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Natalie Amos
Professor Sipin
Engl 211
2/9/2015
An Argument of Pro-choice
For some decades, people have been in a tumultuous debate on the subject of abortion.
When people think of abortion, many times, what comes to mind is a young unwed woman who
isnt ready for the responsibility of taking care of a child, and though that is a huge part of the
situation, another factor in it is often ignored. There is very good reason that the mortality rate of
women and infants during pregnancy and child birth is so high in under-developed countries, its
a dangerous undertaking and though the United States has wonderful prenatal and neonatal care
within its medical facilities, there are still numerous things that can go wrong. The article I Had
to End My Pregnancy to Save My Life by Susan Ito brings up a very persuasive argument about
how serious medical complications during pregnancy can make an abortion the decision that
saves the most lives.
In this article, Ito tells the story of her first pregnancy and how it was something that she
and her husband truly wanted and had decided that was right for them at that time in their lives.
Unfortunately the worst came to pass and it turned out that she had preeclampsia, a disease that
essentially meant that her kidneys were no longer working because of the pregnancy and she was
in danger of strokes, seizures, and even death. At that stage, her baby was quite small and
unlikely to survive if he were to be born at that time. She talks about how this was an incredibly
difficult decision on her part; to keep the baby or not, a scenario that lurks in the nightmares of

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any parent-to-be. This decision haunted her and kept her up at night. In discussing this she uses
pathos and it is an extremely effective argument. By showing her audience the emotional
struggle she went through, she shows that she was not just a heartless woman who didnt want
her child, but someone who was truly trying to make the best decision for herself and for her
unborn son. She even mentions how she still thinks about him, her small cowboy. This
argument would be effective for people on both sides of this debate, as they are presented with
the difficulty that went into this decision and the pain that was bound to ensue following any path
she took.
Susan Ito also presents her audience with the same information she was given when she
was given when going to find out what was wrong and what that meant. When she asked what
the chances were of her baby surviving the pregnancy her doctor told her that there was a less
than 10%, maybe less than 5% chance of survival. This argument is a powerful combination of
logos and ethos. Percentages, if researched correctly, provide evidence that is based on studies
and past experiments, it is something that cannot be easily refuted without one doing their own
extensive research. The fact that the one presenting this argument is a doctor, someone who has
spent years in medical school and yet even more time in internships to have the knowledge and
experience that they do at that point in their career. A doctor is an expert in their field and so
when they say something in regards to it, it can be assumed that it is sound. Not only this, but in
presenting all of this information from her perspective, it makes it much more relatable than the
medical language in some scholarly journal. Itos audience can see what terrible odds she was
facing at the time and are made to evaluate what their own decision might be in a similar
situation.

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This narrative which is presented uses all three methods of persuasion to demonstrate just
how such a severe situation can occur and change everything. Susan Ito did not want to terminate
her pregnancy, but when faced with the odds before her, it seemed that there was no other choice.
Any rational person in her situation might make the same decision and if she had not taken the
actions that she had, then her two daughters had a very high chance of never being born. In the
midst of this very heated debate over whether or not abortion is morally right, people often
overlook very important and complicated circumstances like this one. Though it is incredibly
difficult, it is not wrong to choose to abort a pregnancy which has little to no chance of ending
any way other than death.