Abortion Research Paper: Example, Outline, & Topics

The long-standing debate surrounding abortion has many opponents and advocates. Groups known as Pro-Choice and Pro-Life argue which approach is better, with no easy solution in sight. This ethical complexity is what makes abortion a popular topic for argumentative writing. As a student, you need to tackle it appropriately.

The picture shows statistics regarding the legal status of abortion.

If this task sounds daunting, read this guide by our custom-writing experts to get excellent writing tips on handling this assignment. You will also find here:

  • abortion topics and prompts,
  • a research paper outline,
  • a free essay sample.

🤔 Why Is Abortion a Good Research Topic?

Abortion studies are a vast area of research and analysis. It touches upon numerous domains of life, such as politics, medicine, religion, ethics, and human rights perspectives.

Like gun control or euthanasia, the abortion debate offers no evident answers to what kind of regulation is preferable. According to a recent survey, 61% of US adults are in favor of abortion, while 37% think it should be illegal. The arguments from both sides make sense, and there is no “yes-no” solution.

All this makes investigating the abortion debate a valuable exercise to hone your critical analysis skills. It will teach you to back up your claims with sound evidence while giving credit to counterarguments. Besides, expanding the body of abortion research is beneficial for the American community and women’s rights.

☑️ Abortion Research Paper Prompts

The first step to writing a successful paper is choosing an appropriate topic. Abortion is surrounded by numerous legal, medical, ethical, and social debates. That’s why the choice of ideas is virtually endless.

Don’t know where to start? Check out the prompts and creative titles below.

Should Abortion Be Legal: Research Paper Prompt 

You can approach this question from several perspectives. For example, propose a new legal framework for regulating eligibility for abortion. Some states allow the procedure under certain circumstances, such as a threat to a woman’s health. Should it be made legal in less extreme situations, too?

Anti-Abortion Research Paper Prompt

The legal status of abortions is still disputed in many countries. The procedure’s most ardent opponents are Catholic religious groups. In an anti-abortion paper, you may list ethical or faith-based claims. Focus on the right-to-life arguments and give scientific evidence regarding embryo’s rights.

Abortion and Embryonic Stem Cell Research Prompt   

Stem cell research is a dubious issue that faces strong opposition from ethical and religious activists. Here are some great ideas for an essay on this topic:

  1. Start by explaining what stem cells are.
  2. Outline the arguments for and against their use in research.
  3. Link this discussion to the status of abortion.

Abortion Law Research Paper Prompt

If you get an abortion-related assignment in your Legal Studies class, it’s better to take a legislative approach to this issue. Here’s what you can do:

  • Study the evolution of abortion laws in the US or other countries.
  • Pinpoint legal gaps.
  • Focus on the laws’ strengths and weaknesses.

Abortion Breast Cancer Research Prompt

Increasing research evidence shows the link between abortion and breast cancer development. Find scholarly articles proving or refuting this idea and formulate a strong argument on this subject. Argue it with credible external evidence.

Abortion Ethics Research Paper Prompt 

Here, you can focus on the significance of the discussion’s ethical dimension. People who are against abortion often cite the ethics of killing an embryo. You can discuss this issue by quoting famous thinkers and the latest medical research. Be sure to support your argument with sound evidence.

👨‍⚕️ Questions about Abortion for Research Paper

  1. How does technology reframe the abortion debate?
  2. Is there new ethics of abortion in the 21st century?
  3. How did the abortion debate progress before the Roe v. Wade decision?
  4. How is the abortion debate currently being shaped on social media?
  5. How do abortion rights advocates conceptualize the meaning of life?
  6. Can the abortion debate be called a culture war?
  7. What are women’s constitutional abortion rights?
  8. How does abortion reshape the concept of a person?
  9. How does the abortion debate fit in the post-Socialist transition framework of the European community?
  10. Where does the abortion debate stand in the politics of sexuality?

📚 Abortion Topics for Research Paper

  1. The changing legal rhetoric of abortion in the US.
  2. Constructing abortion as a legal problem.
  3. Regendering of the US’ abortion problem.
  4. Evolution of public attitudes to abortion in the US.
  5. Choice vs. coercion in the abortion debate.
  6. Abortion and sin in Catholicism.
  7. Artificial wombs as an innovative solution to the abortion debate.
  8. Religious belief vs. reason in the abortion debate.
  9. Introduction of pregnant women’s perspectives into the abortion debate: dealing with fetal abnormalities.
  10. The role of ultrasound images in the evolution of women’s abortion intentions.

🔬 Research Papers on Abortions: Before You Start

Before discussing how to write an abortion paper, let’s focus on the pre-writing steps necessary for a stellar work. Here are the main points to consider.

The picture explains the difference between qualitative and quantitative research design.

Abortion Research Design 

Before you start exploring your topic, you need to choose between a qualitative and quantitative research design:

💬 Qualitative studies focus on words and present the attitudes and subjective meanings assigned to the concept of abortion by respondents.

🧪 Quantitative studies, in turn, focus on numbers and statistics. They analyze objective evidence and avoid subjective interpretations.  

Pick a research design based on your research skills and the data you’re planning to analyze:

  • If you plan to gain insight into people’s opinions, attitudes, and life experiences related to abortion, it’s better to go for an interview and qualitative analysis.
  • If you have a survey and want to focus on descriptive statistics, it’s better to stick to quantitative methods.

Abortion Research Paper Outline Format

Next, it’s time to choose the format of your paper’s outline. As a rule, students use one of the 3 approaches:

Format Example


It’s a high-school standard format for outlining. It uses Roman numerals as the higher-order classification. Next come the capital letters A-Z, and Arabic numbers mark the third level. 

I. Background

II. Moral arguments

A. Fetus’s personhood

1. Opponents

2. Proponents 


While the alphanumeric outline may use keywords and phrases, this format contains only complete sentences to describe the essay’s contents. This approach saves time during the writing phase, as the ideas from the outline can serve as topic sentences.   

I. Abortion is a morally complex issue.

II. We need to evaluate moral arguments from both sides.

A. The first moral issue is the personhood of a fetus.

1. Proponents argue the fetus is no more than a collection of cells.

2. Opponents of abortion try to assign personhood as soon as possible. 


This outline type uses decimals for classification order. If you use it, your first main point will be marked as 1, with its subheadings marked as 1.1, 1.2, and so on. Lower-rank subheadings can be marked as 1.1.1, 1.1.2, and 1.1.3.  

1. Background

2. Moral arguments

2.1 Fetus’s personhood

2.1.1 Opponents

2.1.2 Proponents  

You can learn more about these formats from our article on how to write an outline.

Choosing Headings & Subheadings

A strong title can save your paper, while a poor one can immediately kill the readers’ interest. That’s why we recommend you not to underestimate the importance of formulating an attention-grabbing, exciting heading for your text.

Here are our best tips to make your title and subheadings effective:

  • A good title needs to be brief. It’s up to 5 words, as a rule. Subheadings can be longer, as they give a more extended explanation of the content.
  • Don’t be redundant. Make sure the subheadings are not duplicating each other.
  • Mind the format. For instance, if your paper is in the APA format, you need to use proper font size and indentation. No numbering of headings and subheadings is necessary as in the outline. Ensure the reader understands the hierarchy with the help of heading level distinctions.

Components of an Effective Outline

According to academic writing conventions, a good outline should follow 4 essential principles:

  • Parallelism. All components of your outline need to have a similar grammatical structure. For example, if you choose infinitives to denote actions, stick to them and don’t mix them with nouns and gerunds.
  • Coordination. Divide your work into chunks with equal importance. This way, you will allocate as much weight to one point as to all the others. Your outline’s sections of similar hierarchy should have equal significance.
  • Subordination. The subheadings contained within one heading of a higher order should all be connected to the paper’s title.
  • Division. The minimum number of subheadings in each outline heading should be 2. If you have only one point under a heading, it’s worth adding another one.

Use this list of principles as a cheat sheet while creating your outline, and you’re sure to end up with well-organized and structured research!

Abortion Research Paper Outline Example

To recap and illustrate everything we’ve just discussed, let’s have a look at this sample abortion outline. We’ve made it in the decimal format following all effective outlining principles—check it out!


  1. Introduction.
    1. History of abortion laws in the USA.
    2. Problem: recent legal changes challenge Roe vs. Wade.
    3. Thesis statement: the right to abortion should be preserved as a constitutional right
  2. Arguments for abortion.
    1. The fundamental human right to decide what to do with their body.
    2. Legal abortions are safer.
    3. Fetuses don’t feel pain at the early stages of development.
  3. Arguments against abortion
    1. Abortion is murder.
    2. Fetuses are unborn people who feel pain at later stages.
    3. Abortion causes lifelong psychological trauma for the woman.
  4. Constitutional basis for legal abortion
    1. Roe vs. Wade is a pro-choice case.
    2. The constitutional right to privacy and bodily integrity.
  5. Conclusion.

✍️ Abortion Research Paper: How to Write

Now, let’s proceed to write the paper itself. We will cover all the steps, starting with introduction writing rules and ending with the body and conclusion essentials.

Abortion Introduction: Research Paper Tips  

When you begin writing an abortion paper, it’s vital to introduce the reader to the debate and key terminology. Start by describing a broader issue and steadily narrow the argument to the scope of your paper. The intro typically contains the key figures or facts that would show your topic’s significance.

For example, suppose you plan to discuss the ethical side of abortion. In this case, it’s better to structure the paper like this:

  1. Start by outlining the issue of abortion as a whole.
  2. Introduce the arguments of pro-choice advocates, saying that this side of the debate focuses on the woman’s right to remove the fetus from her body or leave it.
  3. Cite the latest research evidence about fetuses as living organisms, proceeding to debate abortion ethics.
  4. End your introduction with a concise thesis statement.
The picture shows parts of an introduction in an abortion research paper.

Thesis on Abortion for a Research Paper

The final part of your introduction is a thesis—a single claim that formulates your paper’s main idea. Experienced readers and college professors often focus on the thesis statement’s quality to decide whether the text is worth reading further. So, make sure you dedicate enough effort to formulate the abortion research paper thesis well!

Don’t know how to do it? These pro tips will surely help you write a great thesis:

Make it debatable. Self-evident statements are difficult to argue, so it’s better to avoid them.
Include all the major ideas you will use as evidence. The thesis statement usually serves as the readers’ roadmap through the body of your text. That’s why it includes the arguments you will use to prove your point.
Make it logical and clear. The thesis statement shouldn’t cause confusion. Instead, it’s meant to communicate your point clearly.  

Abortion Research Paper Body

Now, it’s time to proceed to the main body of your paper. It should expand on the main idea in more detail, explaining the details and weighing the evidence for and against your argument.

The secret of effective writing is to go paragraph by paragraph. Your essay’s body will have around 2-5 of them, and the quality of each one determines the value of the whole text.

Here are the 4 easy steps that can help you excel in writing the main part of your essay:

  • Start each paragraph with a topic sentence. It functions as a mini-thesis statement and communicates the paragraph’s main idea.
  • Then, expand it with additional facts and evidence. It’s better to back that information with external sources, showing that it’s not your guesswork. Make sure you properly analyze the citations and show how they fit into your broader research.
  • A paragraph should end with a concise wrap-up. Write a concluding sentence restating the topic sentence or a transition linking to the next section.

Research Papers on Abortions: Conclusion

The conclusion of an abortion paper also plays a major role in the overall impression that your paper will produce. So, how do you make it interesting?

Instead of simply restating the thesis and enumerating your points, it’s better to do the following:

  • Focus on the broader implications of the issue you’ve just discussed.
  • Mention your study’s limitations and point out some directions for further research.
  • It’s also a good idea to include a call to action, which can help create a sense of urgency in the readers.

Abortion Articles for Research Paper & Other Sources

Every research paper ends with “works cited” or a reference page enumerating the sources used for the assignment. A rule of thumb is to cite credible, authoritative publications from governmental organizations and NGOs and academic articles from peer-reviewed journals. These sources will make your research more competent and professional, supporting your viewpoint with objective scientific information.

Here are some databases that can supply top-quality data to back the abortion-related claims in a research paper:

🌐 Google Scholar A simple-to-use, comprehensive database with peer-reviewed scholarly articles and publications.
🌐 SAGE Journals A huge portfolio of 900+ journals covering over 1 million scientific articles.
🌐 PubMed A biomedical repository with 34+ million publications, most of which are available in open access.
🌐 Medscape A collection of reputable sources offering medical news and extensive clinical trial coverage.
🌐 National Abortion Federation A US-wide professional association of abortion providers, educating citizens on abortion issues.
🌐 NARAL Pro-Choice America A civil activist group with 4+ million members advocating the Americans’ right to reproductive freedom.
🌐 National Right to Life Another activist group that has been advocating for the ban of abortion since 1968. Its official website contains numerous educational resources, law compilations, and help resources for pregnant women.

Feel free to check these databases for studies related to your subject. It’s best to conduct preliminary research to see whether your topic has enough supporting evidence. Also, make sure there are plenty of new studies to back your arguments! Abortion is a fast-changing field of research, so it’s best only to use publications no more than 5 years old.

To learn more about credible research sources, check out our guide on choosing reliable websites.

📋 Abortion Research Paper Example

We’ve taught you all you need to write a well-researched and thoughtful abortion paper. Finally, we want to give you an example of an essay on the topic “Should Abortion Rights Be Preserved?” Check it out to gain inspiration.

Introduction Women’s abortion rights in the US are surrounded by debate. Being legal and constitutional since the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, abortion has faced much legal turmoil in the past couple of years. The fight for fetus rights has been productive, culminating in the overturning of the Roe v. Wade ruling in 2022. Thus, amid the 21st-century scientific and technological advancements, women’s rights to privacy and the freedom to choose what to do with their bodies have been thrown over half a century back.
Abortion Thesis This paper argues that the right to abortion should be preserved as it allows women to have control over their bodies and prevents unwanted childbirth and child neglect.
1st Body Paragraph The main problem with the pro-life debate is that it does not respect women’s role as life granters. Female bodies possess the power of giving life, but this power should be exercised at the women’s distraction, not as her social obligation or civil duty (Gibson, 2022). Following the law in deciding to leave a child or have an abortion is a non-democratic practice, giving no voice to women and making them captives of their fertility.
2nd Body Paragraph Another issue with anti-abortion rhetoric is that it primarily focuses on the fetus as a person at risk. However, pro-life advocates neglect the miserable life of an unwanted child that a woman gave birth to against her will. Jones et al. (2020) found that unwanted children become frequent victims of domestic violence, abuse, and neglect. Besides, abortion restrictions can worsen the socio-economic conditions of many families that cannot afford another child but have to give birth to it under the law (Mitchell, 2019). Thus, it is evident that focusing on the fetus’s life removes the quality of the future child’s life, often making the preserved life miserable.
Conclusion Summing up the presented evidence, it’s important to note that the right to abortion should be preserved as women’s individual freedom to do what they want with their bodies. Laws banning abortion open a slippery path of unsafe, illegal practices that women will resort to, unwilling to sacrifice their bodies and lives for the sake of unwanted children. The new law also elevates the danger of child abandonment, abuse, and neglect. Therefore, abortion legislation should be softened to incorporate both perspectives and allow greater flexibility for women.

Now you know all the details of abortion paper writing. Use our tips to choose a topic, develop sound arguments, and impress your professor with a stellar piece on this debatable subject!

❓ Abortion Research Paper FAQs

How do you write a research paper on abortion?
  1. First, you need to pick a debatable topic about abortion and develop a thesis statement on that subject.
  2. Next, choose the arguments to support your claim and use external evidence to back them up.
  3. End the paper with a concise wrap-up.
What is a good hook for a research paper on abortion?
  • Begin your introduction with a catchy fact or shocking statistics on the issue of abortion.
  • Ask a rhetorical question to boost your readers’ interest.
  • Cite a famous person’s words about the pros and cons of legal abortion.
How do you write an introduction for a research paper on abortion? 

To compose a strong opening for your abortion essay, make sure to provide some background and context for further discussion. Explain why the debate about abortions is so acute and what the roots of the problem are.

What is a good research question about abortion?

There are many interesting topics related to abortion, spanning the areas of sociology, ethics, and medicine. You can focus on the progression of the abortion debate along with civil rights or discuss abortion from a feminist perspective.

What kind of research design is abortion?

You can choose between qualitative and quantitative approaches for your abortion research. Hold a survey among women and report the findings of your qualitative study in a short report. Or, you can measure factual information in numbers and conduct quantitative research.

🔍 References

This article was developed by the editorial team of Custom-Writing.org, a professional writing service with 3-hour delivery.