Ethical Issues on Abortion

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Abortion is a contentious issue around the globe and has been subjected to immense debates, with scholars stating it right and others believing it is unethical. Churches have been at the forefront of opposing abortion because they believe abortion is immoral and an aspect of murder. Abortion is the intentional termination of unwanted pregnancy (Nobis, 2019). Despite the established legislation prohibiting abortion, people still seek and perform the procedure. In most cases, declining safe abortion makes people practice the unsafe process, leading to more risk (Kadayifçi et al., 2019). Despite the numerous debates about abortion, controversies still exist between legal and ethical issues. In past reviews, numerous women developed different reasons why they need an abortion. Over 75% of women in America stand on the side of having an abortion, especially when faced with the dilemma of delivering unplanned pregnancies (Nobis, 2019). Abortion has been a contentious issue for numerous decades, but it is still faced with multiple ethical issues.

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Women’s Bodily Autonomy

Feminists are among the most significant supporters of abortion and believe abortion is an issue of female autonomy. They argue that abortion should be permitted because, without it, women are restricted and have no control over their health, reproductive choice, or body. It is an ethical issue that has been debated over decades, and no moral solution has been achieved. Supporters of abortion argue that if the unborn child is a moral person, he has no right to trespass through someone’s body (Bernstein & Manata, 2019). Women have rights and control over their bodies for all of us to be equal and free. Research shows that denying women the right to undergo abortion creates a situation where they cannot achieve education or other employment opportunities.

In most cases, women who are denied abortion opportunity experience adverse implications such as low self-esteem and high anxiety level. Although abortion opponents argue that abortion is murder, the supporters decline the argument because murder applies to humans, and the status can only be acquired after birth, not after conception. In most countries, abortion is allowed if the cases are reasonable, such as incest, rape, or the fetus has deformation. According to World Health Organization, over sixty-eight thousand women die annually out of unsafe abortion, and over five million survive but experience lifetime complications (Nobis, 2019). Since everyone has the right to bodily autonomy, women are deemed to have the right to decide when and where they want to have an abortion without justification.

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The ethical issue has received numerous criticisms from different scholars and organizations. The religious domain believes that the child has rights because life starts at conception. They use pro-life arguments to demonstrate that the fetus has potential personhood and will one day become an adult and enjoy all social and political rights (Bernstein & Manata, 2019). Churches advocate for contraceptives and other approaches to preventing pregnancy, ensuring fewer chances of abortion. Despite the existing arguments, women have not achieved full rights to their bodily autonomy because only a few countries have legalized abortion.

Fetal Personhood

Controversy over abortion has raised numerous questions about whether to respect the rights of the mother or that of the unborn baby. Personhood is a significant issue when deciding to end a life. The problem has been subjected to immense debates, with numerous scholars and practitioners arguing when personhood should begin. Some state that it begins after conception, while others believe it starts after the fetus is visible. Similarly, people who support abortion believe personhood begins after birth (Kadayifçi et al., 2019). Therefore, women have the right to abortion. Philosophers argue that even if fetuses have rights, they should not override the woman’s rights carrying the pregnancy. Abortion opponents believe abortion is morally wrong and unethical because it declines the fetus’s right to complete development. They argue that life begins at inception and that laws regulating abortion should be restructured.

Anti-abortion advocates have been at the forefront, stating that abortion is a form of homicide and that the fetus should be protected by enacting fetal personhood laws worldwide. The issue raises an ethical dilemma as to whose rights should be respected. For instance, the law protects children against intentional or unintentional abuse (Kaczor, 2014). Arguing that fertilized egg is a child would imply that pregnant women who undergo abortion are subject to the law for child abuse. From a legal perspective, this would be an abuse of charge. Therefore, the issue of fetal personhood creates a significant ethical question, and it calls for more debates to determine whose rights are more viable when deciding to undertake abortion.

Conclusion

In summary, abortion is the termination of pregnancy. It has been considered a contentious issue, with numerous scholars debating on the ethical concerns surrounding abortion. Numerous scholars have argued why abortion is unethical and should be banned. On the other hand, supporters have established disagreements stating that women have the right to decide whether to keep or terminate the pregnancy. The two sides have a strong argument and leave us in an ethical dilemma. This case has argued about ethical issues related to abortion. The first one is that women have the right to bodily autonomy. They have the right to get rid of unwanted pregnancies without explaining. However, this is opposed by various scholars who believe the fetus has a personhood right. The two are critical issue surrounding abortion and requires more debates for viable solutions to be established.

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  1. Bernstein, C. Z., & Manata, P. (2019, March). Moral responsibility and the wrongness of abortion. In The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine (Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 243-262). US: Oxford University Press.
  2. Kaczor, C. (2014). The ethics of abortion: Women’s rights, human life, and the question of justice. routledge.
  3. Kadayifçi, O., Kadayifçi, O., & Ürünsak, I. F. (2017). Ethical and legal aspects of abortion. Reproductive BioMedicine Online14, 61-66.
  4. Nobis, N. (2019). Thinking Critically About Abortion: Why Most Abortions Aren’t Wrong & Why All Abortions Should Be Legal.
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