Introduction to American Government

The abortion debate centers around two fundamental beliefs, the pro-choice and the pro-life. Pro-choice favors a women’s choice to terminate her pregnancy. Pro-life takes the view that the fetus is a living creature and needs to be protected. This debate is significant. In 1973, Roe v. Wade gave women the right to an abortion. Since that ruling abortion clinics have been bombed and abortion providers have been murdered. On the other side, 43 million abortions have been performed since Roe v. Wade (St. Charles Respect Life Committee  4).

The pro-choice lobby states that family planning is a fundamental right for women, and that the government should have no opinion. Abortions must be safe. Outlawing abortions would reopen the back alley abortion clinics that endangered women’s health prior to Roe v. Wade. Blanket decisions should not and cannot be made for everyone. Abortion is a personal decision, and should not be a matter of public policy. Religious organizations lead the pro-life movement. Religious beliefs have no business in government.

While everyone in entitled to their beliefs, public policy cannot be dictated by those beliefs (Planned Parenthood  2). The pro-life lobby states that abortion is taking another human beings life. In addition to religious arguments, there are negative impacts on the mother. Psychological issues include guilt, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, and depression. A mother may become a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder. Physical issues include the possibility of infection and sterility. The woman’s uterus may be perforated, causing bleeding and possibly death.

Blood clots can migrate to the lungs after removal of the placenta, with life threatening potential (St. Charles Respect Life Committee 1-4). In a nutshell, the major issues are separation of church and state and the humanity of the fetus. It is a significant debate. The pro choice lobby states that if you outlaw abortions, you INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT                            Page 2 of 2 will be endangering women. The pro life lobby states that continued abortion not only endangers women, but takes the life of another human being.

This issue has polarized the American social and political scene. It is not likely to be resolved any time soon. Sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of this conduct affects an individual’s employment” (United States Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC  1). Sexual harassment continues to be a major issue in the American workplace. In 2006 alone, there were 12,025 charges of sexual harassment brought to the Federal Government.

It has been estimated that between 40-70% of females have been harassed at work. 62% of these victims do not report it (The ACA Group 3). The monetary cost of sexual harassment is staggering. In 2006 alone, the EEOC reported that employers paid $48. 8 million dollars in out of court settlements and fines (EEOC 2). In addition, there have been very large damage awards in the courts. In one San Diego case, a jury awarded $30 million in punitive damage to six women who had been employed in a supermarket (The ACA Group 4).

Sexual harassment continues to be prevalent in the American work environment. Lost work time, out of court settlements, and large damage awards in court all have significant affect on American employers.

Works Cited

The ACA Group. “Preventing Sexual Harasment. ” The ACA Group. 2006. 5 May 2007 <http://www. theacagroup. com/harassmentarticle. htm>. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. “Facts About Sexual Harassment. ” The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 2007. 5 May 2007 <http://www. eeoc. gov/facts/fs-sex. html>.