Pro-life or pro-choice? This has been one of the most divisive ethical issues of our time. It represents two entirely different ideologies and, in a way, two different walks of life.
The 1973 Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade legalized a wide array of abortions, and the controversy has raged back and forth since. A common viewpoint from the pro-life perspective has its roots in religious dogma: every living being has the spark of the divine, and every human has a soul, even fetuses. This argument hinges on the belief that it is impermissible to terminate any living human for something as petty as short-term convenience. On the other side of the fence are those that believe humans are autonomous beings that deserve to have control over their own bodies. This argument is based around the thought that an unborn child is part of the mother, and thus the mother has the right to decide what to do with it.
Of course, these simply define the parameters--- the extremes of both viewpoints. Many believers in a pro-life viewpoint concede that abortion or other similar practices (like post-conception contraception practices) are valid in certain situations--- primarily in the case of rape or in a situation where the woman’s life is endangered by the pregnancy. Likewise, a significant portion of people who are pro-choice stand against the practice of partial-birth abortion--- the act of aborting the fetus during the process of birth. More believe that abortion should only be permitted before a certain amount of time passes (generally one or two trimesters).
Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church and one of the leaders of Christianity in general from the 1970s into the 21st century. Either he mirrors his faith or his faith mirrors him, but either way he was one of the most notable voices on the topic. He states that a human fetus “is to be respected and treated as a person”, and that abortion is an “unspeakable crime” (275). His belief, that abortion is...