Abortion- a philosophical overview

Abortion Is the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability . Abortion Is a very controversial topic, because there are so many people on both sides of the abortion debate and some can’t Just seem to decide. Abortion is a topic under ethics in philosophy. Ethics refers to well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. Abortion laws vary from being Legal on request, Legal for rape, maternal life, lath, mental health, socioeconomic factors, and/or fetal defects, Illegal with exception for rape, maternal life, health, mental health, and/or fetal defects, Illegal with exception for rape, maternal life, health, and/or mental health, Illegal with exception for maternal life, health, and/or mental health, Illegal with no exceptions.

There are three main sides: first, the pro-choice movement (extreme conservative view) ; second, pro-life (the extreme liberal view); and third, moderate view which Ill between both extremes. The movement believe it’s a woman’s choice to decide whether she wants to bring a fetus or embryo to term or to. The pro-life movement articulates the right of the fetus to be born. In this report the arguments for and against the two major sides of the abortion debate is explained.

Philosophical argumentation on the abortion issue Concept of Persephone Persephone Is the status of being a person. 4 The time when person hood begins has often been debated in philosophy and religion. “Mary Anne Warren claims that a human life form should qualify as a person when. At least, some of the following aspects (especially I-iii) are at stake: (I) consciousness and the ability to feel pain; (ii) seasoning; (iii) a self-motivated activity; (iv) ability to communicate; and (v) the existence of a self-concept (for example, individual, racial) and self-consciousness. 5 Although not all philosophers agree with this criteria for person hood. For a being to be a person It has to possess some of the criteria listed above but not all. A fetus only possess one of the criterion which Is (l) consciousness and the ability to feel pain(although It Is not known exactly when the fetus begins to feel pain) therefore a fetus is not a person. Others argue that person hood should begin at “brain birth” (presence of brain waves).

The bodily rights argument According toughie Jarvis Thomson who argues that abortion is sometimes permissible, even if the fetus has a right to Life. She uses a thought experiment which goes thus “Imagine, Thomson says, that you wake up In bed next to a famous violinist. He Is unconscious with a fatal kidney ailment; and because only you happen to have the right blood type to help, the Society of Music Lovers has kidnapped you and plugged your circulatory system into his so that your kidneys can filter poisons from his blood as well as your own.

If he is disconnected from you now, he will die; UT in nine months he will recover and can be safely disconnected. Thomson takes it that you may permissibly unplug yourself from the violinist even though this will kill him. The right to life, Thomson says, does not entail the right to use another person’s merely deprive him of something?the use of your body?to which he has no right.

Similarly, even if the embryo has a right to life, it does not have a right to use the pregnant woman’s body; and so aborting the embryo is permissible in at least some circumstances. However, Thomson notes that the woman’s right to abortion does not include the right to directly insist upon the death of the child, should the fetus happen to be viable, that is, capable of surviving outside the womb”6 The deprivation argument A seminal essay by Don Marquis argues that abortion is wrong because it deprives the embryo of a valuable future. He argues that killing a human being inflicts a terrible harm on the individual, the harm consists in the fact that When I die, I am deprived of all of the value of my future. Thus, if a being has a highly valuable future ahead of it?a future like ours’?then killing that being would be seriously harmful ND hence seriously wrong. But then, as a standard embryo does have a highly valuable future, killing it is seriously wrong. Arguments for pro-life Most people who are against abortion are of the opinion that “(1) that the existence and moral right to life of human beings (human organisms) begins at or near conception-fertilization; (2) that induced abortion is the deliberate and unjust killing of the embryo in violation of its right to life; and (3) that the law should prohibit unjust violations of the right to life”. 9 According to the concept of person hood a fetus is not a person. An opposition to the Mary Anne Warren criteria for Persephone is the comatose patient. Comatose patient objection claims that as patients in a reversible coma do not satisfy Warren’s (or some other) criteria?they are not conscious, do not communicate, and so on?therefore they would lack a right to life on her view’. 10 People in coma might not be persons but they do have a right to life. Also is the case of infants who also do not satisfy her all criteria for person hood but this does not mean that they don’t have the right to life therefore a fetus has a right to life and should not be killed unjustly.

An opposition to the body rights argument by Judith Jarvis Thomson include that a woman who was not raped has tacitly consented to the fetus using her body. Also in the case of the violinist is a stranger while the fetus in a womb is her child. They articulate that since life begins at conception, abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking human life. Abortion is in direct defiance of the commonly accepted idea of the sanctity of human life.

Most pro-lifers are of the opinion that abortion should not be used as a form of contraception, and a woman should not have sex if she does not want to get regnant. Many pro-life advocates believe that the woman chose to have sex, and now she must face the consequences (pregnancy, Studs etc. ) of her actions. They are also of the opinion that abortion causes psychological harm to the woman and a of her life.

They also of the opinion that adoption is an alternative to abortion and a woman who does not want the baby should give the baby up for adoption rather than ending a form of human life In the instance of rape and incest, proper medical care can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant. Abortion punishes the unborn hill who committed no crime; instead, it is the rapist should be punished. They also say that if woman is allowed to kill the fetus, you step on a slippery slope. If abortion is right it is a slippery slope toward allowing a woman to kill an infant and so on.

Arguments for pro-choice Pro-choicer postulate that “(1) that women have a right to control what happens in and to their own bodies; (2) that abortion is a Just exercise of this right; and (3) that the law should not criminality Just exercises of the right to control one’s own body’. 11 The bodily rights argument stated earlier supports abortion. It says that even if the fetus a right to life it does not have the right to use the woman’s body and that the woman’s right over her body is greater than the right of the fetus to life.

According to Mary Anne Warren criteria for person hood the fetus is not a person since it only possess one of the criterion hence killing it is not morally wrong. The deprivation argument that opposes abortion has may criticism which include The contraception objection claims that if Marquis’s argument is correct, then, since sperm and ova (or perhaps a sperm and ovum Jointly) have a future like ours, interception would be as wrong as murder; but as this conclusion is (it is said) absurd?even those who believe contraception is wrong do not believe it is as wrong as murder?the argument must be unsound. Another is the interests objection claims that what makes murder wrong is not Just the deprivation of a valuable future, but the deprivation of a future that one has an interest in. The embryo has no conscious interest in its future, and so (the objection concludes) to kill it is not wrong. 13 A pro-choicer postulates that, “most abortions take place in the first trimester”14, when a fetus cannot exist independent of the mother. As it is attached by the placenta and umbilical cord, its health is dependent on her health, and cannot be considered an independent being since it cannot survive outside her womb.

Abortion is usually a very safe medical procedure. According to US statistics abortion is 14 times safer than pregnancy 5. More women die during childbirth than from abortions. Most opposition to abortion say “she had sex now she is pregnant let her pay for her mistakes” but motherhood should never be punishment for having sex. Forcing a child to be born to punish its mother is the ultimate form of child abuse. They believe that the ability of a woman to have control of her body is critical to civil right.

Margaret Ganger wrote: “No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother. ” 16 They believe not allowing a woman to have an abortion if she wants makes a like a slave or a prisoner since she can’t decide what happens in her body. They also say that abortion is not an alternative to adoption because it is a woman’s choice whether she wants to give her child up for adoption or not. However, among all these issues, the right to choose remains the main focus of pro-choice advocates.

Conclusion sends messages telling the brain that the woman that was inseminated was already Pregnant, and thus the ovum that had been created, is expelled, because the body believes it is already impregnated. Partial birth abortions which occur in the third trimester is also very controversial since it involves killing the fetus which might be capable of surviving if given proper medical care. Most people including some abortion supporters believe that a partial birth abortion is wrong. We hope that our report has provided an objective, broad, overview of abortion, and explained every portion of the spectrum.

We members of group five given the arguments against abortion have concluded that abortion is wrong in most cases with exception to the life of the mother being in danger if she continues with the pregnancy and that the society should do all they can to help “treat the cause” in order to reduce the possibility of women needing abortion. A great woman mother Theresa once said “… The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct murder by the mother herself… Because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between”18

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