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In Chile an 11-year-old girl has to have the child of the man who raped her, because abortion is forbidden under any circumstances. Texas is tightening its abortion regulations and the number of clinics where terminations can be carried out is to be cut drastically. Ireland, on the other hand, is allowing abortion for the first time if the pregnancy causes a threat to the woman's life.
A global debate on abortion is in full swing with both sides fighting for their points of view. Discussion usually revolves around weighing the life of the unborn child against that of the mother's. However, there are many other ethical questions. Modern medicine has given doctors the power to determine a fetus's sex, or if it has genetic abnormalities, in the womb. In some cultures that leads to parents questioning whether to carry on with a pregnancy.
Every year millions of abortions are carried out all over the world. The reason why a woman may decide to terminate a pregnancy could be personal, cultural or economic. Social and political aspects can also play a role. In Asia and parts of Europe, some parents opt for an abortion because the fetus is female. A male child is considered a better "investment" than a daughter who may end up costing the family money as part of a traditional dowry.
Thousands of women die in countries where abortion is banned or very limited, such as in Latin America, because they have to fall back on dangerous back street methods to end the pregnancy.
Is there a solution to this pro-life, pro-choice dilemma?
Tell us what you think: Abortion - A Matter of Life and Death
Alexander Görlach- he holds two doctorate degrees in theology and linguistics. He is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of the German debate magazine The European. Previously, Görlach worked for the German national TV station ZDF, the dailies "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", "Süddeutsche Zeitung", "Die Welt", and served as online editor of the political magazine "Cicero”.
Melissa Eddy- is the Berlin Correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times. Prior to joining the IHT, she had been covering Germany since 2000, first as a General Correspondent for The Associated Press in Frankfurt, then as a Berlin Correspondent for AP. During that time she tracked the rise of Angela Merkel to the chancellery, followed the euphoria in the streets during the 2006 World Cup and the crisis in the euro zone since its earliest days.
Josephine Landertinger Forero- is the director of Global Eyes Production, a media company that promotes intercultural dialogue and raises awareness of human rights issues through film production and video education. She graduated from the Freie Universität Berlin with a degree in Film Studies and Social Communications, having written a dissertation about the employment situation of Columbian journalists reporting from armed conflicts. Half Columbian, half Austrian, she has given lectures and filmed documentaries in many Latin American countries, Europe and Africa, always focusing her work on human rights issues and gender equality.