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Philosophical Aspect of Legalization of Abortion

Updated September 19, 2021
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Philosophical Aspect of Legalization of Abortion essay

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Abortion is a very controversial topic that has been argued over time. Abortion is the act of terminating a pregnancy that has begun the developing process in becoming a full-term baby. How would it feel if someone got to determine the life or death of a child? This topic can be approached in different ways and should not be viewed the same way because many people’s circumstances are different. Many people are intimate and know the risk that comes with it. Other people get pregnant against their own will such as rape. What someone does with their baby should be their choice and should not concern others. Life is a gift and should not be killed due to a reckless mistake.

Abortions should not be a way out of having the responsibility of a child. This is an ethical issue that should be taken into consideration based off of the circumstances of the individual. Moral philosophies systemize and defend the ethical question regarding right and wrong behavior. The ethical justification of abortion can vary by analyzing the issues from the Rawls’ or consequentialist perspective. The science behind abortion goes back much farther than the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe V Wade, which made abortion legal and marked an important turning point in the health policy.

Abortion was legal and has been performed for thousands of years. During the 1800s, medical practices and surgical procedures, including abortions were very risky as the means of health care were different than today. The article “History of Abortion” emphasizes the background of abortions since the beginning of time. “As scientific methods began to dominate medical practice, and technologies were developed to prevent infection, medical care on the whole became much safer and more effective” (History of Abortion). Science and abortion correlate because today’s society is dependent on science, so it may seem.

Another article “Science is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost” goes in depth about how this day in age is very science-obsessed and goes beyond the court case Roe V. Wade. As more advances in the medical field prosper, the more these advances fundamentally shift the moral intuition around abortion. “New technology makes it easier to apprehend the humanity of a growing child and imagine a fetus as a creature with moral status” (Green). Whether pro-life or pro-choice, science is used as the ultimate tool regarding abortion rights. The issue behind abortion is a life being taken every time a pregnancy is unwanted. Although there are many excuses as to why one would want to get one but are any of them worth ruining what could have been a fantastic life?

For instance, if a twelve-year-old girl got raped and became pregnant, why would she have to carry a baby for nine months because she got violated against her own will? Rape victims have found security that a child could be easily removed from such an action. Victims who have been raped most often do not want to keep the baby because of post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD. Removing the child would end their traumatic experience instead of a remembrance of that moment with a child for the rest of their life. This proves a point of how every individual’s circumstance is not the same. Going through an abortion puts the body through emotional stress, and the long-term effect is living with the fact that one terminated the life of their child.

According to an article by Kaur and Gupta, “The endocrinology of human pregnancy involves endocrine and metabolic changes that result from physiological alterations at the boundary between.” Also, abortions might cause damage to the uterus as it might cause future pregnancies to be complicated. Abortion may seem an easy way out; however, one does not consider the long-term effects it can have on a woman’s body. Abortion is an ethical issue because of the controversies it portrays. It comes down to a matter of life or death. Back in history, it became a massive debate as it still is today. Robert Arujo, presented an article about ‘Abortion, Ethics, and the Common Good: Who are we? What Do We Want? How Do We Get There?’

The article emphasizes how abortion is an ethical issue and how it presents the components of the common good. Dating back in time and even until this day, abortion has always stricken society as a hot topic. ‘Almost twenty years ago, Roe v. Wade, the American legal and judicial communities, as well as the American Public at large, became engaged in the public debate about the legality of abortion’ (Arujo, 702). Abortion will always be an ethical issue since it deals with the argument of life, a fetus, and a human being. People might think that when the egg meets the sperm there is life and some might think it is not; they may think that is a bunch of cells waiting to be formed. People believe that a fetus is alive, whereas others may argue that it is not yet at that stage.

People think some women are capable of bearing a child and will diverge against that and say some are not. People will make excuses to keep the baby, and some will have reasons to terminate it. Suppose the mother or child has complications, then is abortion right? This is why abortion is an ethical dilemma because there are so many aspects involved that make it very sensitive and debatable. Abortion will always be a tough and touchy topic. It is very complex that involves many great outlooks. Every individual is entitled to their own opinion, and each person has their perspective. Many people choose sides concerning abortion without having sufficient information to do so, such as knowing what the abortion process truly entails. Religion also plays a big factor as some beliefs are solely against abortions, and some religions believe that it defies the word of God.

An individual’s morals, ethics, and religion create a strong background which determines their decisions. Even age and financial situations play a toll on one’s judgment. Although religious aspects play a role, it should not only be based on religion depending on the condition the individual might be in. The body is the woman’s ‘temple,’ and ultimately, she has the final decision on whether she believes in getting one or not. Autonomy is the right to make a decision that is best for one’s own interest. If a woman is willing to take on her wish to get an abortion, it is her decision.

Therefore, if other people make the decision for her, wouldn’t that be going against her autonomy of making her own choice? The purpose of autonomy is having the ability to decipher your own morals and beliefs, but if other people get in the way of that, it defeats the whole purpose behind autonomy. Unless the woman is incapable, incompetent, or mentally unable upon making her decision then nothing should intrude her wishes. Making a decision for the interest of one’s own good can create other issues, such as slippery slope scenarios and the double effect principal, where the good will outweigh the bad. Abortion can be sad if not used for the right reasons. It may seem like a way out, but people need to consider the physical effects and long-term damages to your body.

Before getting this done, there is a lot that one needs to think as one would not just want to do it for the sake of the not having a baby. That being said, if done for that reason, one would be considered selfish and not looking at the bigger picture of potentially giving a chance for another life. Granted, there are some instances where abortions are necessary depending on the situation, but all in all, it is something that should be thought of in all aspects before jumping to any conclusions.

There are some different ways to abort a baby which can have short and long-term effects. Getting a procedure to remove the baby is one way, but has more of an impact on your body physically. Another option is to take a pill which aborts the baby as well, but might affect the body that can not be seen physically right away. There is no link between abortion and future pregnancies that cause complications in the long run. Either way one decides to do this, they should take into consideration the damage it can do both physically and mentally.

Abortion should not be something taken lightly, at the end of the day you would be killing a fetus. Many people view abortion as morally ‘wrong’ because you would be taking a life no matter what. The article “Reasons for Abortion” highlights aspects where abortion could be legal. Under certain conditions, instances where abortions might be ethically justifiable can be permitted under specific criteria. Some societies ban abortion completely, but in some cases, they will abort in certain situations. Abortion for the sake of the mother’s health, including her mental health. Abortion where a pregnancy is the result of a crime, such as rape, incest, or child abuse. Abortion where the child of the pregnancy would have an unacceptable quality of life, such as serious physical handicaps, genetic problems, and mental defects. Social reasons can result in abortion as poverty, mother unable to cope with a child, or the mother being too young.

Rawls’ theory and the consequentialist theory intertwine with these situations. Since consequentialist theory is based on consequences, these are instances that represent situations where abortion could be legal under these criteria. Rawls’ theory philosophies original positions behind a veil of ignorance. These scenarios described are ideologies that might make an abortion legal to perform as these instances could have happened since people tend to think of themselves first. The idea of being selfless and ignorant without thinking of what could become.

Moral philosophies involve the systemizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior. Rawls and consequentialist theories are philosophies that help aid the understanding of certain situations. Rawls theory disregards talents and economic status. Under the Rawls theory, rational self-interest will protect us and protect at least the well-off because it would protect. “Rawls theory uses an elaborate philosophical construct in which persons are in the “original positions,” behind a veil of ignorance” (Darr 2). Under Rawls theory, social and economic inequalities should be arranged so that they are both reasonably expected to be to everyone’s advantage and attached to positions. He believes that utilitarianism, the greatest good for the greatest number, will be rejected.

Rawls theory indicates that rational self-interest dictates that one will act to protect the lest well-off because of right and justice as precedent to the good. In regards to abortion, one will sometimes be ignorant to decide as one would want to benefit themselves without thinking about other people. Under the consequentialist theory, morality is based on consequences. Morality is judged solely by analyzing consequences of actions. Also, the ends justify the means. According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, consequentialism is the view that morality is all about producing the right kinds of overall consequences.

This theory could be considered utilitarianism because actions are moral if the implications are more favorable than unfavorable. In consequentialism, ‘consequences of actions include the action itself and everything the action causes’ (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Abortions can be based upon consequentialism, and in some instances, abortions can be intended for the right consequences. As a result, abortion is a worldly view that has many aspects revolving around it. There is no morally right answer to this issue.

Many ethical jurisdictions make this a topic of interest and empathy. Although many people have different perspectives, it is challenging to have an argument based on changed circumstances that are withheld by each. Abortions have been around for many years and will always be a debatable issue as it deals with a precious life that has not had the opportunity to see the light. Moral philosophical aspects and theories will propose an idea, but it does not matter what anyone says, each person will have their own belief towards this ethical issue.

Work Cited

  1. Kaur, Ramandeep, and Kapil Gupta. “Endocrine Dysfunction and Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion: An Overview.” International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research 6.2 (2016): 79–83. PMC. Web. 15 Sept. 2018.
  2. Arujo, Robert J. Abortion, Ethics, and the Common Good: Who Are We? What Do We Want? How Do We Get There? pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9b08/4cdf3fb4e056fcdbbbe23457b8ad360f0817.pdf.
  3. Darr, Kurt. Ethics in Health Services Management. Health Professions Press, Inc., 2019. “Consequentialism.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, www.iep.utm.edu/conseque/.
  4. “History of Abortion.” National Abortion Federation, prochoice.org/education-and-advocacy/about-abortion/history-of-abortion/.
  5. Green, Emma. “Science Is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 19 Jan. 2018, www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/pro-life-pro-science/549308/.
  6. “Ethics – Abortion: Reasons for Abortion.” BBC, BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/abortion/legal/when_1.shtml.
Philosophical Aspect of Legalization of Abortion essay

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