pregnant, they should have the baby. On this side of the argument, they understand that some women are not ready to bring a child into the world, keeping that in mind, this group also provides support to help the mother raise the child or they help them with the adoption process. Religion and Politics: USA, by Lisa Sowle Cahill, explains “The Pregnant Woman Support Act proposes to reduce abortions by promoting pregnancy assistance, adoption, and education and support for new mothers,” (Cahill 189). Cahill acknowledges the fact that women who want to abort should realize there is help for them and they don’t have abort their pregnancy. This also shows how even with alternative options to abortion some women still need them. The main belief of pro-life supporters is a mother should take care of the child until it is able to live outside of the womb, they do not necessarily have to raise the baby but having the baby is the purpose of anti-abortion activists.
SETTLING THE ARGUMENT
Pro-Life supporters are accused of not giving enough support to pregnant women and pro-choice supporters are accused of being murderers. As of now, there is no settlement on the debate of abortion. Many states have lowered the amount of money they give to abortions and require much more legal processing before a woman can actually get an abortion. The numbers of abortions have been on the decline since the 1980s but they still occur fairly often. Approximately 3,700 abortions occur daily in the United States. Unintended pregnancies will always be an issue in America and abortion will continue to be debated. I believe that a woman should never be constricted to her choices dealing with her body. There are plenty of options for women to consider when entering pregnancy, and abortion should always remain to be one of them.
Cahill, Lisa Sowle. "RELIGION AND POLITICS: U.S.A." Theological Studies70.1 (2009): 186-91.
Hickcox-Howard, Mary Beth. "THE CASE FOR PRO-CHOICE PARTICIPATION IN
DRAFTING FETAL HOMICIDE LAWS." Texas Journal of Women & the Law17.2 (2008):
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
|Fracking Site in Carroll County, Ohio|
At this early stage of my research, I have to stop right here. Chemicals? In 2011, according to House Energy and Commerce Committee, SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY CHEMICALS are used in the fracking injection fluid, some being extremely hazardous to human health, such as benzene, lead, and diesel fuel. However, as I recognize the need for big change toward our betterment, I realize that perhaps big action as such might need to happen. So with an open mind, I continue.
As we all know the gas and oil industry is massively growing from fracking, thousands of jobs are predicted to be created in the near future. Our nation is rich with shale that contains natural gas, and now we have the means to extract it, which of course will bring in a huge revenue. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department is in charge of mineral rights for 700 million U.S. acres, says that hydraulic fracturing “can be done in a safe way, in an environmentally responsible way, and in a way that doesn’t create all of the concerns that it is creating across the country right now”(Cook 1).
|Marcellus Shale Wastewater Sludge Ponds in New York|
This seems scary, right? Try watching video after video of footage from homes across the United States, all near monstrous drilling sites, all the residents explaining that before the drilling company came in, their water was fine. Now it smells bad, its often murky brown, and IT LIGHTS ON FIRE.
|Arkansas Shale Gas Production Related Earthquake 2011|
Aside from flammable tap water and earthquakes, are the people nearby the drilling and the residents whose land is being leased to the drilling companies reporting of the profit and benefits of their experience? Ms. Banks, author of “Fracking Nation” visit’s the area where gas drilling first started happening on a big scale, the Barnett Shale of Fort Worth, Texas. Now with about 14,000 gas wells in this region, “residents have complained for years of contaminated water, poor air quality, and unexplained health problems such as headaches, dizziness, blackouts, and muscle contractions” (Bank 65). In some towns drilling is set up within one mile of schools where children are suffering with chronic nosebleeds, dizziness, and nausea (Bank 65). The PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center reports that in Pennsylvania more than 3,000 gas fracking wells were within two miles of 320 day care centers, 67 schools, and nine hospitals.
|The Marcellus Shale|
|Sign a petition to keep Wayne National Forest safe from fracking.|
October 23, 2011
Lockout or Payout?
Lockouts seem to be a large portion of recent news, whether it is the NFL, NBA or NHL. The 2004-2005 NHL season was completely cancelled due to a lockout. The NFL had a lockout for the 2012 season but the owners and players resolved the issue and are having a successful season. This does not seem to be the case for the Nation Basketball Association though. They are currently in a lockout that has already cancelled the first two weeks of this season. So what is a “lockout” exactly? It is basically a dispute between owners and players over aspects of the NBA. One of the main focuses of their disputes is money. The NBA is currently fighting over money. The already extremely rich NBA owners are attempting to take even more money from the players. As it looks the lockout will continue till the players are willing to give up more money to the owners. While more and more of the season gets cancelled both the players and the owners will continually lose money. The players gain no money at all while the lockout continues. The owners who are still being greedy and asking for more money are still getting paid from television providers like TBS, Fox and TNT. I find it strange that while the owners are asking for more money they are still receiving hefty paychecks. This NBA lockout is a standoff between millionaires and billionaires.
With the possibility of the entire season being cancelled many NBA stars are doing other jobs or playing overseas just to earn a paycheck. “Nets All-Star Deron Williams has a deal with Turkish club Besiktas - which is also courting Kobe Bryant - and most top players said they would consider playing overseas,”
Many star players a being forced to play overseas so that they can make a paycheck. With no end in sight more and more players will be playing overseas or getting regular jobs like us to stay afloat. The lockout is hardest on rookie players that just got drafted. They have no received a paycheck yet so there is no nest egg in which they can live off of during the lockout. Many rookie players like Kyrie Irving have decided to go back to college. Irving will be a sophomore at Duke and will still be able to increase his skills while playing in the NCAA. Like I said before the lockout is just billionaires versus millionaires. At the end of the day the owners are going to get want they want because they have more power. They have more money and can risk losing an entire season because they are still making money off of television contracts. The players that cannot play overseas will soon fold into the owners. The owners will get what they want and will soon be even richer while the players’ salaries are harshly cut. The owners are trying to make a 50-50 split in the money going to players and owners. There are 30 teams so about 30 owners and around 450 players. It is outrageous that the owners are asking for a split of the money when there are 15 times the number of players than there are owners. The owners are going to continue to do a standoff and not agree to a deal until it is exactly what they want. The players will slowly begin to break down and offer more and more money to the owners until they agree. Hopefully this point happens before the entire season is cancelled. A cancellation is a huge threat this year and hopefully they will reach an agreement before that has to happen.
My partner Michaela understood the basic idea behind my report concerning senate bill 5 and its negative outcomes for the public. I probably do need to address and change some of the pictures and videos in my article to make more persuasive and relevant to the argument I am trying to make. I just found pictures that looked like they may describe what I was talking about but they weren’t directly related or discussed. I probably need to discuss what is happening in the photos to make more of a connection. The feedback definitely was helpful. I never would have thought about the pictures if it wasn’t for Michaela’s input. After reading Michaela’s I wanted to revise my last paragraph and add a way to combat senate bill 5 because I left that out. I also wanted to include more information about my video and pictures. My argument as I would describe is that senate bill 5 is meant to bring down the debt of Ohio but the negatives that come along with it for the public don’t at this point in time outweigh the reduced weight.