Abortion Ethics Essay
The abortion debate has been in the mainstream media for a long time now. Since the Roe vs. Wade case in 1973, there emerged two factions (pro-choice and pro-life) that have always held disputing arguments over the issue of abortion. These two have continued to disagree long after the Supreme Court made their decision in 1973. People in the pro-choice group believe that the right to abortion is a woman’s choice and the final decision must always be with her. Their stance is based on the argument that women have the right to decide over their bodies and therefore, should be left to make the choice. Conversely, the pro-life faction believes that it is unethical and immoral to terminate a pregnancy. To them, abortion is synonymous to killing because it helps end the life of a human organism. The arguments presented are indeed valid and cannot be easily ignored. Currently, with technology advancing at a high rate, the process of abortion has become easy and less painful. However, is it ethical or moral? Another question that needs clarification are fetuses people and do they have the same rights as people? The answer to the second question is the most important and should help to shed light on the first question.
First of all, a fetus is a human organism and comparing it to cells is wrong. Each fetus translates to a life and terminating one is the same as ending the life of another person. People in the pro-choice category believe that women have a right to decide what happens to their bodies. While this point does indeed make sense, it should never be a case for abortion. The above is because we consider killing a crime and the same way it is wrong to kill a person now, it should also be wrong to kill one early or during the fetal stage. Human beings develop but never change. We are and have always been the same organism throughout our existence and therefore, just like it is wrong to kill us now, it should warrant punishment to terminate a pregnancy. Pro-choicers often argue against the above notion by saying that we are not the same and have, currently, developed complex functionalities compared to how we were before. However, the truth is, we remain the same being regardless of how much we develop.
Who is a person and why should or at what stage of our life should one be considered a person. The universal belief of personhood holds that a person has a certain moral status which must never be breached or violated unless the measures involved are extreme. It is often argued that it is wrong to kill a person because it would rob them off their future, relationships, and future accomplishments. Some philosophers argue that the need to fulfill certain goals in life as well as experience our lives is what makes us persons. Pro-choicers often use this argument to argue that a fetus does not qualify to be considered a person because they do not yet hold the capacity to yearn for their future. However, the above sentiment forms the argument of shunning abortion because the world should, therefore, strive to let the fetuses develop. Terminating a pregnancy steals the future, future experiences and accomplishments, and relationships for a person. Just like we have developed to the point of yearning and pursuing our goals, fetuses should also be left to develop to the same point.
Finally, fetuses do have a right to life just like a fully grown person. The same way the women have a right to their bodies is exactly the same way that fetuses have a right to live. Babies need their mothers or special attention especially at the early stages of their lives. They cannot survive on their own and therefore, have to be fed and taken care of. As dependent as they are on other people, babies are said to have a right to life. Fetuses, on the other hand, are said to lack the right to life. However, the above should not be the case because they just like babies, fetuses are at stages of development where they are dependent on women. Therefore, they do possess a right to live.
The pro-life and pro-choice lot never see eye-to-eye on a number of occasions. However, they often agree that abortion should be allowed on a number of occasions. For example, when the life of the mother is at stake when the child would be born with complications, if the conception is as a result of rape or sexual abuse, etc. These arguments are indeed valid and mainly represent the one time that pro-choicers and pro-lifers agree.
In conclusion, abortion is indeed ethically wrong and should warrant punishment. While it should be allowed on a number of occasions, it should not be left to the women to decide whether it is okay or not. Fetuses are developing and terminating a pregnancy robs them off their future experiences, accomplishments, and relationships.