- May 20, 2020
The Legal and Moral Status of Abortion
TheLegal and Moral Status of Abortion
Inthe discussion about legalizing or prohibiting abortion, acontroversial issue is whether it is right to procure an abortion orif it is wrong to destroy a fetus. Some people have argued thatabortion has done more harm to mother and the child than good. On theother hand, some look at it as a reproductive right for the safety ofthe mother and the unborn. This paper will answer the question ofwhether the fetus has moral rights and if this should lead to theconclusion that abortion is wrong and should only be permitted if alife is in danger.
Iwill first describe the whether abortion has done more harm to themother and the kid. From this perspective, I will argue that mostwomen are faced with a dilemma of keeping unplanned pregnancy butshould go ahead and keep the pregnancy intact. Then I will look atabortion as a reproductive right and as a result, there should befreewill in procuring it. Generally, abortion can be induced duringpregnancy, or can happen as a result of complications. An abortioncan be induced to preserve the health of either the mother or thefetus and abortion for any other reason other than this is calledelective abortion. Spontaneous abortions, referred to us miscarriage,do happen and are not considered in this paper.
Theantiabortion groups have strong views in their opposition of electiveabortion calling for its restriction or legal prohibition. In thisargument, the life of the fetus or embryo is as important as that ofthe mother. So, human life should be valued as from conception untilnatural death and any action that destroys life is morally wrong. Isupport Warrenwhen he said that the rights of a person might develop in the sameway irrespective of the stage of development (57). I believe thatbelieve that abortion serves the selfish interests of the personprocuring it unless it is done for the expense of a life. Theinteresting question that comes from this claim is whether the unbornhave rights or even freewill. I disagree with Warrenthat fetus are neither fully developed nor are intelligent to beconsidered to have a right (57). Of course, it is possible to alsoargue that allowing the fetus to develop into full maturity willguarantee its right to life. This one makes sense since most humanbeings will choose life over death and even those who will wish theywere never born at all still hold on to their life. We have peoplewho were born with physical complications but still find value inlife. This tells us that it is possible that the same desire to lifewill apply even in children.
Additionally,aborting a pregnancy can be seen as taking advantage of the fact thatthe unborn is unable to stand up for himself and make a decision. Forthis reasons, psychological pain may follow the mother. Abortion alsohas negative health, and sexual implications for those who areprocuring it. Regardless of the cost and benefit analysis ofabortion, it should also be seen as a way of detaching with the childand this can lead to regrets later in life or even negative sexualexperience. Sexual intercourse is an intimate action and parents whoprocure abortion are more likely do it again in future if they aresexually active.
Afterabortion, the woman might feel disturbed as a result of losing afetus. People go for an abortion without considering the implicationsgiven that it is legal. Warrenadvises that such women should be educated and counseled afterabortion to reduce such impacts (58). He fails to account for thetype of therapy that can heal such wounds especially if the processwas harrowing. This comes from the fact that safe birth in future isnot a guarantee. Legalizing abortion leads to many peopleparticipating in it. We have women who have aborted a pregnancybecause of peer pressure and because it is much praised and ended upfeeling guilty and low in esteem. They experience sleep disorder andother manifestation of psychological problems as well. Some may evensuffer sexual dysfunction and a lack of interest in a relationship.As a result, some people might engage in irresponsible behaviors suchas promiscuity, alcoholism and general drug abuse. This shows thateven when abortion is safe and legal, there are silent voices in thecommunity that will suffer in one way or another. To save thosesuffering silently under the imposing law of abortion, stringentmeasures should be put in place to reduce the impact.
Onthe other hand, the prochoice claim that a woman should have agreater say when it comes to making the choice between continuingwith a pregnancy or terminating it. From this, the proponents seekthe guarantee of reproductive rights like the right to safe and legalabortion and fertility treatment (Warren 63). It can be deduced thatwhether to continue with a pregnancy is a personal choice. In thiscase, the woman has the right over her body and health. Eachindividual has the right to decide when and how to have sex and givebirth (64). There is also the issue of the kid and its custody intoquestion here. Sometimes a person will want to procure an abortion ifit will make the life of the mother better and if allowing thepregnancy will make the life of the unborn miserable ones it is born.In this case, outlawing abortion will force parents to procure anillegal abortion due to desperation and fear of a bad life for thekid and the mother. This has most of the time been the case when theparents or parent of the unborn is also young and still in school. Itis always logical to allow the young mothers continue with abortionand then resume school but again this comes with challenges relatingto the welfare of both the parent and the kid.
Also,research show that in countries that have legalized abortion, therates are still as high as those that have outlawed it, meaning thatoutlawing does not stop those seeing it (Warren 66). The number ofdeath that comes with abortion in countries or states that haveoutlawed it will be more than those where safe abortion isunrestricted. Abortion accounts for reasonably high rates of death inpregnancy and during child birth.
Myview is that women have a right to reproductive services andprohibiting this leads to them being denied their right to health,life and privacy when abortion services are made inaccessible them.Who then is to be held responsible for the injuries and deaths thatcome from illegal abortion? It is the duty of the government to easeon these restrictions and support safe abortion. I am of the opinionthat the person taking the decision to procure abortion is of soundmind and has varied reasons to pursue what her she thinks is good forher and the unborn. The mother should be able to judge the type oflife she wants for her family. If one feels that bringing the childto the world will only lead to misery, then they should be allowed todecide on taking abortion. It is no use to restrict the right to sexand reproduction at large. In deciding to have abortion, the motheris simply making a decision on behalf of the fetus in considerationof her ability to nurture it until and after birth. Also, I am ofthe opinion that life is how we make it. If we make restrictive lawsthat we cannot abide by then we should face the negativeconsequences. Just as if we bring
Thereason for my view is that there are more reasons for having abortionsince it is a human right that is in favors of women. The right toabortion is not only the right to making free choices, but also tomake decisions regarding the wellbeing of the unborn. If we stoppedsafe abortion and give room to illegal and safe abortion then we canonly blame ourselves. The right to choose to have an abortion or notshould be seen as a natural reproductive right. This will guaranteewomen their right to access contraceptives, sexual education andpreventive medical care and by extension decrease the need to undergoan abortion
Anobjection to my view is that abortion contradicts the fundamentalhuman rights, the right to life. However, I argue that there are morerights abused in denying women their right to reproductive choices.It is also clear that the unborn has no freewill and cannot make orinfluence a decision the way they want. For this reason, it is thedescription of the mother to decide to terminate a pregnancy on herown behalf and on behalf of the unborn.
Inthe debate over the legal status of abortion, a key issue has beenwhether it is right to procure an abortion or if it is wrong todestroy a fetus. While some people have argued that abortion has donemore harm to mother and child than good, others look at it as areproductive right for the safety of the mother and the unborn. Ifeel abortion is a reproductive right that protects women fromphysical, psychological, family and emotional stress that come withunplanned pregnancies. If we restrict abortion, we will have asociety of children under the care of single parents and such anexperience might be difficult for both the mother and the kid interms of provision of basic needs including psychological wellbeingand a secure future and full family.
Warren,M. A. "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion." Monist,vol. 57, no. 1, 1973, pp. 43-61,doi:10.5840/monist197357133