The legal status of abortion Is regarded as one of the most long disputed and controversial ethical issues in the world of politics, presumably because of the moral dilemmas that it is thought to present. Many of those who oppose of the right to abort may do so from a theistic standpoint, which leads to more debates regarding the separation between church and state. But abortion is not something that should be forbidden by law.
All adult human beings have the right to autonomy and so it should be the woman’s choice, not the government’s, to deem whether or not the execution of abortion would be a viable option for herself. “Pro-Life” advocates tend to centralize their arguments around the premise that the fetus is a human being from the moment of conception and that Intentional expulsion of a fetus is essentially infanticide. However, Judith Jarvis Thomson “A Defense of Abortion” dismisses this initial claim altogether, asserting that even if an unborn fetus is granted the same rights to life as that of a person, Its status as a humanistic being Is extraneous.
While both entities are equally entitled to their right to life, the mother is entitled to the right of autonomy, thus the question of whether or not one should reserve the right to abort should be up to none other than the mother herself. The Initial Moral Issue Initially, it would seem that when evaluating the morality of abortion, a multitude of ethical dilemmas are posed. A fetus Is considered an Innocent human being and It is fundamentally immoral to kill an innocent being, no matter the circumstance of the law.
By this logic, however, even in the case where a mother’s life was at stake as a result of her pregnancy, It would be Impermissible for her to abort the child and she loud have to allow herself to die as this would be considered a more stringent option than intentionally killing an innocent individual. However, it should be duly noted that If an Individual Is being attacked, they have the right to defend themselves. A woman aborting a fetus in order to save her own life is simply Justified as an act of self-defense, even if it were to result in the death off fetus.
Deprivation of a unprompted Future It seems that death of an innocent being is not of the greatest concern of our opposition, however. Don Marquis takes a leap forward in his article “Why Abortion is Immoral” by addressing that killing an Innocent embryo is not only wrong but also deprives the fetus of its future. He contends that the fetus has potential for a highly valuable “future like ours” (Marquis, 126) ahead of itself, and killing the unborn fetus would be striping it of the valuable experiences that It could have otherwise had, and the utility it could have otherwise exhibited.
First of all, Don Marquis is a male have the same chance for a future is fallacious. It almost seems as if Don Marquis wrote this essay behind John Rails’ of ignorance” as he failed to keep in mind hat no one is born equal. The supposed assumption that a fetus has a future of value would only seem to satisfy in an highly unrealistic egalitarian society where even the disadvantaged are given the right to equality in opportunity. Unfortunately life is not fair.
We do not currently subside in a world of Utopian idealism and until we do, we cannot assume that every fetus that currently resides in the womb of an expecting mother can be promised a future of value. Often times, an abortion seems only plausible in the case where an adequate future cannot be offered. For example, 14 year old girl finds out that she is pregnant with her boyfriend’s son. Her parents consider her a disgrace to the family and kick her out of the house, refusing to let her back in unless she aborts the baby.
Her boyfriend, however, is far too excited to be a father to realize the possible consequences and would be quite upset if she did terminate the fetus. This emotionally distraught young girl knows that she is neither psychologically nor financially prepared to undergo the upcoming stress that is paired along with a pregnancy. If she is forced to labor a child that she is unable to roved for, the so-called future that the fetus, if aborted, would have been deprived of is certainly a future worth missing out on.
A utilitarian such as Jeremy Beneath would agree that an abortion would have been permissible under a circumstance like such, the reason being to achieve the utilitarian ideal of a balance of “pleasure” over “pain”. (Beneath, 114). If the teenaged mother is hardly able to keep herself sane and financially stable, it would be very likely that the child would also suffer throughout their entire life. An abortion would relieve the emotional stress, save a life from being Ron into perpetual misery, and allow her back into her house, maximizing the amount of happiness for the majority of the people.
If Marquis’ assumption that an embryo is assumed a future-like-ours were to be correct, we would have to then assume that the future-like-ours is granted from the moment of conception. From an embryo, comes a zygote, and from a zygote comes an ovum and a sperm cell. If our egg cells and sperm cells also have this potential future-like-ours, this would render contraception to be as pernicious as abortion. Contraception is the only alternative to abortion offered other than adoption and abstinence. Such a conclusion would make for an argument so absurd that only the most Kantian of scholars would be able to concur with.
A Woman’s Right to Autonomy and the Impressibility of a Fetus Never mind that an embryo is a human, or even a potential human being. Far too much focus on is put on the premise that a fetus is a human being. Carol Gilligan conducted a study on the language of the public abortion debate, finding that “The connection between the fetus and the pregnant woman becomes the focus of attention and the question becomes whether it is responsible or irresponsible, caring or careless, to extend or end this connection. (Gilligan, 281) The dilemma is that the people tend to sidetrack off the actual abortion topic and the argument shifts to become more care ethics oriented. Thomson avoids this issue by seeing no obligation whatsoever to pay regards to the state of the fetus as it is irrelevant in proving that an abortion is not impermissible. Yes, the fetus is a person, and yes, both the mother and the unborn fetus have equal rights to live. But, keep in mind that a fetus is establish without impartiality that the mother is more deserving of her body than the fetus because she is the rightful owner of it.
This extra right she has is called autonomy, which means she is entitled to have complete control over her own body. The principle of autonomy goes to prove that the determinant of the choice to abort should be the choice of none other than the woman who is pregnant herself. Even if a fetus is entitled to life, it is not entitled to force a mother to use her body in a way that she does not want to. We can very well argue this principle for the legality of abortion as well. See, the government does not have control over a woman’s body and cannot force her to proceed with the pregnancy if she does not wish to.
Therefore, it is she, the owner of her own body, who is allowed to make the autonomous choice to undergo an abortion. May it be noted that Thomson only argues that abortion should not be impermissible, not that it is always permissible, as there are several cases she provides where abortion can be indecent, such as late term abortions or in avoidance of postponing a trip. Libertarian Solution The ideal Libertarian solution to the abortion debate would be to make the right of abortion a completely private affair.
Opinion writer Michael Kinsley offers parallel insight on the topic of same-sex marriage: “If marriage were an entirely private affair all the dispute over gay marriage would become irrelevant. Gay marriage would not have the official sanction of government, but neither would straight marriage. ” (Sanded, 255). This seems to be quite compelling as it can be applicable to the abortion debate. In fact, it would be even more feasible put into the case of abortion because it is already somewhat true.
Pregnant women who identify as “Pro- Life” can remain to rightfully deliver children and pregnant women who classify as “Pro-Choice” can choose to abort theirs if they feel it is necessary. Debate would lessen because people would be less likely force their extreme opinions on others. Government banning the right to terminate an embryo would infringe on the individual’s right to autonomy. Banishment Utilitarianism Consequential Jeremy Beneath, renowned as the father of modern Utilitarianism, is a philosopher who would grant that abortion is permissible when appropriate, like
Thomson argument entails. Since the abortion issue is filled with many exceptional cases that make it particularly complex, Bantam’s utilitarian views, which also operate on a case-by-case basis can go either way when it comes to abortion. To thoroughly answer this question, Beneath would have to apply his calculus of pains and pleasure A person’s value of a pleasure or pain considered by itself is based on the following circumstances: “its intensity, its duration, its certainty or uncertainty and its propinquity or remoteness. ” (Beneath, 113).
These four aspects are all we deed to analyze a solution to abortion as it offers us the capacity of finding the best option. When a woman is contemplating abortion, it is likely that she is doing so because of a certain stress factor that is preventing her to achieve some type happiness. The question would be whether the emotional pain a woman suffers would mount to the physical pain of a death of a fetus. Keep in mind that Utilitarian are not interested in rights, so the death of the fetus could be completely viable in the case where it was appropriate.
In the case of rape, a woman would have to abort he fetus because Just a look at the baby would be a constant reminder of the can conclude that the woman would not meet the needs of the basic pleasures of life so therefore abortion would be permissible in her case. The issue with Utilitarianism is that there is no absolute distinction between right and wrong and if the consequences are the most favorable for the overall happiness, there will always be a minority that must end up suffering for the greater good, in this case the fetus.
Conclusion It should be known that abortion is permissible when executed safely and in some eases necessary. To those who may consider abortion to be immoral, let that remain their views. However, it would be wrong for them abortion is not morally equivalent to infanticide. The assumption that a fetus is a human being from the moment of conception and is entitled to life and a potential future is not needed to disprove the morality of abortion. Abortion is not unjust killing; a woman’s choice to abort a fetus can be Justified in the case of self-defense, rape, and when she has taken reasonable precautions to avoid becoming pregnant.