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Abortion as a Health Ethics Issue

Abortion as a Health Ethics Issue There has been an ongoing controversy surrounding the moral and legal status of abortion. The two main groups involved are the pro-choice movement (the right of women to choose whether to keep the fetus) and the pro-life movement (the right of the unborn child to be born). According to Don Marquis, abortion is seriously morally wrong because it is an act of killing a being with a right to life and killing a being with a right to life is seriously morally wrong because it “deprive[s] all the value of [it’s] future” (Marquis, 2009).

Marquis presents reasons for thinking that his account of the wrongfulness of killing is superior to any other account. He offers an analogy that the suffering of other animals is evil, and so we conclude that it is wrong to inflict pain for no reason on non-human animals. According to Kantian, animals are not entitled to any moral consideration on their own; they are not rational creatures thus are not members of the moral community. Kant agrees that it is wrong to inflict pain on animals, but not because it is intrinsically wrong. It is wrong because people who are cruel to animals are likely to be cruel to persons.

Marquis would suggest it is implausible and doubts that being cruel to animals would lead people to be cruel to other persons. In her article, “Abortion Through a Feminist Ethics Lens” Susan Sherwin introduces an alternative way to view the abortion debate. Through her feminist perspective, Sherwin argues that what is important is not only a woman’s right to choose, but instead a movement that addresses all of the conditions of women’s liberation. Sherwin argues that women must have the freedom to choose abortions because in many cases women are unable to control their own sexuality.

If omen are unable to receive abortions on demand this subordination is likely to increase because of the responsibility of caring for a child, and the increased financial need, and the decreased economic opportunities associated with child care. Furthermore, Sherwin argues that birth control alone cannot be expected to prevent pregnancy since there is no form of birth control available that is both safe and reliable. The most effective means available, namely the birth control pill or the DID, are known to pose health hazards for women, and therefore she cannot be expected to spend her reproductive years on these medications.

As for the safer methods, being diaphragms and condoms combined with spermicidal foam or Jelly is inaccurate, awkward, and expensive. This, she argues leaves only one safe and fully effective form of birth control, the use of a barrier method with the backup option of abortion. Susan Sherwin made some valuable arguments in regards to birth control issue while ignoring the issue of responsibility. In discussing the use of protective methods, Sherwin says “they may be socially awkward to use… Many women find their male partners unwilling to use barrier methods of contraception, and they do not eave the power to insist… Cost is a limiting factor” (Sherwin, 2009). It should be understood although these methods may be embarrassing, they may be difficult to discuss, and expensive, are not valid reasons for not using protection, and assuming responsibility. There are all forms of birth controls distributed at reasonable prices and in some areas, condoms are free. Embarrassment should not be accepted as a valid reason for not using protection, from women or men. In order to be seen as equals women must be willing to voice their opinions and desires. Sherwin article goes not acknowledge this fact.

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