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ArgumentResearch Paper on Abortion
Inthe vibrant discussion about abortion, people tend to assume one ofthe two standpoints, either the pro-life or the pro-choicestandpoint. Both standpoints present arguments as to why they supporttheir points of view, where the pro-choice support abortion while thepro-life stands against abortion. The arguments are majorly based onto whether or not life begins at conception, and hence the debateabout equalizing abortion to murder, whether or not abortion shouldbe considered as a basic women’s human right, the risks involved inabortion, and religious based arguments among others. This essaypresents an argument that abortion is seriously immoral and ethicallywrong. Thesis:Although there are numerous arguments in support of abortion,extensive research has indicated that these arguments are surpassedby the disadvantages and therefore abortion is considered as beingimmoral and unacceptable.
Whetheror not abortion is morally permissible stands or falls on whether ornot a fetus is a being whose life is wrong to end (Steinbock, 13).Both the pro-choice and the pro-life supporters agree that, it iswrong to end the life of a being but the major argument is on whenexactly the life of a human being starts, and hence this leads to adebate as to whether a fetus is a human being or not. According topro-choice, a fetus is not a biological human being and that onlylife that is biologically human has the great moral worth (Marquis,183). While the pro-life argue that life begins at conception henceabortion is morally wrong, the pro-choice on the other hand arguethat a fetus is not a human being and hence abortion is not wrong.Pro-life are of the opinion that a fetus is a human being from themoment of conception (MacKinnon, 18). The anti-abortionists stand,that abortion should be permissible only when the life of the womanis in danger or in a case of rape is usually challenged by theadvocates of abortion. Pollitt argue that, if really life begins atconception and that a fetus is a human being, anti abortionistsshould accept the cost that comes with pregnancy without exemptinganyone for any reason should it be rape, anomaly of the fetus, youngage pregnancy or be it to save the life of the pregnant woman (68).Whether or not fetuses should be considered as biologically human,the fact that they are living and may thus be considered as differentspecies just like any other in the planet, mean that they have afuture (Marquis, 198). As long as any life whether human or animalhas a future, it means that that species has great moral worth. Whatkilling does to the victim is that it leads to the loss of thevictim’s future. Therefore, the fact that a fetus has a futuremakes abortion wrong. Abortion is thus an action that denies thefetus the right to live and experience the world.
Accordingto Marquis, the experience of living is valued and there is always awish for that valuable experience to continue (202). Killing istherefore wrong, in this case abortion, as it discontinues the lifeof the victim, the fetus. On the other hand, there is a desire tocontinue to live according to (Marquis, 204) and hence killinginterferes with this strong desire to continue to live. In additionto this, Marquis argue that what makes killing wrong is not only thebrutality of the action but also the great loss that others wouldexperience in the absence of the victim (206). This means that anyfetus has a great potential if given an opportunity to continue tolive, and that if a woman aborts, despite inflicting pain on thefetus, she could be possibly aborting a fetus that could have been ofgreat importance to a society or the world at large. The other majorargument in support of abortion is that abortion should be viewed asa basic women’s human right. Pollitt argues that, advocating forabortion should be viewed as equal to advocating for rights of womenand mothers (94). The prochoice supports that if a woman feels thatit is not the right time to have a baby, her decision should berespected since being a mother and caring mother to a child is theability to predict when it is and it is not right to bring a childinto the world depending on the ability to provide for that child. Inaddition to this pro-choice argument, it is natural for a woman toprioritize herself over others and hence a woman should be givenfreedom to choose not to give birth. However, if a woman decides tohave sex she should be aware that the result is her responsibilityand she must be willing to deal with the consequences. Suchconsequence includes getting pregnant, giving birth and raising achild. When a woman gets pregnant it is as a result of her ownchoices, even if the pregnancy is unwanted or unplanned (Steinbock,326). Therefore, abortion is not justified
Accordingto Pollitt, if abortion would be considered as a basic women’shuman right, it would give women an opportunity to manage theirfertility and hence a better management of their lives (136). Thisargument proposes that abortion would give women the power to limitor delay child bearing where women can bring forth children only whenready. This argument however is baseless since if a woman feels thatshe is not ready to give birth or raise a child, it is herresponsibility to take measures that would prevent her to conceive.This argument by the pro-choice seems to consider abortion as acontraceptive method which is basically wrong because it involvesending a life of another being. Steinbock points out that demandingcomplete control of one’s body, include preventing the risk ofunwanted pregnancy through responsible use of contraception or ifthat is not possible through abstinence (337). The pro-choice whoargues that denying a financially struggling woman the right to havean abortion forces her to raise a baby in poverty and hence poorhealthcare and attention, need to consider adoption as thealternative of abortion. Adoption also applies to the unmarried whofeel that they too young to raise a child or those who feel thatmotherhood would interfere with the progress of their careers. Thereare many people in societies willing to take care of children andothers cannot have children of their own and hence chooses adoption.Therefore, adoption is an alternative that would provide the babywith a loving environment where the baby is cared for. Another reasonas to why abortion should be discouraged is because of the many risksthat surrounds a woman undergoing abortion. Those who supportabortion argue that abortion is a very safe procedure with only minorcomplications. Less than one percent of abortion performed before 21weeks of pregnancy result in major complications, like heavy bleedingor infections (Steinbock 54). However, although abortion may notcause major complications, MacKinnon observed that it frequentlycauses intense psychological pain and stress (47). The procedureitself puts the woman at both medical and emotional risk. Accordingto MacKinnon abortion is largely unregulated compared to othermedical procedures (47). This means that, women who undergo abortionrisks their health since the abortions procedures are not strictlyregulated and hence no professional standards in the practice. Astudy by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found a link betweenabortion and cancer in that, among women who had been pregnant atleast once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced aninduced abortion was 50% higher than among other women (Ezzati &World Health Organization, 26). In addition, Coalition on Abortion/Breast cancer reports showed that 28 out of 37 worldwide studiesindependently linked induced abortion with breast cancer (Ezzati, &World Health Organization 28).
Inconclusion, it is clear that abortion is seriously immoral andethically wrong. This argument has been based on overlooking that afetus is a human being and considering fetuses as any other speciesin the planet. The fact that a fetus has a future that should bevalued, shows terminating a life of a fetus is wrong. In addition,women should take contraception measures to avoid unwantedpregnancies, and also consider adoption as an option in case ofunwanted pregnancies instead of abortion. The fact that there areproven health risks related to abortion also clearly demonstratesthat abortion should be discouraged.
Ezzati,Majid. ComparativeQuantification of Health Risks: Global and Regional Burden of Disease Attributable to Selected Major Risk Factors.Geneva: World Health Organization, 2004. Print.
MacKinnon,Barbara. Ethics:Theory and contemporary issues.,2014
Marquis,Don. Why abortion is immoral. 1989. Journalof Philosophy Inc.,86(4). 183-202.
Pollitt,Katha. Pro:Reclaiming Abortion Rights., 2015. Print.
Steinbock,Bonnie. LifeBefore Birth: The Moral and Legal Status of Embryos and Fetuses.: Oxford University Press, 2011. Internet resource.