Abortion Is The Most Controversial Social Issue



This paper will look at one social issue and use two theories to explain abortion. The theories in question here are structural functionalism and symbolic interaction. These two theories are going to be used in the paper to explain it as one of the most controversial social issue. More specifically, they are going to be used to explain the abortion pill as one of the current social issue.

Introduction to abortion

The issue of this crime has resulted to some of the most significant and controversial debates on morals and social issues in most countries today. The issue begun in 1973 with the ruling of the Supreme Court that it is within the constitutional rights of a woman to secure an abortion especially if it is during her first trimester. Several interest groups have remained opposed to the issue arguing that it is equivalent to the murder of an unborn baby. Most recently, the FDA has approved the utilization of the abortion pill as an alternative to other abortion remedies such as surgical surgery.

Symbolic Interaction

To effectively use this theory in explaining the abortion pill as a social issue, it is essential to use the three core principles of this theory. These include meaning, language and thought. In most cases, women who secure abortion using the pill usually create a meaning of what all this. For example, they create the meaning that they can use this option to terminate their pregnancy because it is less complicated and more private. As a result of this meaning, the women decide to secure an abortion using the abortion pill. On the other hand, other interest groups also create a meaning about the use of this pill. Regardless of the fact that they think that this pill could open better chances and opportunities for women who decide to have an abortion, they create the meaning that the abortion pill is a setback in medicine since it will cause the loss of numerous lives of unborn babies.

The language used to explain this issue is also complex, especially when it comes to the language used to explain where life begins. One of the reasons why this issue has been controversial is because of the fact that the two opposing groups differ on the issue of where life begins, whether at conception or after a few months of pregnancy. The language used to explain ‘the start of life’ can mean different things to different people. The interest groups take any kind of abortion as a termination of life, whether that abortion was done after 1 week of conception or after 2 months. Other people understand that aborting an embryo does not amount to killing an unborn child. Thought is the final facet of this theory. The thoughts that abortions are immoral, antisocial and against religious beliefs are some of thereasons why most anti- abortion campaigns think that abortion should be eliminated. The thought that abortion is the constitutional right of the woman is what drives the legalization and acceptance of abortion by many.

Structural Functionalism

This theory explains a social phenomenon by use of both the negative and positive facets of structures in the society. For example, the abortion pill has numerous positive functions. It is a private way to secure an abortion, it does not involve surgery, and another advantage is that it leads to lesser psychological complications since it takes in young pregnancies. This abortion option, however, also has a number of negative functions. For example, it makes it easier for women to choose abortion over childbirth, the recovery process is slower, it can lead to complications and more lives are lost.


Abortion is an extremely controversial issue that has existed for a long time in many countries. There are numerous opinions upon which the two opposing sides base their arguments as indicated in the above analysis.




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