Abortion is the ending of pregnancy by removing a fetus or embryo before it can survive outside the uterus. An abortion that occurs spontaneously is also known as a miscarriage. An abortion may be caused purposely and is then called an induced abortion, or less frequently, "induced miscarriage". The word abortion is often used to mean only induced abortions. A similar procedure after the fetus could potentially survive outside the womb is known as a "late termination of pregnancy".
The question of whether it is morally permissible or terminate the life of a fetus had led to a polarization of views into two camps; the right to life versus the women's right to choose.
On one hand, reproductive choice empowers women by giving them control over their own bodies. The choice over when and whether to have children is central to a woman's independence and ability to determine her future. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote in the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, "The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives." Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissenting opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) that undue restrictions on abortion infringe upon "a woman's autonomy to determine her life's course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature." CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, JD, stated that Roe v. Wade was "a landmark of what is, in the truest sense, women’s liberation."
On the other hand, people say that life begins at conception, so unborn babies are human beings with a right to life. Upon fertilization, a human individual is created with a unique genetic identity that remains unchanged throughout his or her life. This individual has a fundamental right to life, which must be protected. Jerome Lejeune, the French geneticist who discovered the chromosome abnormality that causes Down syndrome, stated that "To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention, it is plain experimental evidence."
Alastair V. Campbell. Bioethics. The Basics. 2013 By Routledge.