Abortion is the process by which an embryo or fetus is removed from the uterus, resulting in the termination of a pregnancy. Natural or non induced abortions are commonly known as miscarriages. Abortion has had a long and passionate history. It has been induced through various methods ranging from, herbal medicines, and the use of sharpened tools, physical trauma, and other traditional methods. The different legal and cultural views on abortion differ around the world, and in many regions of the world public debate over the ethics and legal ramifications of abortion are intense.
The topic of abortion has brought about a series of debates, controversy, and activism. People often choose a position when it comes to abortion based off of their values or beliefs. Not only do ones beliefs pertaining to morality, responsibility, and the role of the government in public policy affect one’s view on abortion, but so doe’s religion. In many people’s lives, religion plays the most importance when making decisions. Some religions discourage abortion which in turn heavily affects the debate on abortion’s legality. In the United States, those that are against abortion or for heavier restrictions refer to themselves as pro-life.
Those that are against legal restrictions on abortion describe themselves as pro-choice. The issue of abortion tends to be complicated because some groups focus on the morality of abortion while other groups focus on the laws permitting or restricting abortion. The philosopher known as Mary Anne Warren gives an example of a possible view on abortion. In her case “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” she argues for the idea that abortion is morally acceptable. Mary Anne Warren’s argument also coincides with the Utilitarian idea of happiness.
Mary Anne Warren is an American author and philosophy professor. She is most acknowledged for her writings dealing with abortion, and her essays are frequently used as readings in academic courses dealing with the debate on abortion. In Warren’s “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” she uses different principles to clearly explain why abortion is morally acceptable. In her writing she combats two different ideas on abortion. These two ideas are from John T. Noonan and Judith Thompson. Against John T. Noonan, Warren argues that the fetus is not a person.
She relies on distinguishing two different senses of the human; the biological sense and the moral sense. Warren argues that the fetus is not human in the moral sense, by giving five criteria required for being a person, and explains how a fetus does not meet these criteria. She also concludes her argument against Noonan by explaining how being a potential human being does not give the fetus rights above the rights of the woman carrying it. In Marry Anne Warren’s argument against Judith Thomson, she says that the ontological validity of the fetus is crucial to any discussion of the morality of abortion.
She also argues that if a fetus is a person with full moral rights, there are many situations other than what Thomson allows where abortion is not morally justified. Perhaps the best argument that she uses to support her theory is the argument against Thomson’s example of the violinist. In this example, a woman is involuntarily tied to a famous violinist in an effort to save his life. Warren argues that this example uses faulty reasoning, because this example has little in common with most pregnancies. Thomson’s argument justifies abortion in the case of rape, but not in the normal case of unwanted pregnancy.
Marry Anne Warren, uses logical reasoning and specific criteria to break her opponent’s arguments down. She pokes holes in their faulty thinking and uses logical ideas that are easy to comprehend which proves why abortion is ok. This view of abortion also has some parallels to the idea of Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on utility. It also says that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number of persons. One of people believed to have a great influence on Utilitarianism, is John Stuart Mill.
In Mill’s “Utilitarianism,” he argues that the principle of utility is the foundation of all morality. In other words, the greatest happiness principle says to choose the decision or action that in return creates the greatest amount of happiness for all that that are involved. He says that every other principle we follow are principles that we take into our lives based on the fact that they will hopefully help us to better or quantify our happiness. Abortion satisfies John Stuart Mill’s description of Utilitarianism. Women get abortions for a variety of different reasons.
Different reasons for getting an abortion range from health concerns and rape, to simply not being ready to take on the responsibility of having, providing, and taking care of another life. Whatever the reason may be, abortion is not wrong. According to Utilitarianism, one should do what will make them and everyone around them the happiest. Now, one could argue that having an abortion may make the other people around the women unhappy. The simple reply to this is that a women’s decision to have an abortion has nothing to do with other people.
Other people will not be going through the pregnancy and will not have to take care of another human life. Just because one doesn’t agree with a women’s decision to have an abortion does not mean that the decision to have an abortion will make other peoples lives unhappy. Bringing another life into the world could have the capacity of making the mothers life miserable and unsatisfying. If the mother feels this way than according to Mill’s she would not be living up to the foundation of all morality.
A mother that feels this way, may also not provided a sufficient amount of care that is required to raise a well balanced child. Mill’s would agree with the women’s right to have an abortion. He might not choose that option himself, but the ability for women to choose for themselves would be the most important thing. Abortion is a decision that should be left to the individual woman. Only the pregnant woman can decide what is best for her. It is wrong for other people to try and dictate the events that occur in others lives, and those people should mind their own business.
Happiness would be key to Mill’s, and if a woman is happy because she got an abortion, than that is the right decision. It is a little confusing to why people are against abortion. Obviously killing another human being is wrong and is an act that should never occur. However through Marry Anne Warren’s argument she already proves that the fetus is not a human being. Therefore exterminating a fetus is not a bad or immoral thing to do. The next question lies on the individuals right to choose weather or not abortion is the right thing for them.
Again this question has already been discussed in John Stuart Mill’s “Utilitarianism. ” In it he made it clear that one should do what makes them the happiest. If getting an abortion makes that woman happy than that is what they should be allowed to do. On the other hand, if a woman is against the idea of abortion than that is their right as well, but each type of woman has to make that decision for her, based on her own ideas of happiness. There is a group of people who think that the woman does not have the right to have an abortion. This group of people is delusional.
The idea that someone can have authority on what one can do to their own body is crazy. It is fine to make the decision that one would not have an abortion of their own, but to try and eliminate the ability for others to have an abortion based on one’s own moral beliefs is wrong. People need to worry about themselves and the decisions that concern them. In the end, abortion should be legal. Through Marry Anne Warren’s arguments for abortion, and John Stuart Mill’s “Utilitarianism,” it has been made clear that abortion is not an immoral thing to do.
The idea of not allowing women to choose weather or not they want to have an abortion is ludicrous. This very notion goes against everything that America stands for. America was originally created as a country that was based on the individual’s right to choose what is best for oneself. Just like the right to decide what one’s religion is, the right to have an abortion is no different. America is based on the idea of independence which means the freedom of control from another. In America’s case we wanted to be free of the British rule.
Not only does independence apply to our government separating from the British government, but it also has a personal significance. Being independent means that one makes their own decisions not according to outside parties, but to their own beliefs. The ability to decide if one wants an abortion is an independent act, and should not be thwarted by people who lives it does not affect. Works Cited Mill, Stuart, John. “Utilitarianism. ” Applying Ethics, A Text with Readings 1(2008): 40-45. Warren, Anne, Mary. “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion. ” Applying Ethics, A Text with Readings 1(2008): 155-166.