Throughout the history of the United States, no Supreme Court ruling has been as controversial as the 1973 ruling of Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion in the entire country. Today, over one million legal abortions occur in the United States, but not without tough opposition from anti-abortion advocates. Since the 1973 ruling, individual states have passed laws making it more difficult for a pregnant woman to have an abortion. Although currently, there is no outright ban in any state on abortion, lobbyists and politicians are pressing harder for legislation to repeal Roe vs. Wade. The process of legalized abortion is going backwards, and if some politicians and lobbyists have their way, government funds can be drained by those who shouldn’t have been born in the first place.
Abortion should remain legal everywhere throughout the United States, and should be tax payer funded for those who cannot afford it.
President Barack Obama had the correct idea when his original health care proposal included tax payer funded abortions. Those funds were directed towards women who could not afford the abortion procedure. Obviously, if a woman cannot afford an abortion, she cannot afford to keep her child; subsequently, having the child will require government aided welfare programs. The average cost of an abortion is only $500, compared to the monthly cost of clothing, food, and shelter, $500 is a very small price to pay. With the United States currently in $14 trillion of debt, any dollar that can be saved should be saved.
As well as the strain on welfare funds, making abortion illegal would also result in higher prison costs. In early 1990, violent crime peaked after rising 80 percent over the previous 15 years. Suddenly over the next 3 years, crime dropped inexplicably. One often overlooked reason for this was the ruling of Roe vs. Wade. It was in those years, 1990 – 1993, that the children that would have been born, if not for legal abortion, would have reached their late teens, the peak age for violent crime. In 1973, women most likely to have an abortion were teenagers, poor, unmarried, or often a combination of the three. Poverty and single parenting are two of the largest foreshadowers to criminal behavior. To help further relate abortion to crime, data was compared between states which abortion was legalized before 1973, to those that made abortion legal after Roe vs. Wade. The states that abortion was made legal before 1973, had a crime drop well before the drop in crime for the states who made abortion legal after 1973. Another factor that was taken into consideration was abortion rate versus crime, and states with the highest abortion rates in the 1970’s had the highest drop of crime in the 1990’s.
As of 2005, one prisoner costs about $22,000 a year to incarcerate. The average cost of a prisoner serving life is $1.5 million. The average cost of an abortion is $500, which could have the potential of saving thousands if not millions of dollars, potentially being the key word because not all would be abortion babies have to turn into criminals.
The major issue facing abortions today is the morality of killing a fetus. Some believe it is not right to take the life of another human being, that it is essentially murder. That fetus could potentially develop the cure for cancer. The ultimate fight for life comes from religious leaders. Christians believe it isn’t right by The Bible or their god, and also Muslims believe it is wrong by the Qur’an. They believe the best alternative to abortion is adoption, abstinence from sex, or birth control.
No legislation should be made based off religious opinions, church and state should remain separate according to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Religion is pushing abortion in the wrong direction using scare tactics. Religious leaders contradict themselves all the time, if killing a fetus is murder then so is birth control since an ovarian egg is wasted. Religious people believe that abortion should be illegal, but don’t believe in punishment for those women who would seek illegal abortions.
The 1973 ruling of Roe vs. Wade said that if a mother wants an abortion she is being rational:
The detriment that the State would impose upon the pregnant woman by denying this choice altogether is apparent. . . . Maternity, or additional offspring, may force upon the woman a distressful life and future. Psychological harm may be imminent. Mental and physical health may be taxed by child care. There is also the distress, for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it. (Dubner, Levitt 137)
If a woman is denied an abortion there is no doubt it would become a problem, not just to her but to society in general. A child should be wanted, cared for, and nurtured properly to grow into a productive member of society. Only then can the child grow up to discover a cure to cancer or many other scientific mysteries. The proper environment means everything. When a child grows up in an unwanted and unstable environment, he is more likely to become a criminal. If a woman is denied an abortion today, the child could murder you tomorrow. Abortion is a preventative maintenance, like changing oil in a car before the engine blows.
Dubner, Stephan, and Steven Levitt. Freakonomics. New York: Harper, 2009. Print.