One of the most controversial topics in terms of ethics is the issue on abortion, whether it is valid or illegal. In one definition, abortion is considered the premature termination or forced elimination of the pregnancy. This can be done through the use of pills or physical means. This is usually done intentionally . Many arguments have been raised regarding the legalities of such act, and why it is a continuously growing trend in many countries both developed and developing. Most of the cases of abortion are due to unwanted pregnancies, teenage pregnancy and due to the hardships the parents are experiencing. In terms of its legality and if committing the act is against the law, the evidence is two-fold. Some believe that abortion is illegal as one is killing an innocent life. Others believe that it is still adequate since the child is not yet born. At present, the topic is still uncertain. Additional arguments also have been raised. While reading through discussion boards, articles and even editorial papers about the issue, I have found this to be a fascinating topic to discuss. In this paper, I intend to prove through a detailed discussion and debate that abortion is illegal as it is an act that kills pure and vulnerable lives.
A reason why abortion must not be committed is it is a violation against the right to live. It is an established fact that killing a person is morally wrong. This is also seen in the Ten Commandments. This fact itself does not rule any action as exempted from this rule and that includes abortion. Religious leaders, groups, and supporters have staunchly noted that a human embryo already has a life once it has been cited in its mother’s womb. But many have noted that the fetus does not have the right to exist because it has no soul. Some have regarded that a fetus does not have a soul to embody it to be similarly be a regular human being. Each religion, however, has a different notion on when a fetus starts to have a soul. Since the fetus has a soul, it is then a moral sin to commit abortion since one is killing a person. In Islam, the doctrine teaches that ensoulment or the time the soul enters the body happens after 120 days the fetus forms in the womb of its mother. They believe that after 120 days, a mother who aborts her child would commit a terrible sin as compared to the one who commits the acts before the 120 days are up .
In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, they first taught that ensoulment happens after 16 weeks once movement is felt in the stomach of the mother. But, they have revised their customs in 1869 and now teach that ensoulment immediately happens once the fetus develops. Christianity also sees abortion as a double sin. One not only takes the life of the fetus away from it, there is a significant chance that it would be subjected to a life without hope of being saved. It is due to this stance that Christianity sees abortion as a crime more immoral than killing a born and baptized child . With this in consideration, one can then rule in that the fetus has equal rights to live due to the presence of a soul which completes his humanity. This also proves to show that if abortion is legalized, this would signify that disabled people (such as foetuses) are insignificant as compared to a normal person.
There is also the argument that they could feel pain especially on its twenty-two week in development. With the capacity to feel pain alongside the presence of a soul within it, the fetus is already a person in its own right. Despite arguments that a fetus is still not a full-fledged person in a moral perspective, its genetic makeup and blueprint is undeniably human. In the passing weeks and months, the fetus is slowly developing to become the person he was meant to be. This belief is shared by many Catholics and note that these are the grounds needed to prove that abortion is morally wrong. Should abortion be accepted and can be considered ethical, the public would no longer have the same concept regarding the sanctity of life .
In one argument, abortion destroys a future of value and a life which could have a beautiful future. In depriving the small being to experience all the nicest things a regular person gets experience, a fetus will no longer have a chance to do these things. That fetus would have been an influential person in the world, and more ways than one, it can bring happiness and joy to many. The child would have discovered and invented items and skills which have not been practiced at present. Most people value a person’s capacity to contribute to society. So killing a potential actor would reduce the chances to enable contribution to happen. Even if the fetus does not have a soul let, the idea that it has a bright future would be put into waste. An example is given to explain this claim is the life of a painter and his most influential work. Should he suddenly feel that he wants to burn his canvas and burn it, he deprives people to see his art. Some would have felt immense joy and happiness while some would have commended the artist. Should he have burned the item, he may have a reason for doing so. The artist would have done a fatal mistake if he doesn’t have a reason for burning his work. Failure to put the masterpiece into action is one action that an artist sees as a sin. This is the same case as a fetus. A fetus can be considered a work of art. If it is destroyed in any form, its future would no longer be of value without its presence upon its birth .
In a more personal note, abortion is wrong simply because it is a gift that not all couples and families could have. It is true that some cases of pregnancies could have been caused by other heinous crimes such as rape and sexual abuse. But, can one even vent the blame to a child that has no knowledge of the act? One’s conscience would immediately feel the guilty up to her dying day despite the fact she is already moving on. It is true in some cases that situations call for a choice between saving the life of the mother or the child; but in most cases, should one kill just to move away? The decision may depend on the mother, but, before even considering abortion, one must consider if it would be a reasonable move and life-threatening. One must be extremely responsible especially if the first signs of life are seen on a small monitor screen.
Education for Choice. Abortion and Religion. Education for Choice, 23 November. 2011. Web. 2 December. 2011
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Savulescu, J. “Abortion, embryo destruction and the future of value argument.” Journal of Medical Ethics (2002): 133-135. Web. 2 December. 2011.
Schiff, Daniel. Abortion in Judaism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.