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Introduction Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about adultery in The Scarlet Letter but the A word these days is abortion People often break off friendships ostracize each other and are intolerant of others having different opinions on this subject This is very sad because we can all learn from each other The rest of this abortion essay is divided into two parts First is a general discussion mentioning some legal issues Then the legal issues will be discussed in more detail Be aware that some of the following material is personal opinion although you will also find a lot of information including links General Discussion For thousands of years of western civilization abortion was illegal after quickening the point at about four months into pregnancy when a baby kicks and the mom feels it This tradition can be traced back at least to the Ancient Greeks In his book Politics Aristotle said that the line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having sensation and being alive1 Aristotle contended that the right to life generally accrues earlier than birth and irrespective of whether the baby is strong enough to survive after birth ie viability This standard of Aristotle leaves plenty of room for special rules and exceptions in order to legalize some late abortions for the life of the mother rape incest grave fetal deformity maiming of the mother et cetera 2 Quickening usually occurs at least two months before viability I agree with those who would draw a line between lawful and unlawful abortion no later than four months after conception but no earlier than the end of the embryonic stage This happens to be what the vast majority of people generally believes 3 Because the abortion pill RU486 is only effective on an embryo up until the ninth week of pregnancy I have loudly supported its legalization for many years If
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