Abortion vs. Adoption Research Paper

Abortion is a hotly debated topic in most western societies. Both sides of the argument can put forward a range of reasons for their position, many of which raise important issues. Two of the most frequently discussed points are the right of a woman to control her own reproductive capacity and the right of an unborn child to live. It’s immediately obvious that these two arguments are very hard to reconcile; defending one right will inevitably interfere with the other. Anti-abortion advocates often suggest adoption as a solution. If you’re looking at writing a research paper on this issue there are a few points that should be examined.

Is adoption really an alternative?

It can be argued that if a woman is pregnant and doesn’t want the baby, she can give birth then offer the child for adoption rather than have an abortion. The advantage of this is that a child will be born and have a chance at life. On the other hand the woman will still have to go through a pregnancy she does not want. As well as the small but well established health risks of pregnancy this may affect her career prospects.

Is abortion less risky?

In many cases - tens of thousands a year - women want abortions because their pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. If these women are compelled to remain pregnant and give birth they will be forcibly reminded, every day for several months, of what happened to them. There is strong evidence that this delays the process of getting over the attack and can cause serious mental health issues. It can be argued that abortion is punishing an unborn child for the actions of a rapist; it can equally well be argued that denial of abortion is punishing the woman for being a victim.

Does adoption increase choice?

The evidence is that, having given birth, very few women are willing to give the child up for adoption; most studies suggest around 2-3% will do so. It is possible that a woman who may have opted for abortion will change her mind after her baby is born and decide to keep it; this gives her a choice that abortion would have taken away. If, having given birth, she still does not want the child adoption is available. There is no shortage of would-be parents seeking a child to adopt.

Does adoption protect rights?

This is a difficult question to answer, and usually comes down to the individual’s personal views on which rights are more important. Adoption is the preferred choice for those who value the right to life of a fetus above other factors; on the other hand those who place more value on a woman’s right to control her body favor the availability of abortion. It should be noted that pro-choice advocates do not object to a woman giving birth then having the child adopted; they simply feel that she has the right to choose abortion instead.