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Word Count: 690
ABORTION All sides of the issue Overview of abortion An unsolvable dilemma How often In the United States women choose to end about 25 of their pregnancies through abortion 1 This number has been gradually declining since 1979 This is similar to the Canadian figure of 21 2 but is much lower than that of the former Soviet Union 60 and Romania 78 where contraceptives are in short supply Opposing beliefs A social consensus exists that when life becomes human life that the human being must be protected Many religions organizations and individuals have passionately held but conflicting beliefs about when human life begins This naturally leads to opposing policies on whether a woman should have access to abortion In spite of what the media might say this struggle cannot be reduced to a simple pro-choice vs pro-life conflict There are people within each side who take many slightly different positions To most pro-lifers life becomes human life at the instant of conception Thus they see an abortion clinic as the ethical equivalent of a Nazi death camp To pro-choicers human life begins later in gestation or at birth They view abortion as a civil rights matter -- a decision that should be left up to an informed woman and her physician The objectives of both groups are the same to reduce the number of abortions and to make any needed abortions safe However they have very different methods of achieving their goals and they have divergent beliefs about which abortions are justifiable They are thus unable to cooperate That is in our opinion a pity With the energy knowledge and ability that each side has they could make major reductions in the abortion rate if they were able to cooperate Status In the US the pro-life and pro-choice movements are both powerful and active At this time compromise appears to be impossible In Canada the pro-life movement has lost most
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