Ethical perspective on abortion

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Ethics has become a major concern in modern society. Ethics, in this case, refers to the moral value that dictates whether an action or decision is right or wrong. Maintaining a balance between what is right or wrong and what is legal has become the center of jeopardy among many decision makers (Rothstein, 2015). This is because in most cases practices that are regarded to be legal are sometimes unethical. Abortion which is the termination of a pregnancy intentionally by the use of medical or surgical devices faces an ethical dilemma as to whether it is ethical or not. The procedure of decision-making is as a rule not simple to make; it’s significantly harder when two values come into conflict. The methodology included deciding moral dilemmas may involve weighing the advantages and disadvantages then consulting experts and specialists and ultimately settling on the right decision for the wanted result. Regarding abortion, an individual has to decide on whether to give birth or conduct an abortion (Messerli, 2015). This essay will, therefore, discuss the ethics and dilemma facing the abortion issue.

In the twentieth century, regulations were brought in to reduce access to legal abortion. Majority of the women, however, sought out backstreet abortionist. This resulted in either damaging their health permanently or even ending their life. The abortion act became law in 1967 despite the pro-life activist limiting access to abortion and challenging it. For the past few decades, abortion has become a subject of controversy. The question posed here is whether abortion is legal or not. Abortion entails destroying the unborn baby while the child is still in its mother womb (Messerli, 2015). The issue of abortion brings out two sides which are the pro-life side and the pro-choice side. The side of the anti-choice involves the group which is against conduction of abortion altogether. On the other side pro-choice side involves those people who believe that it’s the woman’s right to decide. The pro-choice side respects autonomy, which is the right of the individual to have control over their bodies. People are associated with settling on of willful and educated choices. Health professionals can advise the patient but should not make a point of attempting to influence the patient in settling on his or her decision since that is viewed as abusing the standards. Pro-life side involves the bringing up of the child or giving it up for adoption. Morally, the pro-choice arrangement isn’t right and ought not to be made legitimate. This is because it involves negative consequences for both mother and child. Fetus removal includes the executing of a person, which isn’t Godly and is unethical (Rothstein, 2015).

In the contemporary society, it is seen that abortion is becoming the most sought solution for the carelessness instead of facing the repercussions of sexual activities and the resulting pregnancy (Vaughn, 2015). However, exceptions should be made in the law which allows abortion in the rare cases of rape and incest that result to pregnancy. Unfortunately, the pro-choice group tries using excuses such as rape, healthy risks birth defects and incest to justify their unethical deeds.  Abortion is associated with many dangerous physical and mental effects. The physical repercussions involve the sexual disorder, hemorrhaging, the risk of having cervical and breast cancer or even death (Sheldon, 2015). The women practicing the act of abortion are at a high risk of experiencing additional abortions in future. The mental effects involve stress and depression due to guilt. The women with earlier fetus removal encounters will probably conduct abortion again than those with no earlier history of fetus removal.

Most abortions are performed amid the primary trimester of pregnancy. With the presently advanced innovation, numerous early pregnancies are ended using a medicine called mifepristone (Vaughn, 2015). Medical abortions can only be used in the earliest stages of pregnancy. The other regular technique for abortion is the manual vacuum aspiration. The strategy can be used until the twelfth week of pregnancy. Women face a dilemma on whether to perform the abortion or not. They concentrate on the individual objectives and how a woman must profit from their course of actions for the advantage of themselves.  In any case, a few researchers contend that a woman ought to choose what she feels will give the best self-interest consequently if a woman desires to have an abortion, it is the moral activity?

Most debates about abortion are often focused on political insinuation and legal aspects of such actions. An ethical consideration helps in the evaluation of the fetus status; whether such is a person and if it has rights (Messerli, 2015). Pro-choice activists believe that the fetus is a person and needs protection as stipulated by the universal human rights. In this case, abortion amounts to an illegality that goes against the biblical clause, “do not kill.” Accordingly, the genesis of an abortion emerges from certain elements evolving from the consent to sex and contraception avoidance (Sedgh, Filippi, Owolabi, Singh, Askew, Bankole & Ganatra, 2016). If the mothers considered the unborn child as a newborn in development, the chance of abortion would be reduced. However, advocacy and democracy for idealistic society often give preferences to the bodily autonomy of a woman irrespective of whether such autonomy will harm the fetus. With this regard, legal and ethical conditions greatly revolve around the conflicting ideas of ethics that would force a woman to make spontaneous decisions. In case abortion is legalized, women would have to carry the fetus until the due time to give birth to healthy babies. Nonetheless, such legislation would hinder the freedom of the woman as well as the bodily autonomy involved (Sedgh et al., 2016).

Two theories of philosophy could be applied to the abortion debate. These are the natural law and virtue law (Sedgh et al., 2016). The focus of the natural law is mainly on actions. The law contends if an action is good or bad and if the action is by nature. The law advocate for the protection and preservation of the innocent. Therefore, the law advocates against the abortion. The law emphasizes the Catholic Church views on abortion which condemns all instances of abortion. However, the church contends that in the instances where the pregnancy continuation is a threat to the life of the mother, then there is the justification of abortion (Sheldon, 2015).  On the other hand, virtue ethics deals with what kind of people human being should be (Sedgh et al., 2016).  The law assists in the development of character which helps individuals to make moral decisions easier. The, however, do not favor abortion; it only says that abortion depends on the individual’s personal character. The decision made from this theory makes sure that a woman is happy. A virtuous disciplined individual will be in a position to whether to perform an abortion or not (Messerli, 2015).

There are over four thousand abortions performed every day just within the United States. With the addition of all abortions performed due to rape, incest and the mother’s physical health, the abortion rate amount to seven percent. Ethically, abortion is wrong (Messerli, 2015). It is a selfish way to fix the wrong choice that a person made.  A baby should not be killed because of people’s mistake. In case of rape, a child could be born and adopted rather than being killed. In the case where abortion has to be made, healthcare providers should promote a program that helps to protect the welfare of the mother undergoing the operation (Vaughn, 2015). Despite being a difficult issue to decide, before an abortion, a person should reconsider the impact of killing the baby and the ethics associated with the issue. A person should also consider the self-inflicting physical pain and trauma they will be subjected to.

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  1. Vaughn, L. (2015). Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company.
  2. Rothstein, M. A. (2015). Ethical issues in big data health research: currents in contemporary bioethics. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics43(2), 425-429.
  3. Sedgh, G., Filippi, V., Owolabi, O. O., Singh, S. D., Askew, I., Bankole, A., … & Ganatra, B. (2016). Insights from an expert group meeting on the definition and measurement of unsafe abortion. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics134(1), 104-106.
  4. Messerli, J. (2015). Should abortion be banned (except in special circumstances like saving the mother’s life).
  5. Sheldon, S. (2015). The decriminalisation of abortion: An argument for modernisation. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies36(2), 334-365.
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