Implications of an Ethical Issue-Abortion
In one’s day to day life, decisions are made. These can be minor decisions like what to wear or major decision that has an impact on their life and that of others. When making these decisions people base their answers on a variety of understandings. Some of the basis of decisions includes morality or ethics from a Christian perspective. These two bases guide one in what is right and what is wrong using principles and beliefs previously formed. Abortion is one critical decision that can be supported and condemned using moral and ethical set standards.
Ethical dilemma is a difficult situation that a person has to make a decision based on the social morals, and is ready to face the consequences of their decisions. For instance, a person will have an ethical dilemma in the scenario of whether to abort or not. One way of resolving the scenario is through researching on the issue and finding detailed facts. Secondly, a person can listen to inner voice and consciousness before making a decision.
In the scenario where a woman, Susan has to make a decision either to abort or keep her child diagnosed with Down syndrome. According to the Bible, the ethical thing to do is to keep the baby. However, it is difficult as Susan, and the child is meant to undergo suffering in future because of the disease. Being human no one would voluntarily choose to undergo suffering. However, in Susan’s case it is her first child. By nature, her motherly instincts would want to keep and protect her child.
The Bible does not clearly and condemned abortion, but it is against suicide and genocide. God among the Ten Commandments given to human on Mount Sinai forbids killing.
12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 13 You shall not murder. 14 You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:12-14 New Revised Standard Version)
Those for the abortion of handicapped babies argue that is the right of the mother to decide whether or not to keep the baby. If within her pregnancy, she finds out he or she may be deformed. The mother has a right to make such a decision before the baby is born. From a Christian perspective when a child is formed in the womb, it represents the beginning of life. An unborn fetus has a life just like any full grown human being. Aborting a handicapped child is the same as killing a living grown human because they do not conform to the world’s expectations, (Wogaman 2009).
The Bible does not have a clear definition of a human being. However, it recognizes that an unborn child has a life. The following is one of the circumstances;
22 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follow, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman's husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. 23 If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life (Exodus 21:22-23 New Revised Standard Version).
Others may support the abortion, saying that the handicapped child may never get to enjoy life, because of the suffering that comes with the illness (Wogaman 2009). According to research, more “normal” people commit suicide than those who are handicapped. They find their way of finding happiness in the little things that life has to offer the things that many do not appreciate or even recognize. The child may be difficult to take care off, but homicide is not a solution to the problem. The unborn child like any other child may bring unending joy and love in the family. When dealing with the handicapped, their family forms a strong bond towards them. They always want to protect them and make them happy.
The Bible clearly states that humans are formed in God’s image. Therefore, regardless of the deformity that the child may possess they represent God. God’s view of everyone is equal. No one is superior or inferior in the eyes of God. As Christians follow the teachings and ways of God, they should not be biased. They should not discriminate people based on things they cannot control. It was not the choice of the child that he or she be born with Downs Syndrome.
Based on the teachings of the Bible the best decision that a mother can make is to keep the child. Regardless of the circumstances in which the child may be born. There are circumstances where abortion is unavoidable; for example, if the mother and child can lose both of their lives if abortion is not performed. According to the Bible, God provides the means out of difficult situations and has good plans for success for those who follow Him. He will ease the pain of both the child and the mother. They will be able to find happiness within the situation.
Children with Down syndrome are a blessing. They soften one’s view of the world. One learns to accept people as they come with caring for a child with the illness. One can relate to people undergoing difficulty in life. They learn how to treat them and make them feel loved and appreciated. It also gives the caretakers the joy and opportunities of welcoming many people into their lives. There are many groups for supporting people infected and affected by Down syndrome. Here the mother may get support from a variety of people. Naturally, people will want to help parents who seem to be undergoing difficulty because of having a handicapped child.
According to Geisler (2010) the added effort in helping children with Down syndrome makes each milestone surpassed a celebration. One learns to appreciate and celebrate the little things normally taken for granted. These children will undergo slow development in learning. Teaching them how to pronounce words or even write brings great joy to the caregivers. Joy is found in many ways for this kind of children.
However, making the ethical decision to keep the baby will come with a variety of challenges, (Geisler 2010). The mostly come and overwhelming challenge that the mother may experience is stress, which may develop into depression. It is not easy raising a child with Down syndrome. The child will show slow development in aspects such as speech. The mother will have difficulty in trying to understand what the child wants. The slow development will also mean that the mother has to dedicate most of her time to the child. She will need a higher amount of cash to make life comfortable for the child. This may lead to stress in circumstances in which she does not have the capability.
The general public may become biased towards the mother and the child. Other children may discriminate against the sick child. These may make them feel unwanted, thus lowering their self-esteem. A low self –esteem would mean that the child will not reach their goals as they do not believe in themselves. Other parents may not freely associate with the mother as their experience in raising a child may be different. They may fear talking about certain issues as it may upset the mom.
If the mother has other children in the future, the child with Down syndrome will feel left out, (Geisler2010). . They will feel like they have a problem when they compare themselves to the other children. This situation may be worsened if their siblings discriminate against them. They will feel like they are not wanted and not loved, and may lead to suicidal thoughts.
Compared to the decision of aborting the child the mother may not have to use a lot of money towards caring for the child. There are medical expenses that come with raising a child with Down syndrome. There is also a considerable amount of cash that goes into making the life of the child. For example, by buying equipment that aids the child’s process of learning. By choosing to adopt the mother will be saved for these expenses.
The mother may not undergo the emotional turmoil that comes with taking care of a child with Down syndrome by choosing to abort the baby. The mother sufferers emotionally as she sees her child suffer from the illness. Others may argue that abortion will rid of the unborn child of the suffering that comes with living with Down syndrome.
However, by choosing to abort, the mother will be subjected to guilt having taken the life of the unborn child (Wogaman 2009). Thoughts of how the child could have been may feel her mind. She may also experience flashes of the abortion experience, and this may lead to her experiencing regret. Later on, she may think that it would have been wise to keep the child. No regret and guilt will be experienced if she decides to keep the child.
In conclusion, it would be wise to keep a child regardless of the medical diagnosis of the child. An unborn child is a human being like any other and no one should decide whether they get to live or die other than God. A child with Down syndrome in many cases is viewed as a blessing by their caregivers. They bring joy, and one gets to appreciate the small things that others take for granted in life.
Ridling, Z. (1989). The Hebrew Bible: with the Apocryphal/Deuteronical Books. United States of America: Division of Christian Education.
Geisler, N. L. (2010). Christian ethics: Contemporary issues & options. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic
New Revised Standard Version. Ed. Metzger Bruce M. New York: Harper Bibles, 2010. Print.
Wogaman, J. P. (2009). Moral dilemmas: An introduction to Christian ethics. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.