Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines
The essay begins with a brief introduction about the outline of the contents. This essay critically discusses the abortion issue from a Philosophical point of view. There are several arguments both favoring and against abortion. The essay can be considered a good reference point for an argument or a debate on the abortion issue. Finally the essay concludes summarizing the vital points supporting in favor and against abortion. Recommendations are also offered to minimize the growing number of abortion cases as a result of the changing social life style among the current generation.
The essay is about the argument on abortion as a women’s right. The essay critically discusses the topic with several philosophers’ views. Abortion is considered as a philosophical issue and a critical analysis of the abortion is done in this perspective. The various other views on abortion are also analyzed. The essay emphasizes on the importance of the rights of the women in the case of abortion. The essay summarizes the points both in favor and against abortion. Most of the points favoring abortion emphasize the rights of the women in taking a decision about the abortion. Finally the essay concludes that it is the right of the women to decide on abortion and the parties involved in the abortion contribute to the abortion. Abortion has become very common these days and the growth of illegal abortion is growing rapidly due to increasing abusive relationships of the adults. The social life style of the people has been changing and the impact of western culture is felt over the world. The current generations of people live in a fast world where the traditional philosophies and beliefs are totally forgotten. A philosophical view of the abortion debate is initiated in this essay along with the discussion of the modern trends and the changing life style. The role of the government and the external environment on the abortion issue is also discussed in the essay. The essay gives a critical discussion of the abortion issue from various perspectives.
Two main views on Abortion Arguments
Jali MN, 2002 argues that in the case of abortion there are two views of argument. First is that life starts with conception and the other is the right of the women to carry the baby and forms a source of self determination. To be more concise the argument is about the life value and the self determination of the woman. The first argument is that all forms of abortion are illegal as it is viewed as the killing of the embryo which is violating the life rights. People believing in this argument emphasize that strict laws must be enforced to prohibit the abortions. The other view argues in favor of women’s rights that exercising abortion is the right of the women to control things happening in their own bodies. The people believing in this exercise strongly believe that laws must not be enforced against the rights of the women to abort. Abortion has a lot of side effects and can be a source of breast cancer and psychological effects in women. Abortion can also lower the crime rate as this reduces the number of orphans and illegal children.
The philosophical perspective of the abortion issue revolves around these two arguments. One is relating to the moral rights of the embryo and the other relating to bodily rights. Mary Warren, 2011 argues in favor of person hood stating that killing of innocent embryo is wrong morally and philosophically. Her arguments state that it is wrong to kill or murder an innocent person and embryo is an innocent human. Other writers argue that the embryo does not have the right to life and the women have the right to give life or end it. This argument is supported with embryo lacking the self consciousness and rationality to decide about their life. To counteract with this argument, Warren, 2012 argues that brain is the key to determine the person hood and the embryo with a well developed brain is a person.
Peter Singer, 1999 argues that infanticide in addition to embryo killing is not strictly murder. Both must be permissible on the rights of the women or the mother. Infanticide and abortion are morally acceptable according to singer in certain conditions. There are cases where the infants are born disabled with a minimum life period and in these cases abortion or infanticide are acceptable.
Don Marques, 1997 argues that abortion is wrong as it demolishes the future of the growing embryo. The author argues that killing an embryo is similar to killing an adult human that deprives all the life value, properties etc. on the loss of life. Killing is seriously harmful and an immoral act.
Judith Thomson, 2011 argues that abortion is some time necessary even if the embryo has the right to life the right of the women to bear the embryo comes first. The author gives example to support this argument by stating if the embryo development in the women could harm the women then the women has all the rights to abort. This action is acceptable as in this case, the woman is depriving the embryo of its future to safe guard herself or her future. In such cases, abortion is permissible. A person cannot live by causing harm or depriving the rights of the other person or making the other person suffer is the gist of the argument of this author supporting abortion.
Abortion as a Philosophical issue
Frank Bouchier-Hayes, 2004 states that abortion is a philosophical concern with a political solution. In 1960’s, philosophers showed interest in abortion as a philosophical issue. The author argues that the right of the foetus is more compared to the right of the mother. There are most of the arguments stating that the parents have the right to abort the foetus from the 1970’s. This perspective changed to women’s rights and the rights of the embryo from a philosophical point of view. The author concludes stating that abortion is not always permissible except in exceptional cases. The author argues for the security of the foetus and the right of the unborn child to live. Very early abortion has become a moral debate with a philosophical development of the issue. Philosophers have contributed a great deal to the debate on abortion. The debate pertains to the people concerned or involved. Aiming to arrive at a solution for the abortion issues, it lies in the hands of the parties involved to make the decision. The abortion issue can be solved only if the involved parties come to a consensus and their decision will remain final about the abortion. From a doctor perspective, abortions are very common these days and show no hesitancy in doing an abortion as this is a part of their jobs. There are doctors in the field who consider abortion as a moral issue and some of them avoid doing an abortion. In the current world, people find doctors to abort the fetuses and hence the role of doctors in abortion is very less. It is up to the person concerned either lovers or parents to decide on the abortion.
Creating awareness about the ill effects and the harm caused physically to the body of the women as a result of abortion can reduce abortion considerably. It is the right of the mother finally to take a decision on the abortion. The author then shifts the discussion to the principle of nurturance morality stating that it is the responsibility of every mother and parent to take care on their off spring. This perspective holds well on moral grounds but people often do not consider the moral aspects of life and show negligence to the basic truths about life. The parents or people of the current generation are responsibility averse and consider having children as a burden. This mind set of the current generation is against the moral rules of life and an attitude change is needed to resolve the issue of the abortion in the current era.
Other perspectives on Abortion
Abortion has been practiced from the early days of history. In America, Debate over abortion is very serious with political, religious, ethical and philosophical perspectives. In most of the cases, women feel that abortion is morally a decision of their own according to the situation. In US, abortion is considered as a form of violence. People against abortion emphasize that after a pregnant women decides to undergo abortion, the government must over ride her decision and prevent her from undergoing abortion. The role of government comes in to picture in the abortion debate. In accordance with this, there are certain laws proposed in South Dakota (Williams, 2010) banning all forms of abortion considering the post effects of abortion on the physical condition of the women.
Aristotle’s views on abortion play a vital role in the debate. Morally, abortion is unjustifiable and no physician must help a woman to undergo abortion at any circumstance. Aristotle follows the theory of epigenesis according to which abortion can be done within the first forty days of gestation. This was proposed by Aristotle in the early days itself answering a lot of questions about the debate of abortion including the killing of the living embryo etc.
Summary of Arguments against abortion
It is a wrong act to kill people. The life of humans begins at conception and killing an embryo in this stage is wrong. Killing the future of the embryo is wrong. Abortion must be avoided and prevented as it causes pain and harm to both the women and the foetus. Foetus can feel the pain in 18 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion after 18 weeks is dangerous to the both the foetus and the women. Abortion is a means of legalizing killing which reduces the respect for life. Abortion can have bad social impacts with the crime rate increasing gradually in the society. Strict laws must be in place to prevent abortion.
Abortion can cause damage to women in a physical and psychological manner in the long term. In some cases, feminists oppose abortion to a great extent and consider it as violence as it is against the feminist principles. Another major reason cited against abortion is that feminists believe that most of the abortions have a male plot behind. The reasons cited by males are so novice that it cannot be considered for an abortion. Mostly financial reasons are cited for abortion by males. Another of the reason is that male feel that if their girl becomes pregnant, they cannot have sex when they prefer (Andrea Dworkin, 1991). Feminists argue that abortion is a way of exploiting women by the men. Men are responsibility averse in having sex with a women and not taking responsibility for the birth of the child as a result. This is one of the major reasons that feminists oppose abortion to a great extent and even protests and rallies were held to avoid this practice. Hence it is essential that the women’s rights must be given priority in the extreme cases of abortion.
Summary of Arguments favoring abortion
Abortion is acceptable as foetus does not have a right to live. Another human being in the form of foetus does not have the right to live by causing harm to another human being. Hence it is the right of the women bearing the foetus to give life to the embryo. There are exceptional cases like the development of a disease prone embryo, conjoined twins case, embryo development causing harm to mother’s life etc. where abortion is favorable. The moral rights of the pregnant woman are considered high over the rights of the foetus to live. The pregnant women has full rights to decide about her future, take decisions on her own without any intervention, consider her health conditions etc. The women’s rights hold good for certain circumstances alone and cannot be taken always to favor abortion. There are cases where women get raped and in extreme case gang raped (Megan Clancy, 2000) and become pregnant. Here in this case, the woman has the right to abort as the problem is rape. There are cases where the pregnant woman is starving and in this circumstance, the woman has the right to abort as the problem is starvation. There are certain cases, where the pregnant women may indulge in abusive relationships and in such case, the woman has the right to abort as the problem is that the woman is indulging in abusive relationships. Hence in the above discussed cases, the women’s rights can be considered in favor of abortion.
A study reveals that most of the abortions occur due to the financial lack of the mother to bring a child or an illegal child. Women’s rights in the case of abortion or pregnancy do not completely free them instead women must be given jobs and made financially free. Government must take steps to offer inexpensive child care, companies offering required maternal leave and offer a work place suiting the mother’s needs.
The argument favoring the women’s rights has the points like the women have the right to abort as a means of gender equality. It is the body of the women and they have full right over it. When a law is passed banning abortion then the women has to perform abortion in an illegal manner. Pregnancy rights enable a woman to experience full potential and offer freedom to keep or abort the baby. Hence greater consideration is given to the rights of the women in the case of abortion. The emphasis is on women’s rights because as a result of abortion, the body of the women is going to be affected more. Women are subject to physical and psychological disorders as a result of abortion in the long term.
As a result of the critical analysis, it can be concluded that abortion is favorable with the women having rights over her body. The parties involved in abortion including men, physicians, government etc. has a significant role to play but ultimately abortion is to be considered a personal decision by the women. However, abortion is completely unjustifiable on religious and moral grounds for many generations to come but abortion has become legal with government support in developed nations like United States with emphasis on the rights of the women. The essay has discussed the various exceptional cases where women can go for abortion to preserve themselves. Abortion is a debate with many philosophers arguing against abortion.
In the practical world, abortion has become a way of living with the living together culture growing among the adults all over the world. The current generation post pone their marriage for a long time citing financial and other reasons. The main reason however is that they are responsibility averse. The number of abortion cases in schools and colleges is increasing rapidly and steps have to be taken to reduce abortions as a result of these incidents. The concerned parties including the politicians, government, physicians, parents, school and college administration, students and the parties involved with abortion must be assembled to stop the case of abortion growing in to a violence case. Hence to conclude, it is the right of the women to undergo abortion but with a proper reason. Laws must be enforced to prevent the large number of increasing abortion cases in the recent days. Finally it is up to the parties concerned to decide on abortion and ultimately, the right of the women and their consent on undergoing abortion remains final. Government must take steps to prevent illegal abortion procedures which results in the death of many women.References
- Andrea Dworkin. (1991). Right Wing Women. chapter 3. McGraw Hill Edition
- Don Marques. (1997). Abortion is wrong. Nursing education publication, Australia
- Frank Bouchier-Hayes. (2004). Philosophers on Abortion and Infanticide, Minerva publication, Limerick Philosophical Society
- Jali MN. (2012). Abortion--a philosophical perspective. Department of Nursing Science, University of the North America
- Judith Thomson. (2011). A defense of Abortion. McGraw Hill publications
- Mary Warren. (2011). Person hood in abortion cases. TMG Hill publication
- Megan Clancy. (2000). Abortion is better. Pearson publishers. New York, United States
- Peter Singer. (1999). Abortion and Infanticide – Morally acceptable. Pearson publication
- Williams. (2010). Ethical and Religious Perspectives of Abortion! American Daily, September 16, 2008