Discuss the Role Parental Involvement plays in the Educational Development of children


Impacts of Parental Involvement in the Educational
Development of Children

It is precisely obvious that parental involvement is very important in the educational development of children. Two-way communication between families and schools is essential both for schools and for. For a variety of reasons, however, many parents and teachers find themselves unable to timely contact each other when they find a need.  This study aims to answer the following questions:
1.  What is the profile of parents’ involvement towards their children’s educational development?
2. What is the level of academic performance and educational development of the students based on their parental involvement?
3. Is there a significant relationship between parental involvement and educational development of the children?
4. What are the roles of parents in the educational development of their children?
5. What are the possible remedies to effectively work on the issue regarding students’ educational development?
It employed the descriptive-correlation design using the two sets of validated questionnaire in which the first part measured the parental involvement while the second had focused on measuring the level of educational development of the children.

Table of Contents
Abstract                                            2
Introduction                                    4
Related Literature                                 5
Related Studies                                  7
Statement of the Problem
Research Design                                10
Participants                                    10
Research Instruments                                10
Data Gathering Procedure                            10
Data Analysis                                    11
Summary                                    15
Conclusions                                    15
Recommendations                                16
REFERENCES                                        17

Chapter 1
What can parents do in the educational development of their children?
The topic of family is of great social importance because it pertains to the issues regarding the proper upbringing of parents to their children. Family perspective is closely related to many other understanding processes, including how to up bring children in order to build a successful and strong family ties. Just as in any other situation where people are expected to coexist, family members, most especially children, begin to take on particular roles within the family. These roles could very well be the due result of their family dynamics
What is parental involvement? Children have two main educators in their lives – their parents and their teachers. Parents are the prime educators until the child attends nursery or starts school, but they still remain a major influence on their children’s learning through school and beyond. There is no clear line to show where the parents’ input stops and the teachers’ input begins. The school and the parents all have crucial roles to play, and the impact is greater if parents and schools work in partnership.
Family factors most importantly touch the issue on the children’s academic achievement in the present society. Since it is the responsibility of the parents to raise their children with proper mentoring, school, indeed, has strong impact to this concern. This research will present the relationship of the family with the children’s performance in school, both positive and negative, and thus will provide information about the significance of appropriate upbringing of the offspring. The researcher precisely believes that kin relationship highly impacts the children’s social life, which basically speaks of students’ excellent academic performance.

Related Literature
What is the impact of family learning on children’s achievement? OFSTED (2000) reported that successful programs of family learning resulted in the following benefits. For children: accelerated development of oracy and preliteracy; skills improved standards in numeracy and literacy positive behavioral and attitudinal changes enhanced confidence and self-esteem awareness that learning is a normal activity throughout life pleasure from collaborative learning. For parents: improved competence in literacy and numeracy progression for over 50 percent of participants to FE and training or more challenging jobs increased confidence in contacts with schools, teachers, and the education system, leading to becoming more active partners with schools a greater understanding of child development and of the strategies that can be used to help children to learn at key points in development, improved parenting better relationships with children.
Mothers are often in charge at home. What about fathers and their involvement in their children’s education? Fathers play an extremely important role in their children’s lives, and a plethora of research indicates that paternal involvement is significantly related to positive child outcomes. It is known that fathers are often very involved in their children’s lives. For example, fathers are often the main sitters for children while mothers are working. Research states that in 36 percent of dual-earner families, after the mother, it is the father, more than any other individual, who cares for children. Research evidence relating to fathers reveals that fathers who devote time to their sons are giving them a greater chance to grow up as confident adults. Boys who feel that their fathers devote time, especially to talk to them about their worries, school work, and social lives, almost all emerge as motivated
and optimistic men. Paternal involvement in children’s education at age seven predicts higher educational attainment by age 20 in both boys and girls. For boys, early paternal involvement protects against delinquency in later life as the involvement of fathers exerts an influence on children’s positive attitudes to school.
Oliva (2009) states that family dynamics are influenced by family structure, for example, how many children are in the family, whether one or two parents live in the home, whether or not there is a stepparent in the family, cultural background and the personalities of each member. All of these examples contribute to the influence of family dynamics.
Moreover, Cousineau (2009) formulates an idea that children who see violence at home are more likely to have many emotional and behavioral problems. They may become quiet and withdrawn. They may also have nightmares. Further, they may even blame themselves for what their parents are doing. Other children may act out, become violent themselves, and become so protective of their feelings that they lose the ability to feel for others. Because of the bad feelings from home, children may do poorly in school. About half of the men who hurt their wives hurt their children as well. Growing up in a home where there is violence has a lasting effect on children. Boys are more likely to grow up to be men who hurt their wives and children. On the other hand, girls are more likely to grow up to be women with low self-esteem and may end up in abusive relationships with boyfriends or husbands.
According to Mosby’s Medical Dictionary (2009), family dynamics is defined as the forces at work within a family that produce particular behaviors or symptoms. It is the way in which a family lives and interacts with one another that creates the dynamic. That dynamic, whether good or bad, changes who people are and burrows into their psyche, ultimately influencing how they view and interact with the world outside of their family. There are many families whose dynamic is suffering in this country, families who are having a difficult time dealing with the serious issues in their life. When that happens, even the simpler problems seem more dramatic than they really are and oftentimes go unresolved. When a family becomes overwhelmed, unable to cope with life’s everyday stress and their relationships falling apart, then it is a time that all the rest will be affected strongly. Children and young people who experience violence in their families are more likely than children who have not experienced any form of family violence to develop severe behavioral problems, become violent as adolescents, and continue the cycle of violence.
Related Studies
Many studies have been related to the research of family factors affecting children’s academic performance. A study conducted by Reilly (2010) states that a family is certainly a unit for developing qualities of an individual. Family values represent the core values and guidelines that family members hold in high regard for the well-being of the family.
Haveman and Wolfe (1994) analyzed data from the Panel study of Income Dynamics accumulated over the years 1968-1988 and found that mother’s employment during one’s adolescent years (age 12-15) has a significant positive effect on the likelihood of high school graduation but no effect on completed years of schooling.  These mixed findings make intuitive sense considering high school graduation is not as far removed from age 15 as is the completion of one’s schooling
Wells (2011) stated in his study that educational outcomes may differ between children of working mothers and children of nonworking mothers for two reasons. One is that the overall effect mother’s employment has on educational attainment consists of competing positive and negative effects, which may end up cancelling each other out.  Specifically, the positive effects of maternal employment may be the added income and the role-modeling function (especially for girls), whereas the negative effects may be the time taken away from the children, which results in less interaction and less supervision
“When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.” That is the conclusion of a recent report from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. The report, a synthesis of research on parent involvement over the past decade, goes on to find that regardless of family income or background:
students with involved parents are more likely to earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs; be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits; attend school regularly; have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school; and graduate and go on to postsecondary education (Henderson & Mapp, 2002).
However, if parents have a central role in influencing their children’s progress in school, research has shown that schools, in turn, have an important part to play in determining levels of parent involvement (Epstein, 2001). Working to include parents is particularly important as students grow older and in schools with high concentrations of poor and minority students (Rutherford et al., 1997).
A report from the U.S. Department of Education cites several reasons for the decline in involvement as children grow older. Parents of middle schoolers often report feeling that children should do homework alone and that the parents should not try to help if they are not experts in the subject. The structure of many middle schools can also deter parents. Middle schools are larger and more impersonal than most elementary schools, and students may receive instruction from several teachers, meaning parents no longer have one contact in the school who knows their child well (Rutherford et al., 1997).
However, research also shows there are ways middle schools can overcome such impediments. Organizing a middle school so that at least one person knows each child well, keeping a “parent room” in the building, and sponsoring parent-to-parent communication and events are key parts of an effective parent-involvement program in the middle grades (Berla, Henderson, & Kerewsky, 1989).
Statement of the Problem
This study is conducted to determine the relationship and roles of parents to the educational development of their children. Also, it seeks to identify the blockades of the issue mentioned in the preceding sentence. More importantly, it is conducted to present possible remedies or recommendations to the raised problem so that it can help the target audience to be aware about how their actions will leave strong impacts.
Specifically, it aims to answer the following questions:
1. What is the profile of parents’ involvement in their children’s educational development?
2. What is the level of academic performance and educational development of the students based on their parental involvement?
3. Is there a significant relationship between parental involvement and educational development of the children?
4. What are the roles of parents in the educational development of their children?
5. What are the possible remedies to effectively work on the issue regarding students’ educational development?

Chapter 2
Research Designs
The method used in this research is the descriptive-correlation method. It is concerned with obtaining information regarding the current status of the phenomenon being studied to determine what exists with respect to the variables of the study. Furthermore, it involves determining the extent of relationship between existing variables: parental involvement and level of educational performance and development of the children.
The respondents of this study are: 1) one section of 4th grade students which is composed of 25 students and 2) 25 parents having children who are studying in school.
Research Instruments
This study used two questionnaires in finding the general description or profile of parents’ involvement and the children’s level of educational development.
The first questionnaire is for the general description of the parents’ involvement wherein a set of questions were prepared. On the other hand, the second questionnaire focused on the level of children’s educational achievement.
The indicated questionnaires were subjected to final validation by two experts in the field of education such as the doctorate degree holder and so on.
Data Gathering Procedure
The following steps were observed in the data-collection process:
1. Seeking permission from the head of the school/academy to conduct the study;
2. Giving of the questionnaire to the target respondents;
3. Retrieval of accomplished instruments; and
4. Statistical treatment of data.
Data Analysis
The accomplished questionnaires were scored and tallied. The researchers used the Average Mean and Pearson Product-Moment Coefficient Correlation as statistical treatments in the study.
The average was used to describe the general profile or description of culture among the students in Saudi Arabia. It was also used to identify the level of reading comprehension of the respondents.
The Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient Correlation was used to identify the relationship of the variables of the study, which are the culture and religion and English vocabulary of students in Saudi Arabia.

Chapter 3
The data gathered in this study are basically quantitative through the appropriate statistical instruments administered to the intended respondents that were further analyzed. Finally, the researcher came up with final results, and the discussions of these were arranged according to the following subheadings: 1) Profile of the parental involvement to their children; 2) Level of the educational development of the children; 3) Relationship of parental involvement and the educational development of the children.
Profile of Parental Involvement
Table 1 shows the summary of parental involvement of the parents to the children’s development. The respondents (parents) were to answer whether they participated or guided their children in reading, accomplishment of homework or assignment, school activities, numerical knowledge, and even in leisure time activities.
Teaches children to read
Attends school activities (meetings, programs, etc.)
Helps or guides children in doing
Teaches children how to about numerical problems
Spends leisure time together during free time

Table 1. General profile of parental involvement towards their children’s educational development (Based on majority’s response)
Level of Children’s Educational Development
Table 2 shows the summary of the children’s educational development. It includes the description of their reading and numerical or mathematical ability. It further touches on their performance in their homework and their social relationship with their classmates.
Reading ability (Language)
Very High
Numerical or mathematical ability
Attendance in school activities (meetings, programs, etc)
Social interaction with classmates and teachers
Very high

Table 2. Summary of the children’s educational attainment
Relationship of Parental Involvement and Educational Development of the Children
Based on the collated data, the researcher had come up with the interpretation.
The relationship between parental involvement and educational development of children was statistically tested using the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient.
The Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient measured at 0.80 indicates very high correlation. This means that there is, indeed, very high relationship between parental involvement and the educational development of the children. Meaning, parents’ involvement in their children’s life impacts the latter’s development when it comes to their academic performance as well as their social contact.
In reading, as early and as often as the parents teach their children how to read, children would find it easy to grasp the strategy of doing so; therefore, this would affect the other areas or subjects as well. This is focused on English, which is advantageously used as a medium of instruction. Secondly, as seen from the data, parents are only teaching their children mathematics sometimes, and likewise, there are only few and chosen children who are good in this field. Homework as well would affect students’ academic performance. There are tasks given to students that require parental guidance and instruction. More so, frequency of parental contact with their children would affect their way of dealing with their colleagues and on parental attention during school activities.
Henceforth, parents should understand their role of being the primary teacher to their children, which is only followed by the school. Since they are the first agent of their children’s transformation and educational development, they should provide their kids with vast knowledge and wisdom through their time allotment appropriate for the children as an excellent development comes from a perfect upbringing.

Chapter 4
This chapter presents the summary of the findings of the study from which conclusion and recommendation were drawn from.
This study on the impacts of parental involvement in the educational development of children was conducted to answer the following questions:
1. What is the profile of parents’ involvement on their children’s educational development?
2. What is the level of academic performance and educational development of the students based on their parental involvement?
3. Is there a significant relationship between parental involvement and educational development of the children?
4. What are the roles of parents in the educational development of their children?
5. What are the possible remedies to effectively work on the issue regarding students’ educational development?
Data were drawn and went through analysis and interpretation that led to the following finding: There is, indeed, very high relationship between parental involvement and the educational development of the children.
Based on the results and finding, the following conclusions were drawn:
1. Generally, parents oftentimes involve themselves to the educational development of their children.
2. It is conclusively true that parental involvement has a very high relationship with the educational development of their children.
3. Parental involvement is the primary factor affecting the educational attainment of the children.
Based on the results and finding, the following recommendations were made:
1) Parents should be responsible in playing their role as the main teachers to their children.
2) Parents should give their best in introducing proper education to their kids through reading and numerical practice as early as possible.
3) Parents, though busy, should allot time in guiding and supervising their children with their homework as well as providing the leisure time due to them.
4) Parents should be reminded about their responsibility in the inside-the-campus activities of their children.
5) Further study must be conducted on the other factors that elevate the level of children’s academic performance.


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Epstein, J. (2001). School, family, and community partnerships. Boulder: Westview Press.

Epstein, J.L. & Van Voorhis,F.L. (2001). More than minutes: Teachers’ roles in designing
homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 181-193.

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Involved in Their Children’s Education?” Review of Educational Research 67:3 – 42.

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Running head: COLOR BLUE


My Life as a Person Strongly Influenced by Blue






My Life as a Person Strongly Influenced by Blue

A single word to describe myself based on my dominant color.

A single word to describe myself, based on blue, my dominant color, is the word “builder”. Mary Miscisin (2009) pointed out that blue people tend to have their world revolving around relationships and people. They value building quality relationships. I have noted through introspection and also from evaluations by colleagues that I have this inclination towards building in other people traits such as self-esteem and making them realize their true potential. Therefore, I can arguably make the general deduction that, as a blue, I value building strong relationships. Furthermore, I tend to avoid and dislike violence, lack of communication, sarcasm, lying, personal rejection, and lack of close friendships – all of which are obstacles to developing and establishing valuable relationships.

How my color line-up affects my inter-personal communication in a general sense

My color line up in order is blue, gold, green and orange. Blue is my most dominant color. Since blue persons like – or rather love – building relationships, it is not very difficult for me to approaching people and strike friendships with people who were previously mere acquaintances. Gold, being my next dominant color is revealed in my melancholic personality. This color and accompanying personality trait makes me approachable albeit formally. The third color in the lineup is green because I generally do not like small talk since I tend to be highly rational in my conversations. Therefore, albeit rarely, I prefer having serious conversations in which the subject matter is worth discussing. Finally, as a seldom orange, even though I would often be found having serious conversation or being contemplative, I still find the time to entertain some fun and humor in my life even if it is not predominantly.


How my color line-up affects the way I perceive new situations

When I am faced with new situations, whether it is a challenge or a positive change, I accept it and take it one step at a time. I acknowledge it, like most blue persons do, because it is part of my search for deeper meaning in life. I always look for the good and the positive side of the situation. Secondly, having a good amount of the gold temperament, my motivation is to belong, that is why in order to be, I acknowledge changes. I tend to notice a lot of details in the new situation that other people would otherwise miss. On the other hand, being almost least green, there is a side in me that tends to question new situations. For the most instances, these are those challenging cases. And again, very rarely, there are times that I instantly delve into new situations, embracing them fully, without question, perhaps for the excitement that it brings. These times of orange behavior are random moments whereby people would often say that I am not being myself.

How my color line-up affects my problem-solving techniques

In terms of solving problems, I tend to rely heavily on my feelings and intuition, although this is not always the case. Other times I would use my intuitive skills to form a basis for rational judgment and then I begin analyzing the problem from there. These uses of emotional intuition reveal the traits of orange in my personality. On the other hand, in situations whereby the problem is too difficult for me to solve, my green side would appear. This is because I will tend to become obsessed with my inability to solve the problem and will spend a lot of time thinking about it. Lastly, as far as my orange traits are concerned, I cannot think of any traits that I apply to problematic situations.


How my color line-up affects my emotional responses

Being primarily a Choleric and a people-person, I tend to be compassionate more often than not. Since I am not really predominantly contemplative like melancholic people, I tend to depend a lot on feelings and whims. However, the gold side of me unfolds when the situation is concerned with responsibility. Responsibilities must come first, so I try doing away with my compassionate responses. This is often a difficult feat and a challenge as the tendency to put the person before the responsibility is very high. It is not very often that my green trait is exemplified in emotional situations, as for a fact, green people rely on logic most of the time. I seldom try to rationalize emotional situations. Orange, being the least present within me, during emotional cases may also not come out in me as orange people will most likely try to move on over the emotional situation.

How my color line-up affects my reaction to conflict, and ability to deal with it

As an initial instinct, when a conflict situation arises, I tend to always want to resolve it as fast as possible or ignore it. I would quickly seek to make peace with the person that I am in conflict with. My being gold does not show up in the conflict situation and it therefore does not significantly influence my ability to deal with it. Because I am aware that gold people tend to control the situation and always have the argument in their favor, I do just the opposite. I am always quick to apologize or take the fault. But I think this is because I deem it an easier and quicker way of ending the conflict. Sometimes, my being green becomes evident when the person whom I am in conflict with gives irrational arguments, which I sometimes point out. My orange side does not show in such cases because I am not inclined to saying harsh words or making hasty decisions when confronted with conflict.


What I consider would be a beneficial change for me in the way my rainbow of colors unfolds.

I appreciate it that I have a blue personality. Because of the characteristics attributed to this color trait, I can make a difference in other people’s lives. I can bring out the best in them without imposing any pressure or carrying a domineering attitude. Nevertheless, perhaps I could be a better person if some gold traits, like the strength of planning, would be honed in me. With that, I know I can be more responsible in accomplishing my tasks and setting life’s goals as well. On the one hand, when it comes to unfolding a strand of green trait in me, it would all be helpful if I could work independently. This is somewhat hard for me since I always enjoy other people’s company. But it is something I am willing to work towards attaining. Meanwhile, I would also prefer it if I could acquire a more heightened sense of adventure as is present in my orange trait. I believe being care-free once in a while enriches life. If these color traits would unfold in me, I can further utilize them in making others feel good about themselves. I will also use the change for self-progress, enriching my self-esteem. On the other hand, I want to get rid of negative traits such as being passive, suppressing and not confronting problems, being overly sentimental, and being too generous.










Imagine a scenario where you need to help a client come to terms with the recent loss of employment. Suggest some things it might be important to remember about your approach to the client based on the client’s color line-up, and some options you might suggest, when dealing with this situation with:
A client whose rainbow is dominated by Blue

For this client whose dominant color is similar to mine, I will make sure that I acknowledge their positive attributes, as they are positive thinking persons. Blue persons need to be reassured of their self-worth. I will see to it that I show my appreciation for the little favors he has done to himself; maintain a constant communication with him as he needs someone whom he can express his emotions; have patience with him as I know he may always need the pep talks. I will tell him to let go and move on and be in a harmonious environment. When giving him recommendations, I will try not to sound bossy. I will reaffirm that he always has this opportunity please leaders, build relationships, and help others. Nonetheless, I will not treat the counseling as an ego-building for him, but I will tell him what he needs to know but never let him feel that he is neglected. I will suggest that he should spend time with his friends. Company would be the greatest asset that I could provide such a person with.
A client whose rainbow is dominated by Green

I have to admit that approaching this client is pretty hard since he is not into emotional conversations. Therefore, I have to carefully think about what I am going to say since green people are drawn towards people who are both logical and objective. For this, I provide an authentic feedback on the quality of his work. This will and should include the negative aspects that he needs to improve upon. Therefore, I will allow myself to disagree without criticism, that is, I will paint for him the bigger picture and show him how this set back can be used as a stepping stone for an even better job. I will give patient answers to all his questions. I will relate the possibilities he can undertake that can have a very positive impact to his future for I know how important he considers the future. I will reiterate to him that he still has unending opportunities to display competence, explore options, and learn.

A client whose rainbow is dominated by Gold

It would be much easier to talk to a gold person especially since that it is also my next dominant color. The first thing that I just have to bear in mind is to provide him with a consistent line of advice. I will tell him that he needs to move on since he has these responsibilities on himself and his family. I will help him devise and establish clear principles regarding moving on with the trauma of employment termination. I know I can get him through that since gold people value responsibility. I will also make him realize the concrete awards he can achieve in starting life anew. I will encourage him to take advantage of this period to plan his next move since a gold person like him does planning best. I will do my best to highlight his positive qualities by telling him how his being disciplined and diligent, and industrious will enable him to get to the place where he wants to be. I will acknowledge that he is realistic, but he still has to take high risks. At the same time I will suggest that he should not overwork himself and learn to indulge in other things like rest and recreation so that if something fails, he would not get that frustrated. He must try not to plan for everything, try to be spontaneous like orange and have fun, let go and be care-free for once.
A client whose rainbow is dominated by Orange

Like green persons, orange persons are also difficult to talk to since my traits are very different from theirs. This is even harder for a traumatic situation such as termination of employment. This is not a frequent or sudden change that he is used to and he will thus find it harder to cope with. Therefore, I will have challenge his imagination by suggesting that he choose an outdoor or field job to suit his very mobile personality. This is meant to get him to see the job termination as an opportunity. I will tell him to go for a living that does not impose unnecessary restrictions. On the other hand, so as not to force himself to let go that instant of the distress, he may want to letit out through nature trekking, spending more time in the gym and all the stuffs he enjoys the most. I will tell him of his great strengths that everybody does not possess. For instance, he can act quickly, succeed or fail without interference, and express himself. I know that orange people believe that they deserve and are worthy of the best, so best to encourage him to opt to do private practice. In that way, he has the time in his full hands and all the freedom he seeks for always.


Mulkeen, P. (2002). Clash or coordinate? Understanding personality styles. Extension Service, West Virginia University.

Miscisin, M. (2009). Showing our true colors. Port Talbot, SA: True Colors Publishing


Persuasive Speech on Wearing your seat belt





Persuasive Speech on wearing your seat belt

Everybody makes choices every day. It could be something basic like what colour of suit should you wear, or something major like should I put on a seat belt. I hold the opinion that all of these choices have an impact on our lives. I hope all of you who are listening to this speech today make the bigger choice of wearing your seatbelts in your day-to-day travelling. The rate of deaths has been on the rise, and this has concerned me. This has initiated my urge to do this research. Therefore, I have credible material and information on this topic.

I believe that everybody who is a driver, any passenger and everybody whose means of transport is a vehicle should and is supposed to put on a seatbelt. When you are driving or even riding in a vehicle, putting on your seat belt will bring down your chance of death or serious injury, in case of a major accident. I will first avail to you a predicament that has dramatic consequences but could be handled very easily (Reenes 4).

Then I will deliberate on a feasible solution to aid in bringing down this predicament. Finally, I will tell you how you can handle the problem on a personal level. Let us first begin by discussing about some of the repercussions of not putting on your seat belt. Not belting up can consequently lead to death or fatal injuries. Too many unnecessary deaths occur each year for the elementary reason—people just do not put on their seat belts. According to an article in the Lincoln Journal Star in August 2002, Nebraska highway loss of lives is the most in the last 21 years claiming more than 150 lives. In 2002, about five people lost their life for not putting on seat belts. People make unjustifiable excuses like; I am a good driver for not wearing seatbelts. This is one of the many excuses (N.p 34).

Now that, I have stated the repercussions of not putting on your seat belt, I would like to state the solutions to these issues. There is only one major solution to the problem; put on your seat belt. This resolution could be achieved via several ways. The first intervention was in 1966, when Congress passed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The next thing is to get the federal government to make motorists put on belts by making laws calling upon it.

In conclusion, putting on your seat belt will bring down the jeopardy of bodily injury. Seat belts are very essential to motorists and passengers of a vehicle. If you get involved in a tragic accident, wearing your seat belt will diminish your possibility of death or critical injury, whether you are a driver or passenger. Next time you ride in a vehicle, be warned that repercussions are you will be in tragic crash at least sometime in your life, seat belts almost triples the possibility of hold on in a tragic crash. Please spend those important three seconds of your time and buckle up your seat belt (Boniface & Baxter, 1).











Works cited

Boniface, Susie & Baxter, Andrew (2010).”Is this tear jerking ad lasting just 90 seconds the best road safety film ever? All for £47K”. The Daily Mirror. Retrieved June 14th 2011 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/05/02/is-this-tearjerking-ad-lasting-just-90-seconds-the-best-road-safety-film-ever-all-for-47k-115875-22227543/

N.p (2011). “Wear your seatbelt”. State compensation insurance board. Web. Retrieved June 14th 2011. <http://www.statefundca.com/safety/safetymeeting/SafetyMeetingArticle.aspx?ArticleID=122 >

Reeves, Gillian (2005). “Five Strikes to Embrace Life”. Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. Retrieved June 14th 2011.


Socialogy-socialogy of murder-natural born killers

Running Head: SOCIOLOGY OF MURDER Natural born killer (Name) (Course) (University) Date of presentation: Lecturer: Natural born killers The movie was released in 1994, directed by Oliver Stone. The movie storyline is written by Quentin Tarantino and is about a group of mass killers who are given massive media coverage. The movie stars: Woody Harrelson as Mickey Knox Juliette Lewis as Mallory Wilson Knox Rodney Dangerfield as Ed Wilson Robert Downey as Wayne Gale Tom Sizemore Detective Jack Scangetti Tommy Lee Jones as Warden Dwight McClusky Plot The movie begins with Mickey Knox and his wife Mallory arriving at a roadside cafe in New Mexico desert. Their disposition is that of normal customers, with Mickey taking on key lime pie as his wife dances to rock and roll on the jukebox. The entry of rednecks into the cafe changes the situation since they begin to flirt with Mallory in the presence of her husband. Mallory encourages one of the men (James Gammon) to dance on, and then out of nowhere attacks him without provocation by smashing the beer bottle he is drinking from. This leads to a fistfight in which Mallory beats and humiliates the man. In this scene, Mickey and Mallory kill the diner’s patrons by culminating a game to decide those who should die and those who should live. After executing their last victim, the two ensure that the only survivor is at a position to know their identity before exiting. Part 1 This part presents the couple still in the desert at night reminiscing how they had first met. Through flashback, it is observed that Mickey as a young man was a deliveryman who had circumstantially visited the home of Mallory; her abusive father (Rodney Dangerfield), her neglectful mother (Edie McClurg) and a younger brother, Kevin. In the same scene, the family setup is depicted to be complete with both parents and children, but it is evident that Mallory is subjected to molestation by her father; out of the lewd comments he makes towards her. It is love at first sight between Mickey and Mallory as they are seen to leave together in a vehicle stolen from Mallory’s father. Later, Mickey is arrested and detained for grand theft auto, but he makes his way out of prison during a tornado, returning to Mallory’s house. The two consequently kill Mallory’s father by drowning him in a fish tank. Consequently, they burn her mother alive in bed. The only blood relative who is spared this ordeal is Kevin. Mickey and Mallory soon get “married” in an uneventful ceremony. They drive to a motel where they are bound to spend the night. During the night, they embark on television watching and later love-making which is cut short by a female hostage who joins them. Mallory is furious about being joined by the hostage; which makes her drive to a nearby motel where she flirts with a mechanic and eventual love making on the hood of the car. The unfolding events in the motel result Mickey raping the hostage, whilst Mallory is angered by the fact that the mechanic recognizes her which prompts his shooting to death. Part 2 In this part, the couple continues their killing activities, which attracts the attention of Detective Jack Scagnetti who is fascinated by Mallory’s killing prowess. It is revealed that Scagnetti had witnessed his mother being murdered by Charles Whitman, which made him obsessed with mass murderers. Notably, he is depicted to be psychopathic when he is seen murdering a prostitute himself. Their activities also attract Wayne Gale a journalist who is a journalist with a show that hosts mass murderers. The couple’s expedition into the desert makes them lose their way leading to an encounter with Warren Red Cloud and his grandson. When the couple is asleep, Warren begins to chant across the fire in order two remove the demons he perceives to be in Mickey. Through this episode, it is evident that Mickey is of abusive parents. He wakes up in rage and shoots at Warren sub-consciously before realizing what he was doing. This is the first time couple feels guilty of their killing acts. They try to escape from the desert but stray into a field with rattle snakes, which bite them. On driving into a pharmacy, the sales representative sets off the alarm prompting Mickey to kill him. Police arrive at the scene and after a brief battle ensues before the two are apprehended. Part 3 A year later, the homicidal couple has been imprisoned and is due to appear in a mental hospital after being diagnosed to be insane. Scagnetti and Warden Dwight, devise methods of killing the two prisoners. On the other side of the prison Wayne Gale is persuading Mickey to take a live television interview. Mickey takes on the interview and boosts of how it is interesting to be a killer and considers himself a ‘natural born killer’. It is during the interview that Mickey kills a guard on live television and uses his gun to kill other guards as well as taking the survivors hostage. Still on live television, Mallory kills Scagnetti and escape in a van killing their last guard. Later they kill Gale himself and are shown years later watching their two children play. Sociopathy theories Parental relationships Neglected and abused children are likely to get involved in crimes in later life than others (Curran and Claire, 2001:34). In the movie ‘Natural born killers’, we are introduced to Malloy as a child where it is evidenced that her father molests her by the remarks he makes towards her. Although the family appears like any other average family, the bond between children and their parents is missing. Mallory’s father molests her and at the same time the mother neglects her. This makes her run away with Mickey when the opportunity presents itself. The various injustices her parents had subjected her into, is paid in full measure they drown her father in a flask and burn her mother alive as a form of revenge. In the desert, Mickey recaptures his past life whereby his parents had abused him which makes him retaliate killing Warren whop had put them up for the night. Peer influence Peer groups are among the factors that drive a person into crime (Claire&Lynne, 2001:16). Although Mallory is molested and neglected by her father and mother, she does not retaliate and demand for her peace in the household. She maintains her composure until Mickey becomes part of her life. He is the one who introduces her to the first killing and with time she gradually becomes an independent murderer. This highlights the role peer group has played in transforming her from a young girl to a ruthless killer. Implications The movie is based on a series of killings that are committed by a couple-Mickey and Mallory. A detailed investigation into the source of their behavior points at poor parental relations. It is evident that Mallory becomes as a result of abuse and neglect she was subjected to by her parents. Also, Mickey was subjected to abuse by his parents; makes him aggressive and does not want to associate with anything that reminds him of his childhood. In controlling criminal activities, it is necessary to first determine the factors behind the criminal behavior. Imprisoning criminals does not solve criminal behaviors since it makes the criminals more aggressive which is contrary to the expectations. The best method of solving crime in society is through determining the underlying causes before implementing strategies to reverse the condition. References Claire M., and Lynne, G. (2001). Women, Crime, and Criminal Justice. Los Angeles: Roxbury. 2001. Curran, J., and Claire M. (2001). Theories of Crime. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Against abortion






Against Abortion

Table of Contents

Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………..  2

Arguments for abortion …………………………………………………………………  2

Arguments for abortion …………………………………………………………………  8

Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………  11

Works Cited …………………………………………………………………………….   12


The issue of abortion continues to cause a raging debate in educational institutions, Congress, religious organizations, human rights watch groups and in many other agencies. It is a contentious issue given that some people support it while others are against the practice. Those supporting abortion advocate for the pro-choice policy while those in opposition are anti-abortion or pro-life reformers. It cannot clearly be established which option the majority of the people stand for unless the topic is solely taken to a referendum which is a complex process involving billions of funds, time and legal processes. Abortion is a perpetual concern because even though it is illegal in most parts of the world, it is still practiced in backstreet clinics. Abortion is currently legal in some states in the US and the contentious debate continues in Congress whether or not to legalize it in all states. This paper seeks to bring out the reasons why abortion should not be legalized, why it is wrong and why it should not be encouraged or entertained.

Arguments against abortion

Murder is both a crime and a sin and abortion constitutes to murder. This can be explained biologically by examining how the process of abortion takes place and leads to the termination of life in its initial stages. Once conception takes place, the zygote begins to develop and within a few weeks it grows into a fetus which takes the shape and form of a baby. By the time women realize that they are pregnant, the fertilized egg is already transformed into a fetus which is similar to a baby only that it is still confined to the protection of the uterus. If killing a delivered baby is murder then exterminating a fetus is also murder, difference being that these two take place at different stages of the baby’s life.

Religion also prohibits the practice of abortion. Both the Bible and Quran acknowledge that God is the provider of life and only Him should determine whether a man lives or dies. When men take it upon themselves to determine the fate of fellow human beings, this is disobedience to God and is defiance of His supreme authority. Additionally, religions prohibit murder directly and state that those who commit murder are liable for the wrath of God because of breaking the sixth commandment. From the biological explanation of abortion, it is evident that abortion is a form of murder as it involves the taking of life which comes from God. Avoiding abortion therefore is not only right and ethical but it is also following the mandate of God and abiding by the Ten Commandments.

The practice of abortion is an indication of corrosion of morals and moral decay in society. It presents a negative image of the society when people openly engage in inhuman acts with no sufficient reason to explain their behavior. The law only provides for mercy to those who murder out of self defense, but other unintentional murder cases are referred to as manslaughter which is punishable under law. Abortion should not be legalized because even though people carry it out, deep down within their conscience tells them that there is something wrong with their actions. The secular world ignores issues about morality when discussing abortion in fear that morality may interfere with politics. The debate however is about whether abortion is right or wrong. Legalizing the practice simply because it is necessary for selfish reasons would be allowing moral putrefy in society.

To further explain how abortion practices lead to moral decadence, the activities leading to abortion can be analyzed. For the topic of abortion to arise, sexual intercourse must have taken place. In most cases, this does not happen within the right context such as in marriage or between responsible couples who are ready to face the consequences of indulging in sexual activity. Abortion is necessitated when a woman or girl becomes pregnant but is not ready to face the responsibilities of motherhood. Logically, if the objective is to avoid motherhood, then precautions should be taken to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Furthermore, there are measures available which can lead to the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Pregnancies which result from carelessness or ignorance should not be considered as ‘unwanted’ but rather as ‘careless’ pregnancies. By giving individuals who create such situations a way out of their predicament is in essence promoting irresponsible sexual behavior. Instead of allowing abortion, more education should be provided on the use of contraceptives and sex education so that pregnancies are avoided in safe and ethical ways.

There are currently a wide range of contraceptives that women can use to prevent pregnancies (Weitz and Cockrill, p. 412). These include condoms which prevent STIs as well as pregnancies, the coil, Norplant and morning after pills. In case of accidental situations whereby people have unprotected sex during the fertile periods of a woman’s cycle, the recommended method to prevent pregnancies is the use of emergency pills (commonly referred to as E- pills). All these contraceptive methods are safe, scientifically approved and recommended measures to prevent pregnancies. If abortion is legalized, the usage of these contraceptives will reduce as people will take abortion as the way out of unwanted pregnancies. This is because a significant proportion of women who seek to abort usually have done it before. The safe methods of preventing pregnancies should not be replaced with abortion which is unsafe and risky to the future reproductive health of women.

Growth of the information age is another reason why abortion should not be allowed. In the current world, there is a lot of information available about risks of sexual behavior, unprotected sex, risks of abortion and contraceptive use. People who seek abortion as a solution to problems associated with irresponsible sexual practices cannot be given the benefit of the doubt because there is too much information on how to avoid these situations. Formerly people found themselves pregnant because of ignorance of facts for example the knowledge that having sex once only can lead to pregnancies. Many girls were impregnated after falling to temptation once and thinking that pregnancies were caused by repetitive sexual intercourse.

Abortion cannot be categorized as a necessary evil. Other than the increased accessibility of information, there is also the availability of alternative options in case one decides to keep a pregnancy. Unwanted pregnancies do not necessarily have to lead to misery, poverty or the added responsibility of motherhood. The pregnant person can give up the child for adoption which has been made easier in the modern world. If a pregnant girl wishes to continue with school or cannot afford to take care of a baby, there are plenty of couples who do not have the privilege of reproducing yet are well off. Since the option to adopt is possible, the choice to abort does not arise as a result of a do or die predicament that befalls innocent girls.

Every human being has been given the opportunity to experience life and this is a fundamental right recognized by the international human rights. Those who are alive were given the chance to live by someone who never aborted them. They should therefore extend the same favor and privilege to others by respecting the right to life as soon as conception takes place. During the period of pregnancy leave alone conception, it is impossible to know the kind of personality that is about to be delivered into the world. Hussey argued that the cycle of poverty is continued by unintended pregnancies (p. 270). A poor woman however might be carrying the child who will enable her to get out of her misery. Abortion is also carried out mostly behind the back of the men who are responsible for the pregnancies. This is against their rights to be informed since they have stake in the pregnancies (Silverman et al., p. 1416).

Abortion has been discovered to cause psychological trauma to women who undergo the process. Abortion affects women both physically and psychologically (Jones, p. 284). Psychological trauma begins with their conscience which makes the woman to have a constant sense of guilt and regret. Medical information also reveals that women who undergo the process of abortion have trouble sleeping because of night mares. These women also have severe cases of psychological stress which leads to depression. Although in rare cases, some women who aborted have become insane as a result of the trauma and mental problems that follows the process (Weitz and Cockrill, p. 410). The psychological effects (post-abortion syndrome) which follow the operation make women who abort not to be able to concentrate on work or their personal relationships. As such, The restrictive laws against abortion in various states possibly decreases abortion and borrowing form socioeconomic data in the US Bureau o f census,  it is evident that the ratio between childbearing women vis a vis the number of abortions informs of the extensive positive effects on the society. This is characteristic the outcry of the evangelical Christians in condemning abortion (Medoff, p. 230).

Abortion affects women physically by creating complications in the bodily organs if damaged accidentally during the operation. With regard to this, The trend of abortion nationally is on the increase and despite the continued campaign against it, there is significantly no change. Accordingly the growth of abortion rates in the District of Columbia is increasing at a rate similar to the abortion cases in California (Jones and Kooistra, p. 44). Abortion operations involve a lot of blood loss which can be fatal. These complications are severe as they have resulted in the death of numerous women globally. Abortion is thus a dangerous process which is mostly done by medical quacks who accept the amounts that are affordable by majority of the women and girls who want to abort. Even if abortion is legalized, quacks cannot be totally eliminated in the medical profession and so many women will still be at risk of losing their lives due to unsound medical practices. Safe abortion which is done in hospitals is expensive and few people will be able to afford the costs associated with the operation.

Women who abort do not only suffer immediate side effects but develop lifelong complications as well (Jones and Kooistra, p. 44). Abortion puts women at risk of sterility or ectopic pregnancy. This is because the uterus of the woman can be damaged during the process of removing the fetus. When this happens, the future chances of getting pregnant or delivering a healthy baby get reduced or even eliminated completely. The effects of abortion hence do not end as soon as the woman makes it safely out of the operation theatre but they follow the woman even as she continues with her life since after abortion, the risks of miscarriages increase. Such a dangerous exercise should not be legalized because that would tantamount to legalizing health hazards in society.

The only realistic arguments that have been made in support for abortion have been in relation to cases of rape or incest. These occurrences in their very nature are immoral and their fruit also cannot be pleasant to the victims. It is realistic to consider that a woman who is raped cannot properly raise a child conceived from that horrific event because the child will be a constant reminder of the painful experience. Abortion nonetheless punishes the innocent child who had no role in the rape incident. In light of this, Scholars have attributed the increased causes of abortion to poverty. As such, research points out that the increased cash grants makes it possible for teenagers to opt for giving birth as opposed to abortion. This argument under the umbrella of family caps, informs of the decreased rates of abortion in various states (Hussey, p. 269). Seeking abortion as a solution to conceptions that result from rape is not justifiable but rather is adding salt to injury as two wrongs do not constitute a right. Medical care after rape incidents can ensure that pregnancy does not occur and in case it does adoption would be a better alternative to abortion.

Proponents of abortion argue that the decision to abort or not to lies with the woman because pregnancy occurs on her body. It is an undeniable fact that pregnancy occurs on the body of women but that does not give anyone the right to commit murder. The rights of one person cannot be upheld by violating the rights of another. It is the duty of every individual to uphold the general wellbeing of humanity. Just as environmental laws prohibit people from cutting down trees in their own land in countries with climatic problems, it is upon human beings to ensure that human rights are generally respected by all. If women want control over their bodies as they claim, they should prevent unwanted pregnancies by practicing protected sex or abstaining.

Statistics indicate that majority of those who advocate for abortion are usually young people. Minors and younger youths feel that abortion is okay and necessary because they are the ones under risk of not completing school due to pregnancy or facing shame from peers (Joyce, p. 170). Older women oppose the practice as they are normally married, employed or with stable income. Older women are however more mature than the youthful girls who advocate for abortion. Based on the experience acquired from the lives and observations of older women, the wiser option would be to challenge abortion since this group of older women includes women who aborted in their younger ages.

In the past, girls had to drop out of school when they became pregnant. Teen pregnancies also led to public shame which was experienced by both the girl and her family (Joyce, p. 169). Pregnancy was seen as an indication of failure and lack of good parenthood and parents looked for any means possible to escape the ridicule that followed a daughter’s teen pregnancy. This has however changed due to the successful intervention of human rights movements and feminist groups which have influenced educational agencies to readmit girls who become pregnant while in the middle of their schooling. Indeed girls ought not to be forced to choose between schooling and their babies. Currently, pregnancy is just a set back but not an obstacle to the completion of education. Abortion is therefore not a means through which girls can secure the completion of their education.

Arguments for abortion

Not all people believe that abortion is a vice. Proponents of abortion have come up with several arguments that support abortion. Some of these arguments are sensible and others are neutral. Abortion has been practiced globally for hundreds of years and this could not have been the case if there were not any arguments in support for the process. These opinions are assessed below in order to illustrate that the stronger side in the debate is opposed to abortion.

Proponents for abortion argue that since most abortions are conducted in the first trimester of the pregnancy, then it really is not murder. This opinion views that the fetus cannot survive without the mother who gives it life. Because of the lack of independence of the fetus at this early stage, proponents of abortion stress that what lacks life cannot be murdered. Another view is that human life is different from personhood. This view criticizes the view that the fertilized egg represents human life and abortion is murder. Even if personhood begins at conception, human life does not begin until the fetus can support itself therefore the fetus in the first trimester does not represent a complete person. An incomplete person cannot be murdered and abortion is merely removal of developing cells.

One of the greatest arguments made by pro-choice proponents is that abortion should be legalized because women should determine what happens to their bodies because this is part of their civil rights (Jones, p. 287). They argue that the pregnancy, complications of delivery, giving birth and motherhood are all matters that happen to the woman and so she should decide on whether or not she wants to undergo these processes. This line of thinking is tied to the freedoms contained in human rights and opponents of abortion view it as an abuse of these freedoms. This argument can also be related to another one which highlights that unwanted children should not be brought in the world. Those who support abortion claim that the bigger crime is delivering of babies who are unwanted and who will end up suffering because their mothers were forced to have them. Pro choice supporters argue that abortion prevents cases of child abuse by eliminating cases of unwanted children.

One of the biggest points in support for abortion over many years has revolved around the risks posed by backstreet clinics which perform illegal abortions through unsafe procedures (Baggaley, Burgin and Campbell, p. 4). When abortion is illegal, this contributes to the increase in the number of illegal clinics which perform the operations. Illegal abortions cause the death of numerous women who die in the hands of untrained or unprofessional medical personnel. These events have even made some people who oppose abortion to reconsider their stand of legalizing the process so that it can be done safely.

Abortion has been considered to be excusable in cases where the pregnancy puts the life of the mother at risk. Due to certain medical conditions, some women develop complications which make pregnancy a risk to their own health (Medoff, p. 230). In these situations, medical professionals are forced to terminate the pregnancies in order to save the lives of the expectant women. In cases of rape, incest or sexual abuse, victims normally feel embarrassed to raise complaints about what is done to them. Some women become afraid to speak up fearing that they may not be believed or may be seen as defiled victims. When these violent acts are hidden, pregnancy becomes unnoticed until when it too late to reverse the process.

Proponents of abortion also argue that pregnancies also emerge even with contraceptive use. A percentage of condoms tend to break during sexual intercourse which if unrealized leads to pregnancy. Other forms of contraceptives also fail at times due to hormonal changes or miscalculation of safe days. Due to this, proponents of pro-choice policy argue that abortion is not performed as a type of contraceptive but as a solution to accidental pregnancy which can be caused by contraceptive failure. Proponents of abortion also claim that if abortion is carried out in authorized medical agencies, it is a safe procedure (Baggaley, Burgin and Campbell, p. 8). This is true because hospitals have the necessary staff and equipment to handle complications that may arise during the operation.

Lastly, proponents of abortion bring out that adoption is usually not a practical solution for cases of unwanted pregnancies because after delivering, it still remains the decision of the mother whether or not to give up the child for adoption. Due to emotional response and biological attachment, mothers rarely have the bravery of giving up their newly born babies for adoption to foster parents who they have little or no knowledge about. It becomes more difficult to offer one’s own baby for adoption after delivery and this makes adoption not a realistic solution to the issues which make women opposed to unwanted pregnancies.



The topic of whether or not to legalize abortion is a contentious issue which elicits mixed reactions from different people. There are several arguments for and against abortion and these make sense to people depending on their take on morality, religion, political affiliation and educational background. The arguments for abortion appear to be influenced by the pessimistic view that abortion is inevitable and legalizing it is the only way to ensure that the operations are carried out in a safe manner. The arguments against abortion on the other hand are developed from logical lines of thought that originate from facts and practical evidence. The arguments against abortion are backed by majority of the religious doctrines and theories of morality. As such, these arguments are concerned with the general welfare of humanity and they carry more weight than the points that are in support for abortion. The major shortcoming of points in support for abortion is that they are self centered and they only aim at helping the individual women in question.

Works cited:

Baggaley, Rebecca F.; Burgin, Joanna; Campbell, Oona M. R.The Potential of Medical

Abortion to Reduce Maternal Mortality in Africa: What Benefits for Tanzania and Ethiopia?” PLoS ONE. 5.10 (2010): 1-9

Hussey, Laura S.Welfare Generosity, Abortion Access, and Abortion Rates: A Comparison

of State Policy Tools”. Social Science Quarterly (Blackwell Publishing Limited). 91.1 (2010): 266-283

Jones, Emma L. “Attitudes to Abortion in the Era of Reform: evidence from the Abortion

Law Reform Association correspondence.” Women’s History Review. 20.2 (2011): 283-298

Jones, Rachel K.; Kooistra, Kathryn. “Abortion Incidence and Access to Services In the

United States.” Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health. 43.1 (2011): 41-50

Joyce, Ted.” Parental Consent for Abortion and the Judicial Bypass Option in Arkansas:

Effects and Correlates.” Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health. 42.3 (2010): 168-175

Medoff, Marshall. The Relationship Between State Abortion Policies and Abortion

Providers.” Gender Issues. 26.3/4 (2009): 224-237

Pazol, Karen; Zane, Suzanne B.; Parker, Wilda Y.; Hall, Laura R.; Gamble, Sonya B.;

Hamdan, Saeed; Berg, Cynthia; Cook, Douglas A.. “Abortion Surveillance–United States, 2007”. MMWR Surveillance Summaries. 60.1 (2011): 1-40

Silverman, Jay G.; Decker, Michele R.; McCauley, Heather L.; Gupta, Jhumka; Miller,

Elizabeth; Raj, Anita; Goldberg, Alisa B. “Male Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence and Involvement in Abortions and Abortion-Related Conflict.” American Journal of Public Health. 100.8 (2010): 1415-1417

Singh, Susheela; Fetters, Tamara; Gebreselassie, Hailemichael; Abdella, Ahmed;

Gebrehiwot, Yirgu; Kumbi, Solomon; Audam, Suzette. “The Estimated Incidence of Induced Abortion In Ethiopia.” International Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health. 36.1 (2010): 16-25

Weitz, Tracy Ann; Cockrill, Kate. “Abortion clinic patients’ opinions about obtaining

abortions from general women’s health care provider.” Patient Education & Counseling. 81.3 (2010): 409-414


Abortion Law and Ethics

Abortion Law and Ethics



Abortion Law and Ethics

Before January 22 1973, the laws and societal views were mostly anti-abortionist. The belief was that abortion should not be carried out unless the life of the mother is at risk. Abortion due to any other reason was viewed as immoral and unethical. Then came the landmark ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade which forever changed people’s views about abortion. There is no denying that before Roe v. Wade, abortion issues – involving teen pregnancies, the right of the husband, and the power of the constitution – existed. Of interest was that by ruling that a woman had the constitutional right to procure an abortion, the judge drew the battle lines between pro-abortionists and anti-abortionists. The objective of this paper is to show how three landmark rulings – for and against abortion – caused an evolution in abortion law and ethics.

In 1969, a young single mother – pregnant with her third child – went to court seeking to get permission to obtain an abortion. She claimed that she had been raped. Using the Texas criminal laws that forbid abortion except in situations whereby the mother’s life is in danger, the court refused her request. The lady had no option but to give birth. She appealed. Her case managed to get a hearing by the US Supreme Court in 1973. This time, she was represented by an attorney called Sarah Weddington. Ms Norma McCorvey, appearing as ‘Jane Roe,’ argued that Texas abortion laws infringed on women’s constitutional right to privacy. Henry Wade – the then Texas Attorney General – was tasked with the responsibility of defending the anti-abortion law. The foregoing expose explains why this famous case came to be called Roe v. Wade. Of the nine Justices involved, seven were of the opinion that Texas’ anti-abortion statutes were unclear and – to a large extent – infringed on the plaintiff’s Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

The Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution states that “no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without the due process of the law” (Linton). The learned Judges ruled that, under the constitution, a woman enjoyed freedom of choice in family matters and as such had the right to terminate her pregnancy. The court concluded that “Such a right; was broad … to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy” (Gerard). Wade lost the case on the grounds that the State lacked the power to prevent women from procuring abortions. Noting that the State had an interest in people’s lives, the court put matters into perspective by creating three rules governing State intervention. During the first three weeks, the woman was free to terminate a pregnancy. From the third to the sixth month of pregnancy, the State was allowed to regulate any activity related to abortion. From the sixth month to the time when the fetus was able to survive outside the womb, the government was allowed to totally ban abortion with the exception of cases whereby the life and health of the mother was in danger.

The Roe v. Wade ruling opened a can of worms. Three camps came to the fore. One group totally denounced abortion; another was pro-abortion, while another group took a neutral stand. No one could “identify a special legal tradition of protecting abortion, or even a social practice of tolerating it” (Linton). Those who supported abortion praised the ruling and celebrated their freedom. Those against abortion saw the Roe v. Wade ruling as a wrong decision.

The States felt slighted. They felt that they qualified to show interest in the lives of citizens. States thus started enacting laws that made it hard for women to obtain abortions. This legislation included: informed consent; the imposition of a 24 hour waiting period; barring employees working in State-owned hospitals from performing any abortions other than when the life of the mother was in grave danger; ensuring that no abortions are carried out in public buildings or on public land; and forcing doctors to test the viability of a fetus before abortion if the mother requested for an abortion before the expiration of 20 weeks. Much litigation – challenging such rules – was brought before US courts. The resistance against the Roe v. Wade ruling served as an early warning that future rulings would seek to un-sit it.

The Danforth v. Planned Parenthood ruling was a landmark one in that it clarified the Supreme Court’s position on a number of abortion-related Acts that were being implemented by the States. According to the Woman’s Consent Act, a woman was required to give a written note, indicating that she had willingly decided to terminate the pregnancy. Those against this Act argued that it was unconstitutional because it imposed “an extra layer and burden of regulation on the abortion decision” (NetIndustries; Shapiro). The judges concluded that the decision to abort was an important one and that there was nothing unconstitutional with the State demanding a written consent. According to another Act, a woman was required to establish that she had notified and sought the consent of her spouse before procuring an abortion. It was argued that the father had a say in the pregnancy and had a right to be informed. It was challenged that it would be in the interest of the husband to prevent the abortion from taking place. If the mother wanted an abortion but the father was against it, it was held that the mother’s position would prevail given that it was her body that was in question. It was therefore held that the fathers’ consent was not important. (Shapiro).

In a related matter, a statute dictated that a pregnant minor had to seek the approval of her parents before procuring an abortion. It was also felt that it would be in the interest of family peace if such information was availed to the parents. There was a case whereby the parents were against an abortion but the minor wanted it. It was held that giving the parents absolute power over minors was unconstitutional and that the minor had more rights on the matter than did the parents (NetIndustries). The requirement for the pregnant woman to wait for 24 hours before procuring the abortion was found to be constitutional (Pozgar, p.42).

The Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling of 1992 was a landmark one because it strongly indicated that the law was shifting away from the position held in Roe v. Wade. The ruling that it was a woman’s constitutional right to procure an abortion did not go down well with many people. From 1973 to 1992, a pro-life movement gathered momentum. The agitation grew to the point of violence by pro-life lobby groups. Things came to a head when Casey, governor of Pennsylvania, endorsed the 1989 Abortion Control Act which required women to fill-up State forms, 24 hours in advance, indicating that they had the consent of the spouse. The Act also required a confirmation of parental consent in the case of a teenage pregnancy. Thus provoked, “women groups, clinics and doctors’” declared the Act unconstitutional and ganged up to challenge that law. This became Planned Parenthood of Southern Pennsylvania v. Casey (NetIndustries).

Although the Casey ruling fell short of un-sitting Roe v. Wade, it was a great triumph for anti-abortion groups. The ruling still upheld the Roe v. Wade position that women had a constitutional right to procure an abortion. It however declared that the State had powers to restrict abortion even in the early stages of pregnancy. The Casey ruling held that there was nothing unconstitutional with waiting for 24 hours before undergoing an abortion, seeking a parent’s or spouse’s consent and signing State abortion forms. Further, the consequences of abortion could be elaborated for the enlightenment of those seeking to terminate pregnancies for any reason. It was however agreed that State laws regulating abortion should not impose an “undue burden” on the woman seeking the abortion (Pozgar).

Generally, the difference between the law and ethics is that, law is impersonal while ethics concerns emotional aspects. In Roe and Wade, the judges used sound reasoning and decided to close their ears to the emotional noise generated by debate on the morality of abortion. This stance pleased pro-abortion activists who did not realize that this ‘freedom to abort law’ was passed in a society that was traditionally and historically anti-abortion. In view of the above landmark rulings, together with the author’s ethical point of view; the writer does not advocate for abortion. The author however appreciates that women have a fundamental constitutional freedom to choose or reject abortion. The best way would be to avoid imposing personal opinions and positions on others. If a woman is raped or a child is molested and gets pregnant, they have a right to choose whether to keep the pregnancy and later keep the child or offer it up for adoption. The parties can also terminate the pregnancy without outside pressure.









Gerard, F. B. (2001). Abortion – murder or mercy? Analyses and bibliography. Huntington, New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Linton, P. B. (1993). Planned Parenthood v. Casey: The Flight from Reason in the Supreme Court. Retrieved from http://endroe.org/media/8676/blinton.pdf

NetIndustries. (2009). Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth – Three issues of consent. Retrieved from http://law.jrank.org/pages/24693/Planned-Parenthood-Central-Missouri-v-Danforth-Three-Issues-Consent.html

Pozgar, G. D. (2005). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals. Sudbury, MA, USA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Shapiro, I. (2001). Abortion: The Supreme Court decisions, 1965-2000. Idianapolis, Indiana, USA: Hackett Publishing Company.