Abortion debateAbortion debateInduced abortion has long been the source of considerable debate, controversy, and activism. An individual's position concerning the complex ethical, moral,philosophical, biological, and legal issues which surround abortion is often related to his or her value system. Opinions of abortion may be described as being a combination of beliefs about fetal rights, abortion's morality, beliefs about the proper extent of governmental authority in public policy, and beliefs about the rights and responsibilities of the woman seeking to have an abortion. Religious ethics also has an influence both on personal opinion and on the greater debate over abortion.
In both public and private debate, arguments presented in favor of or against abortion access focus on either the moral permissibility of an induced abortion, or justification of laws permitting or restricting abortion.The World Medical Association Declaration on Therapeutic Abortion notes that "circumstances bringing the interests of a mother into conflict with the interests of her unborn child create a dilemma and raise the question as to whether or not the pregnancy should be deliberately terminated".Abortion debates, especially pertaining to abortion laws, are often spearheaded by groups advocating one of these two positions. Anti-abortion groups who favor greater legal restrictions on abortion, including complete prohibition, most often describe themselves as "pro-life" while abortion rights groups who are against such legal restrictions describe themselves as "pro-choice". Generally, the former position argues that a human fetus is a human person with a right to live, making abortion morally the same as murder. The latter position argues that a woman has certain reproductive rights, especially the choice whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term.