Overview of the Abortion Issue

Many Americans believe that legal abortions are equivalent to government approval of the taking of a human life. Advances in the understanding of fetal development tend to support the concept that personality characteristics which we identify as "human" occur quite early.

Supporters of legal abortion strongly believe that the decision belongs to the individual, not the government. They also note that banning abortions will not stop them. Rather, they will force women into again having illegal abortions.

The political controversy surrounding abortion does not significantly focus on the frequency of abortion and the behaviors which create the dilemma that many women face.