A Defense of Abortion
A Defense of Abortion
Abortion has been one of the biggest arguments of all time. Most people believe that the act is immoral and ethically wrong for one to perform it. It has received support from some people while the rest oppose the action. Many people believe that killing or aborting an unwanted child is unacceptable. Both the opposing and proposing sides have their reasons, which support their argument. In order to defend abortion, two cases in an article supporting this act have to be summarized and argued. This is important because it gives clear statements pertaining to abortion.
Thompson’s article in defense of abortion outlines the moral values behind the act (Thomson 47). She tries to show that abortion is not a bad act as perceived. If only one understood the pros of abortion, then, they may understand that it has some morality to it. In order to relay her message, the author has used the example of violinist and a tiny house. The lives of a mother and the fetus have been compared to the two examples. The author used the violinist to provide a primary argument. She narrated of an occasion where one is forced to share his or her kidney with the violinist until he gets well and that once the tubes are removed; the violinist dies (Hinman 15). However, after helping the violinist the donor dies. The second example referred to an adult who placed in an extremely tiny house with an infant who is growing up at a very fast rate. Eventually, the infant would grow and leave the house freely whereas the adult bursts open. In both examples, terminating the dependants’ life is the most suitable option.
Before making the decision on which side to support between the opponents and proponents of abortion, it is important to understand the stands and arguments held by the two sides. The opponents believe that it is an illegal act because it defies human rights by ending the life of an innocent soul (Klusendorf 15). This is because they consider the fetus as a human being and killing it disregarding the reason why is an illegal act and it defies ethical values. Whereas the proponents believe that, the action is acceptable because it helps save the life of another person. It also believes that abortion is an acceptable act because the fetus cannot be termed as a human being. Therefore, understanding the insights provided by both sides make it more easily to make conclusive comments about abortion.
From the proponent’s point of view, abortion is acceptable because of various reasons. First, it is important to understand why the mother performs the act. There are instances where one has undergone through traumatic situations for them to conceive (Hinman 12). These include cases of rape. In such a scenario, the woman should be allowed to abort since it would help her overcome posttraumatic stress. This is because the pregnancy acts as a constant reminder of what they went through. Secondly, as much as the unborn has the right to live, the mother has a similar right. Abortion is acceptable because it is effective for health purposes of the mother. There are instances where the life of the unborn poses a threat to the life of the mother. Therefore, performing an abortion is the only way in which the mother’s life can be saved. Due to this reason, abortion is an acceptable and a permissible act.
Moreover, women have a right to privacy. They are allowed to do whatever pleases them (Hinman 18). This is most importantly, what is beneficial for their lives. In order for a child to be born, they stay in the womb for nine months. Women are practically their tenants. During gestation period, the fetus is dependant on the mother for everything listing from feeding, shelter and body processes such as excretion. Therefore, women have the right to choose what goes on with their bodies since the fetus is part of their body from conception to birth. In instances where a woman thinks that the fetus life is a threat to her own life, then she has the right to do whatever she wishes to keep life. This means that they have the right to abort at such instances without questioning.
In defense of abortion, it is important to disqualify the myths and beliefs held by people who are against act. Most opponents have constantly relied on the point that the fetus is a human being from conception. The premise has been the basis of arguments by opponents of abortion who believe that killing an innocent human being goes against human rights. However, they fail to get a deeper view about their own conclusion. At the early stages of pregnancy, the embryo cannot be termed as a human being (Klusendorf 24). A human being is defined as a woman, man or child who is distinguished from other animals because of their superior mental ability, upright stance and speech. The features present on the fetus are dependent on the gestation period. This means that at the early stages of pregnancy, the embryo is composed of a very tiny clot and progresses slowly to form other features that conclude that it is a human being. In addition, pro-life believers do not give the exact period when the embryo can be termed as a human being. Therefore, abortion cannot be referred to as killing an innocent being because it is not a human being yet.
Pro-life believers argue that abortion should not be committed since it is illegal. They fail to understand that abortion is accepted for the good cause of the mother, which is valid and convincible (Hinman 12). Suppose the mother is suffering from a condition that does not allow her to give birth and the consequences of doing so is death. She would be forced to abort the child because of health reasons. Pro-life believers however disagree with this fact because they claim that it is illegal. They believe that abortion is the same as committing murder by other terms. However, the mother cannot just wait for her death while refraining from committing murder of her own child. She has the will power to look for alternative ways in which they can save their lives. Thus, when abortion is their only alternative of saving their lives they have they right to do it.
In order to defend their argument further, opponents of abortion has given further reasons in support of their argument. First, they pinpoint on the fact that murder is the direct killing of someone innocent (Thomson 47). Thus, the fetus is innocent and aborting it is committing murder hence it is impermissible. Secondly, they believe that direct killing of a person is more stringent than indirect killing. They believe that it is preferable if the affected mother waits for her death to occur because the death would be more natural in nature than killing the life of an innocent being. However, they fail to notice that letting an individual to die yet the death was preventable is ethically wrong. Additionally, the fetus is dependant on the mother for survival. If the mother dies then automatically the fetus life is terminated. Hence, if abortions were accepted it would help save the life of one individual instead of losing two human beings. It is not entirely a mal action because it may occur in saving the life of another person.
Still focusing on the fact that opposition of abortion is based on the act being murderous in nature is not entirely true. It is agreeable that killing an innocent soul is illegal. Moreover, when an individual kills another human being despite having the alternative of saving his or her life is impermissible (Klusendorf 24). However, in a situation where the mother commits the murder on herself cannot be termed as being illegal. Initially, the fetus is connected with the mother and it is totally dependant on her. This means that they are practically united into one. If the mother is affected by anything in one way or the other, the fetus is also affected. Hence, when a mother is forced to abort her unborn because of health reason, it means that she has committed the act on herself. This is because she has committed the crime on her own body and for her own good.
Additionally, it is important to note that the decision of abortion involves two parties only. The act does not involve a third part in the action thus; a mother is allowed to make the decision based on acceptable facts in the society. If the existence of the unborn poses a threat to the mother, then she has the liberty to have it aborted (Hinman 12). Besides, the third party is not affected physically, emotionally or psychologically by abortion as much as the mother is affected. Hence, the mother is entitled to decide on the decisions that are best fit for her condition even if it means terminating the life of her unborn child.
In conclusion, abortion is not entirely a bad act as perceived by very many people. Abortion can be morally justified in some instances such as rape and health reasons. Abortion is an accepted and integrated act in the society. By definition, abortion is the induced termination of a fetus or the embryo from the uterus before being capable of normal growth. Therefore, terminating the life of an unborn child cannot be referred to as murder but can be viewed as moral act instead.
Hinman, Lawrence. Abortion: An Overview of the Ethical Issues. 2013. Print.
Klusendorf, Scott. Advanced Pro-Life Apologetics. 2010. Print.
Thomson, Judith J. “A Defense of Abortion.” The Problem of Abortion / Edited by Joel Feinberg. (1971). Print.
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