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The features of abortion and a discussion of its morality

Map of abortion laws by country; redder hues represent more restrictions. Mandatory pre-abortion counselling by state. Framing the arguments[ edit ] It is critical to understand that the abortion argument dances between two competing interests: Focusing on the mother engenders arguments about her inherent right to decide who has the right to access her body and use it, when and under what circumstances she will bring a child into the world, and her basic right to control her body.

Arguments of incest and rape, financial status, or the snarl word "convenience" are at issue when you focus on the mother. When your argument focuses on the baby, a host of different conversations come up. When does life begin? How far along in pregnancy can a child feel, or become aware? What is the difference if at all between an abortion and euthanasia if the child has serious medical problems? Beyond that, specific arguments have played out in political and moral dialog and in the courts regarding the overall acceptability of abortion.

Rape, incest, the features of abortion and a discussion of its morality simple sin[ edit ] In most arguments discussing a woman's legal access to abortion, especially in the United States and Australia, the woman's personal responsibility in the pregnancy is at issue.

If the woman has been raped or if she is the victim of incestthe audience-at-large is more likely to see her as a victim and take the situation more seriously than if she was just out on a Friday night, doing her thing. In almost all situations where access to abortion is limited by law, consideration for exemption is given in cases of rape and incest.

The underlying assumption is generally two fold. One, a rape or case of incest which in a technical sense are almost always rape is psychologically and often physically traumatic to the woman or child the reality that a pregnancy will simply compound that trauma should be considered. The second issue falls back to stereotypes and ideals of the roles of women in society. In these cases the woman or girl has not "chosen" to have sex, therefore she is more pure, clean, and honorable than the woman who has sinned, and should "take responsibility" for her actions.

Pro-Choice arguments counter the first claim by saying all unwanted pregnancies are inherently emotionally traumatic, and only an individual woman, in her specific place in life, can "rate" the level of trauma - not a legislature. The second claim they more or less roll their eyes at. For right to life folks, there is a problem with the logic of the "rape and incest exception" - a problem they rarely bring up, as it makes them look cold and heartless.

If a life has value from conception, and if God is in control, then that life is just as valuable if it came from a one night stand as if it came as the result of an act of violence. However, despite this clear inconstancy of their argument, few "anti-abortion" politicians or legislative bodies in the western world have suggested restricting access to abortion for the victims of these crimes. Term of pregnancy[ edit ] The second major framing issue, when discussing the morality, ethics, or legality of abortion, is how far along the pregnancy is.

Regardless of where they stand on the issue, or what they think of the legality of abortion, virtually everyone discussing this issue intuitively understands and agrees that an abortion that happens in the first month of the pregnancy is quite different from an abortion that happens in the 9th month.

For ease of discussion, most people discussing the issue of abortion follow the medical "trimester" system, and see 5 distinct "term based" limits. Personhood proponents frame the issue of abortion as "life begins at conception [note 1]and all abortions are equally wrong as they take that life.

First Trimester - This is the single most common view held by adults in the western world. Second Trimester - Because the fetus is becoming more human-like, can be felt moving, gender can be determined, etc.

In most nations that regulate abortion, the second trimester tends to be the "battle ground" between legal and not. Third trimester - In the third trimester, the fetus fully resembles a born baby, at least superficially.

  1. In almost all situations where access to abortion is limited by law, consideration for exemption is given in cases of rape and incest.
  2. The capacity to communicate, messages of with an indefinite number of possible contents on indefinitely many possible topics.
  3. Regardless of where they stand on the issue, or what they think of the legality of abortion, virtually everyone discussing this issue intuitively understands and agrees that an abortion that happens in the first month of the pregnancy is quite different from an abortion that happens in the 9th month. What if it were not nine months, but nine years?
  4. Beyond that, specific arguments have played out in political and moral dialog and in the courts regarding the overall acceptability of abortion. These principles are often too broad.
  5. Self-motivated activity activity which is relatively independent of genetic or direct external control.

The emotional connection is impossible to deny at that point. Few if any nations that allow abortion, allow it during the third trimester unless the woman's health is threatened or the fetus develops serious problems. Always legal - like "personhood" on the other extreme, there are people who feel that the question is not and should not be about the age of the child in the uterus, but about the women's right to control her body and who or what lives inside it. Such a position makes no distinction between a right to abort a 1 month old fetus, or fully to term fetus, as long as the women desires an abortion.

The ethical and practical aspects of abortion

This is more of an ideological position, as virtually no abortion has ever been done to an 8 or 9 month old fetus unless complications arise that drastically affect the women's health.

There is another framing regarding "term of pregnancy" that is a bit of a slippery slope due to technological and medical advances. In 1970s, at the time of the Roe v. Wade decision, this happily coincided with the beginning of the 3rd trimester. But as technology advances, that line is younger and younger. It is highly feasible that in the not too distant future, fertilized eggs themselves can be incubated - making the question of "can survive out of the womb" tricky [1] Arguments for legal abortion[ edit ] In general, proponents of legalised abortion and its safe regulation hold that only a woman herself, rather than the state or other group, has the right to assert control over what happens inside her body.

When a woman truly does not want a pregnancy, especially if that pregnancy is potentially problematic to her social or physical situation, and feels for herself, that there are no alternatives, she will try to end it even to the risk of her own life [3].

No amount of moral preaching, ethical discussions, or legal wrangling will change that reality. With such a reality, it is incumbent on health institutions and governments to insure that she has the same access to health care that she would if she wished to bring the pregnancy to term. Argument from medical privacy[ edit ] The argument for a woman's right to abortion according to the United States Supreme Court is based on a woman's right to privacy in making medical choices about her body and her reproduction.

While articulated differently in Roe v. Wade, the basic premise that most legislative and judicial bodies in the Western World have used is that a woman maintains integrity of her body and of her medical decisions whether those decisions are about reproduction related issues including abortion, or physical issues like plastic surgery, or the right to seek medical attention at all, regardless of what might be "best for her" per the medical establishment or her social community.

In the United States, the breakdown for a legal medical right to abortion rests on these arguments: Women must have a fundamental right to bodily integrity, but this right must be balanced against the state's interest in the potential for life. This balance is resolved with the "undue burden" test Casey.

Women and couples have a right to privacy in intimate choices Roe v. Wade ; Griswold v. Discrimination on the basis of biological markers inherent in biological sex is suspect under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and requires strict scrutiny contra Geduldig v.

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Otherwise, biological marker-based discrimination enforces stereotypes that the law frowns upon, as seem in U. Further, this type of discrimination is subordinative, and the zeitgeist of the Fourteenth Amendment being anti-subordinative, must be immediately suspect. Connecticut and its progeny Eisenstadt outline a fundamental right to consent in childrearing: Disallowing abortion eviscerates this right, reading "consent" or "choice" wherever a condom fails.

First, tradition is a poor marker for objective reasoning, since the analysis of "tradition" is based on a conscious choice of what narrative to credit Balkin, Tradition and Betrayal.

Second, tradition may be unjust Loving v. Virginia and must be read with a level of "generosity" to ensure a just society Levinson, Constitutional Faith.

Third, appeals to tradition boils down to "Keep things the way they are because they're the way they are. Text is a poor marker for valuable meaning: Further, Constitutional text is written at a high level of abstraction: Connecticutso rights may exist that lie in the "penumbra" of the specifically enumerated rights.

Many opponents of abortion base their position on religious doctrine; [4] [5] however, it is possible to oppose the practice on purely humanistic grounds. They even point out that passages often used the features of abortion and a discussion of its morality opponents of abortion either refer to the birth of a nation Isaiah 49: Argument for the right to evict[ edit ] Walter Blockan economist and libertarian, proposed a position known as "evictionism". This position relies on separating abortion into two parts; the act of removing evicting a fetus from the womb, and the act of killing it.

Evictionism as a position states that people are allowed to evict from their property, and this is an unalienable right - in line with most libertarian thought. A caveat adds that this should be done using the least harmful means available. For example, a toddler strolling on your lawn should be escorted off, but an armed intruder in your house usually requires a little more force, potentially lethal force, as this is the minimum required to uphold the right to evict.

As a woman owns her body and her womb, Block's position states that a fetus therein that is no longer wanted is arguably a parasite and intruder. The woman therefore has a right to evict the fetus using what means are necessary while causing minimal harm.

Morality of abortion

The argument continues that as there is no current means to "evict" a fetus without termination, then termination becomes the de facto least harmful. No other option is available to uphold the right to evict. Should the technological means become available to remove the fetus without a termination via transferring it to a vat or an additional surrogatethen this would become the least harmful.

Arguments against abortion[ edit ] Arguments against abortion generally focus on appeals to emotion the right to life, guided by the underlying conviction that life is intrinsically valuable, though pro-life arguments can descend from more practical considerations as well. Arguments against a fundamental right of choice[ edit ] Arguments against a choice to abort typically rest on one or more of the following premises: Unborn babies must have a fundamental right to bodily integrity, and abortion infringes that right.

Though one can argue that a sentient being, like the pregnant woman, should have rights, and while a young fetus is alive in the biological sense, it has no capacity to think, feel or be self-aware any more than a sample of flesh from our body, simply because its brain is not developed enough to the point where it can feel or understand the aforementioned qualities An unborn baby is as valuable as a newborn, the features of abortion and a discussion of its morality thus killing them is equivalent.

In the United States, there is no mention of abortion in the U. Constitutionor privacy, or family planning. Further, the right is not fundamental to the national consciousness or deeply rooted in American history. The equilibration of rights[ edit ] Whether we should override the mother's right to choose or the fetus's alleged rights is a contentious issue and pro-life advocates generally place the fetus's rights above the mothers in all but the most extreme cases.

Pro-choice advocates often cite risk of maternal death or pregnancy by rape as justifications for abortion. Finally, the argument from rape aborts the fetus for the actions of his or her father. The probability that we terminate the life of a fetus who would otherwise be born alive is a morally relevant consideration.

It is not "scientifically incorrect" to call the embryo an unborn child [19]as virtually every human embryologist, every major textbook of human embryology and almost all medical textbooks and scientific reference works consistently agree that fertilization marks the beginning of the life of the new individual human being. A life cycle describes the series of stages that an individual organism passes through until the time it produces offspring of its own.

This series of stages is referred to as a life cycle because offspring pass through the same series before they produce their own offspring. But the right to life is based on a being's natural or inherent capacities.

Drawing a distinction between human being and human person is saying that a living being can undergo a radical, essential change in its nature during its lifetime. But if the change was biologically inevitable the features of abortion and a discussion of its morality conception, then this change is not a change in essential nature, it must have been in its nature from the beginning to do so. If it is in its nature to do so, then despite any changes in such characteristics as independence, place of residence or physical development, what the being is in later life is what the being is from the beginning of its life.

You didn't really come from an embryo, you once were an embryo, likewise you didn't come from an adolescent, you once were an adolescent. And if your mother had had an abortion, she would have killed you. This "you" in question would have been an existing person with a valid claim to life.

Besides that, even if there was uncertainty as to whether the fetus has a right to life, then having an abortion is equivalent to consciously taking the risk of killing another person. In a very real sense, "life" does not begin at conception since both egg and sperm are "alive".

However, the potential for a new and distinct human being begins at conception.