In regards to the women that face the decision of whether or not abortion is ethical, Ayn Rand, a major intellectual figure of the 20th century, would say that achieving self interest is the ultimate end.? Rand’s philosophy of Objectivist Ethics puts aside the judgement of other people.? She focuses on the goals of the individual and how a person must benefit from their actions for the sake of themselves.? “There is no such thing as ‘society’…only individual men,” that must fend for themselves as nature does not guarantee our survival.?
A woman should do what she feels will provide the most efficient self interest; thus if a woman desires to abort a pregnancy, it is ethical to do so. Through the traditional definition of self interest, many would describe it as the pursuit of happiness regardless of other’s interest and well being. Seemingly a selfish viewpoint in life, Rand twists this definition and states that, self interest is indeed the standard of morality, and selflessness is the deepest immorality.?
We are denying our very existence by rejecting the well being of the self. One must see oneself as an end in oneself; doing what is in our own interest even if we must sacrifice ourselves.? And in that we also cannot abuse the purpose of others as servants to achieve one’s own interest. Rand describes these goals as The Virtue of Selfishness, the act of self responsibility.? Ayn Rand describes that one is responsible for sustaining and enhancing one’s own life. It is solely up to us to establish what values are necessary.?
A woman has the right to uphold the foundation of her well being and if that requires an abortion to achieving what is in her best interest, than it is only her own responsibility to sustain that foundation. As each woman chooses what values will enhance the quality of her existence, she must do what is best to achieve those values. Choosing the path of an abortion can be seen as virtuous, as it implements a woman’s responsibility to life.? Everyone has a right to moral existence.? Consider the act of giving birth to an unwanted child.
In terms of short term benefits, yes the loss of life was not necessary, but in the long term, the child will either have to face the fact that they were born unwanted, or spend their time in an orphanage waiting for what could be a non existent adoption.? Rand also integrates self interest into libertarianism. This states that one is free to pursue own interests exclusive of judgement. In a political sense, Rand also believes the government’s responsibility should be to protect the individual’s freedom to do so.
The Moral Legitimacy of Self Interest entails that the whole purpose of the government is to protect a persons rights to their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.? If a woman decides that an abortion is indeed necessary to their pursuit of happiness and well being of their lives, the government should never restrict her right to health and medical assistance. Ayn Rand believed in cherishing your own life and having that self interest as a responsibility. ____________________________________________________________________________ 1.
Hicks, Stephen R. C. [http://www. iep. utm. edu/r/rand. htm#H2] 2. Philosophy Questions & Theories. 3. Rand, Ayn. The Virtue of Selfishness: a New Concept of Egoism 4. Note, April 29 2008 Bibliography Hicks, Stephen R. C.. “Ayn Rand [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]. ” 2006. http://www. iep. utm. edu/r/rand. htm#H2 (accessed May 18 2008). McGraw-Hil, Ryerson Limited. Philosophy Questions & Theories. Patty Pappas, 2003. Rand, Ayn, and Nathaniel Branden. The Virtue of Selfishness: a New Concept of Egoism. New York City: New American Library, 1964.