Abortion is Murder and Immoral Essay
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Abortion is Murder and Immoral
In Americas Society Abortion is a topic that most people rather not face. More and more abortions occur everyday, causing potential lives to be terminated due to irresponsible sexual activity among adults and teens. Abortions cheats the unborn child of his or hers existence and unknown experiences to come. Abortions are quick escape goats for irresponsible individuals and cause pain, suffering, and death. I t is against the law and immoral to kill another human being, and by terminating a fetus you are performing another act of killing. In my essay I will use different articles and references to back my conclusion of how Abortions are cruel, examples of different types of abortions and how…show more content…
Therefore , when I die I, am deprived of all of the value of my future . Inflicting this loss on me is ultimately what makes killing me wrong. This being the case, it would seem tat what makes killing any adult human being prima facie seriously wrong is the loss of his or her future.”(Don Marquis p127) Don Marquis compares Abortion to Wanton infliction of pain on animals. Marquis came to the conclusion that infliction of pain cause suffering, and since causing suffering is what makes the wanton infliction of pain wrong and since the wanton infliction of pain on animals cause suffering, it follows that the wanton infliction of pain on animals is wrong. (Don Marquis p.127) Terminating of a life causes suffering so Abortions are under the same principal which makes abortions wrong also. There are many ways to Abort, kill. One form of abortion is to cut the fetus into pieces with serrated forceps before being removed, piece- by- piece from the uterus by suction with a vacuum aspirator. Another form consists of bringing the fetus feet first into the birth canal, puncturing its skull with a sharp instrument and sucking out the brain tissue. The body parts are lettered instead of being called what they truly are, (arm, leg, head etc.). This is way sugar coat the procedure of abortions. The remains of the fetus or embryo, as the case
Abortion is an topic that has probably become one of the most controversial issues that are debated in the United States and in other countries today. Different schools of thoughts have different ideas and opinions regarding abortion, some ideas are pro-abortion and some argue for the abolishment of it. Abortion is one of the most complex problems dividing America with either side being so passionate about their stand it has been known to trigger hatred of the other side.
In order to fully understand the complexity of the abortion issue, this paper aims to first define what abortion is and then to enumerate the arguments of both the pros and cons sides of the issue. This paper will also aim to enumerate all the ethical and legal issues that are being associated with the abortion problem.
What is abortion?
Abortion in the encyclopedic definition is the removal or the expulsion of an embryo or the fetus from the femaleÕs uterus resulting to the termination of pregnancy (Abortion. September 30, 2007). Abortion may occur spontaneously through a miscarriage or may be artificially induced through chemical or by surgical means. An induced abortion refers to any induced procedure that is performed at any point during the pregnancy period which will lead to the termination of the pregnancy before the point of viability (Abortion. September 30, 2007). The most common abortion method today is artificial and medically induced.
Abortion in the United States was illegal in most states until it was made officially legal throughout the country following the United States Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973. The case involved a single, pregnant woman named Jane Roe who wanted to have an abortion. During that time, the only way to get an abortion was through illegal and unsafe means that could endanger her life. Jane Roe wanted to have an abortion which would be performed by a licensed physician so that it would be under safe and clinical conditions (Baird, Robert M. and Stuart E. Rosenbuam 1989). Roe claimed that by denying her request to have an abortion performed by a licensed physician, the state of Texas is abridging her right of personal privacy which should be protected by the five amendments of the constitution namely; First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendment Ð and that because of this, she would sue in behalf of all other women (Baird, Robert M. and Stuart E. Rosenbuam 1989). One of the justices presiding over the case, Justice Blackmum, concluded that the decision to undergo an abortion procedure is indeed protected by the right of personal privacy in the due process clause which is included in the Fourteenth Amendment. Blackmum further added that the right of personal privacy is not unqualified and that important stateÕs interests must also be considered in the regulation of the choice of abortion. Blackmum finally decided that a pregnant woman within her first trimester or in her 1st to 3rd month of pregnancy can have the choice to have an abortion solely upon her and her physicianÕs decision however, the state can intervene in the decision once the pregnancy reaches the second and third trimesters in order to save the life of the pregnant mother (Craig, Barbara H. and David M. O\'Brien 1993).
This landmark decision regarding the abortion issue led to the clash of beliefs between two schools of thoughts namely; the Pro-choice and the Pro-life groups. The advocates of abortion, the Pro-choice movement, believes that every woman has the right to chose what she does with her body and that this is guaranteed by the constitution under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Pro-life group however believes that abortion is an act of murder no matter what the age of the fetus and the stage of pregnancy are.
Positive and Negative Aspects of Abortion
The legalization of abortion following the Roe v Wade case had caused numerous debates and arguments whether the Supreme CourtÕs decision was correct or not. However, we cannot say that the legalization of abortion had caused more harm than good since there have been positive as well as negative aspects of abortion. The following are the positive and the negative aspects that legalization of abortion has brought about:
Anti-abortion laws kill women since making abortion illegal doesnÕt mean that the women who wanted to undergo abortion would not seek other means or methods of getting one. With the legalization of abortion, women can now have access to a safe and clinical place to have an abortion which would be attended to by a professional, competent and licensed physician who can be held accountable to womenÕs safety and well-being. Legalization of abortion eliminates the alternative coat-hanger and unsafe abortion practices.
The legalization of abortion further protects women whose health is threatened due to pregnancy. Women with kidney disease, heart disease, severe hypertension, severe diabetes and other diseases has been helped by the availability of abortion to avert serious life threatening medical complications which could have resulted if the women undergo complete pregnancy and childbirth.
The legalization of abortion has guaranteed a womanÕs right to her own person and her right to decide what she wants to do with her own body.
Legalizing abortion eliminates discrimination to poverty. The legalization of abortion allows the low income women to have access to safe abortion procedures in their own city or state. If abortion would not be provided legally in every state then low income women would be forced to obtain illegal back alley abortions that could jeopardized their health since they would not have the necessary finances to travel to states that offer legal abortion.
Legalization of abortion also reduces the number of teenagers giving birth to children. Legalization of abortion allows a pregnant teenager to evaluate and take control of her future by giving her a choice to abort her child. Abortion allows the option so that a teenager doesnÕt have to raise a child at a young and unready age. Teenage mothers often provide inadequate care for their children and could cost the taxpayers and society a considerable amount of cost which is estimated to be at least $6.9 billion (Rein, Meiling, Nancy R. Jacobs, and Mark A. Siegel, eds.1998).
A child that should be born to this world should be a wanted child. An unwanted child that is brought into the world may experience more harm than good. The legalization of abortion makes sure that every child that is brought out of the world is a wanted child.
The legalization of abortion creates a hope for redemption for women who are raped and impregnated by people that they despise. Women who were raped should not be further burdened by their suffering by forcing them to push through with the pregnancy of a child that is conceived by means of rape or molestation.
By choosing abortion, the child that is in the womb does not get a chance at life and this is looked down upon by a lot of religion.
Abortion is being abused by some women who use abortion as a birth control method in which they sleep around with men without thinking of the consequences of their actions since these women know that the choice of abortion is readily available to them.
By choosing abortion, the unborn childÕs potential of doing great things and greatly contributing to the society or to the world is not realized.
Abortion is always the lazy way out of a situation where two consenting adults decided to sleep together and later decided that they do not want to have the responsibility bringing up a child together. Couples should be responsible for the actions that they take and should not resort to abortion just because they are lazy.
Abortion shouldnÕt be the only choice that pregnant women should resort to. There are other options available to pregnant women who do not want their unborn child. Women should first try the option of completing the pregnancy and opting for adoption after the child has been born into the world. In a survey, 98 % of unmarried women who get pregnant choose to become the parent of the child while just only 2 % of them opt to put their child up for adoption (Rein, Meiling, Nancy R. Jacobs, and Mark A. Siegel, eds. 1998). An option such as putting the child up for adoption is always the better choice.
Morality and Ethics of Abortion
Arguments and debates that revolve around abortion usually focus on the politics and the legalities that are involved in the choice and the procedure of abortion. Questions like should abortion be treated like the murder of a human being thus should be made illegal, or should abortion be a legal choice which is available to all women are often answered by the different sides that of the abortion debate. Ethical issues also arise from abortion debates such as should laws be used in legislating morality or should good laws be based on moral values. Different beliefs and view points of the different sides of the abortion debate vary depending on what each side perceived to be as morally right and wrong.
Morality and ethics are two concepts that are usually interchanged however; I believe that these two concepts are still distinct from each other. Morality is the perception of what is good and what is bad based on a societyÕs doctrine or bible and might differ as one goes from one society to another society. Ethics for me on the other hand is the mandated rules, principles of behavior that must be followed for the whole humanity to successfully interact. For example, a single male doctor who sleeps with a single female patient is judged as being unethical in terms of the doctor-client relationship but may or may not be judged as moral or immoral depending on the group that is going to do the judging. For a more liberated-minded group, his sleeping with his patient is still unethical but it is not immoral since both doctor and patient are single and are two consenting adults. However, for a religiously-conservative group, the doctor is unethical and his act is also judged immoral since they had sexual intercourse prior to becoming married.
In short, the perceptions of each side might be morally right or justified to them however might be unethical in terms of the greater society. Several questions must first be discussed and answered in order to determine the morality and the ethics that is involved in the abortion decision.
One legal issue of abortion involves the debate to determine whether the fetus should already be considered as a complete person or not. Pro-life supporters believe that the fetus upon conception should already be considered as a complete person and therefore should be given full rights and protection and therefore the process of abortion is like and act of murdering the person inside the womb. This argument makes abortion as immoral and therefore should be banned. However, there are still those that believe that a fetus only becomes a complete person once it has been born out of the motherÕs womb. If this is the case, then the removal of the fetus which is not considered a person is moral and should not be frowned upon. However, even if it is established that the fetus is indeed a person, a state cannot pass a law that will force women to complete a pregnancy to term even if the women do not wish to do so since the state also guarantees the womenÕs right over the control of their own body. If the women would wish to terminate the pregnancy then the state has the obligation to respect the choice of the women since this would be the ethical thing for the state to do however it is not necessarily mean that it is morally justified. If for example, a woman got pregnant and her continuing the pregnancy would seriously threaten the womanÕs life and that abortion is the only way to save the womanÕs life then saving the womanÕs life would be the moral and the ethical thing to do since the act is considered self-defense for the womanÕs sake.
Another issue to consider is the obligation of the woman to the fetus. Women who consented to sex in the first place should be obligated to face the consequences of their actions especially if they did not practice safe sex in the first place. When a woman gets herself pregnant due to consensual sex, then the woman should have an ethical obligation to the fetus that is conceived and therefore having this fetus aborted would then be an unethical act of the woman. On the other hand, a woman who was raped or molested and got pregnant because of this act should not be ethically obligated to the fetus that was conceived and therefore, the choice of abortion for the unwanted child should not be regarded as unethical.
Another ethical debate surrounding abortion is on how the government or state should look at forcing women to carry pregnancy to terms. When a government or state would ban abortion then it is basically creating a law that would force pregnant women to carry their pregnancies to terms. For the pro-life supporters, this option would be an ethical one since the act would make sure that a new life would be born to this world. However, if the child is unwanted and the child would not be cared for properly once it is born, would it be ethical for a government or state to still force the child to be brought up to this world?
Because of the advancement of technology and scientific testing, a fetus can already be estimated to be healthy or normal once it is born. It can easily be detected that an unborn child would have defects at birth even if the child is still in the womb. If the unborn child is diagnosed to have defects and would not be normal once it is born and that because of these defects the child would become unwanted and would not contribute to society, would it then be ethical to abort the child so that the child would not experience being shun by the society that he would grow up in?
ABORTION AND PHILOSOPHY: So Is Abortion Moral or Immoral?
Different philosophers are also divided on the abortion issue as one group would argue in defense of abortion while others argue against it. The arguments of these philosophers basically fall under the notion that the morality of abortion is concerned with the resolution of two conflicting claims namely; the claim of the mother against the claim of the fetus Ð and that one group of philosophers would readily defend the claims of the mother against the fetus while the other group claims the vise versa.
Two philosophers namely Judith Jarvis Thomson and Michael Tooley are both proponents for abortion but both have their own views about the morality of it. Judith Jarvis Thomson assumes that the fetus is a person but maintains that even if it is a person it still doesnÕt necessarily mean that it has a right to life. Thomson further states that if the cost of completing the pregnancy to term to the mother is not too severe then it completing the pregnancy would be the ethical thing to do. However, the mother does not actually have a moral duty to do so and choosing to have an abortion would not be immoral if and only if the fetus does not have the requisite physiological development as that of a complete human being (Thomson J.J. 1971). In other words, I believe that Thomson is morally justifying abortion only within the first trimester of the pregnancy period.
Michael Tooley is a philosopher who believed that a fetus and a newborn baby both have no right to life since they do not have a mind of their own and is not self-conscious to the world around them and that both the fetus and the newborn baby does not any particular interest in a continuing self. Since both have no right to life then Tooley believes that abortion and even infanticide is within the moral limits (Tooley, M. 1983).
Shannon M. Jordan on the other hand proposed that the morality of abortion should not be based on the basis of categorizing a fetus as a human being or not based on the definition of what a human being is. Instead, the definition of the moral community should be defined first as the relationship and interrelationship of the community in which individuals are bounded together based on rational intentions and actions and these bonds therefore form the basis for moral commitments. She further stated that even though fetuses and newborn babies do not have rational intentions or actions, they rely on those members of the community that are capable of rational intentions and actions that would enable their survival until they reach the point that they themselves can make rational actions (Jordan S.M. 1986). Since the fetus belongs to the moral community, abortion or the removal of the fetus would then be seen as an immoral act.
Reily Maguire believed that a fetus is already a person and gains personhood once a woman accepts her pregnancy and thus activating the fetusÕs potentiality for developing social relations in upon birth. Maguire added that it is the mother that makes the fetus a person (Reily Maguire M. 1985). In this case, abortion would then become similar to that of killing a person and therefore would become immoral and unethical.
All in all, this paper has given the definition of what abortion is and has discussed the relevance of the Supreme Court decision of making it legal all across America. This paper has also enumerated some of the positive and negative aspects brought about by the legalization of abortion as well as the numerous ethical and moral questions surrounding some of the situations that may or may not require abortion. Finally, this paper has given several philosophersÕ viewpoints regarding the morality and immorality of abortion.
In my own personal opinion, I believe that a fetus is alive and that given further development inside a womb would already be considered a human being. I further believe that during the first trimester of pregnancy, the only activities that are undergoing inside a pregnant womanÕs womb is continuous cell-division of the zygote while it is becoming a fetus and that these cell-division is the process that is responsible for the creation of the different organs and tissues that the unborn baby will have once it is born. I believe that the only thing happening is MERELY just cell division, and tissue and organ generation, therefore, the fetus I believe at this point is only a bunch of dividing cells, tissues and organs and should not be considered as a real human being and thus, abortion at this point can still be within the moral boundaries. I further agree that a woman should have control over her body and that she has the right to have a choice whether to continue with the pregnancy or have an abortion only if the abortion would take place within the first trimester.
I would only agree to an abortion during the second or third trimester if and only if the life of the pregnant woman is in serious threat because of the continuing pregnancy. If it has to be a choice between the life of the unborn child or the mother, then I would always choose the life of the mother and would deem the act to be a moral act.