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Bioethics: Abortion

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Advancements in the fields of biology and medicine can be the catalyst for widespread controversy in regards to the morale and ethical dilemmas they can create. The sky is the limit for what is medically and biologically possible in today’s world, but just because something is possible, does that mean we should do it? Like there are two sides to a coin, there will always be two sides to these ethical questions. Abortion is in no way a new ethical issue, as it has been argued over for years. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy before the fetus has developed enough to survive outside of the uterus. In layman’s terms this means that as a result of the procedure the fetus dies. The biggest issues with this is whether or not abortion is killing. When does a human inherit the rights to life? Should people who do not wish to have a child be able to decide for themselves, and is restricting abortion also taking a woman’s right to her own body away?

There are many reasons for division on the issue of abortion. The issue has generally divided people into two groups; Pro-Life & Pro-Choice. The “Pro life movements support the life of the child in the womb, with the understanding that life begins the moment the child is conceived. In the eyes of the pro life movement, each child that is aborted has been murdered, which is a child in the eyes of the law as well as in the eyes of many religions.”(What Pro Life Really Means) Fueled largely by religious views, Pro-lifers see abortion in any sense as wrong. In their eyes there are alternatives, including adoption and support programs. These people are often viewed as radical because of the lengths they go to protest the right to abort. At the other end of the spectrum there are people who consider themselves Pro-Choice. “Pro-choice abortion is the belief that women have the right to choose to abort a baby from their body.

The “pro-choice” view is that a baby does not have human rights within the mother’s womb.”(Pro-choice Abortion – It Wasn’t a Choice) Their name says it all, Pro-Choice people think that one should have the right to decide whether they want to keep an unborn baby or not. They don’t recognize an unborn fetus as someone that you could steal life from, or take away their chance, but more like part of the mother since they live off the mother. A common misconception is that these Pro-Choicer’s think of abortion as an alternative to contraception, but they really consider it a last resort to prevent either bringing a child into an unfortunate life or putting unreasonable burdens on the parents. Victims of incest or rape are also instances that separate the two sides because those in favor of abortion think it is something that can help them. Pro-life clearly says that all abortion is wrong and that even rape victims must bear the illegitimate child.

There are many reasons surrounding peoples’ choices on the issue of abortion, it is hard to consider which is the underlying concern. Privacy does factor into the debate, because if there was something forbidding abortion it would certainly take away from someone’s personal rights to keep aspects of their lives private, such as what they wanted to do with the situation. An even bigger factor to consider is health. A pregnancy affecting the mother’s health brings up the problem of whether it is more important to consider the mother’s life in danger or to try and have the child. With the advancements in medical care this is becoming less of a major concern but there are other ways health can affect a soon to be parent’s decision. With these advances people are better able to find complications or defects in the unborn child. If there is something wrong with the child and it is something that would make life harder for them or the parents abortion is something people look to, and depending on where some people stand it is a reasonable solution.

The biggest concern with abortion is morality. What is right, and what is wrong? Because everyone has a different interpretation of this it is hard to make progress with either side. The value of human life and when someone inherits that right comes down to your own beliefs. Personally, I am pro-choice. I don’t really see an unborn baby as it’s own conscious entity and because of that aborting it isn’t taking it’s life away. How can you take something away that they don’t technically have yet? Once born a baby should have the right to life. But in my opinion if someone knows that they cannot provide for the child, or that it will complicate things past the point of reasonable accommodation then it would be irresponsible to bring someone into that.

I think the world is overpopulated as it is, and anything we can do to reduce this overpopulating helps create a better world. Men take on a burden when having a child, but nothing in comparison to what a woman goes through. Taking their right to choose what happens to their body would be a violation of basic rights. I’m not in favor of people being irresponsible with their lives and having an abortion like a birthday(yearly), but pro lifers are unrealistic and enforcing their rules would be forcing one religious group’s beliefs on everyone and that is wrong. Will the debate on what is right and what is wrong ever truly come to an end? Experts are skeptical. “Everyone has their own opinion, values and beliefs on life. The only way that the abortion debate could reach a common ground is if everyone thought the same way, which is highly unlikely.”(Is abortion an unresolvable issue? – Implications)

Works Cited

1 “Is abortion an unresolvable issue? – Implications”. Posted on 11/3/07. Viewed on 4/21/12.


“Pro-choice Abortion – It Wasn’t a Choice”. AllAboutPopularIssues.org. Viewed on 4/21/12.

“What Pro Life Really Means”. viewed on 4/21/12. http://www.prolifeinfo.org/the-pro-life-movement.html

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