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Abortion Decision

Mary, 38, is married and has three children, ages 10, 15, and 18. Her husband manages a service station, and Mary has been working part-time as a bank teller. They are having a difficult time financially because their 18-year-old has just started college and they bought a new house a year ago. Although Mary was using a contraceptive, she now discovers that she is one month pregnant. She and her husband do not want any more children--indeed, they had thought they were finished bearing and raising them. Adding to their other reasons for not wanting any more children, they also are worried by the knowledge that women who have pregnancies late in life have a greater chance of bearing a child with Down's syndrome. They finally decide that Mary should have an abortion.

Were they right in making this decision? Should Mary wait until the fourth month and have an amniocenetesis performed to see if the baby has Down's syndrome? If the baby does, then what should they do, and why? Explain completely?

Solution Preview

This is an opinion based question. Many people have very strong views on this specific topic and it can be justified strongly either way.

First, the issue of abortion has to be taken into account. From a religious perspective, certain people believe that from conception the fetus is a human being and therefore any form of abortion constitutes the killing of a life. However, from a scientific view, the fetus are a compilation of cells that are not developed enough to constitute a human being.

The second issue is the quality of life issue. If you know that your child will be ...