Contentious Issue of Abortion

Abortion is an exceptionally contentious issue that has been frequently argued over for the past few decades and most likely many years to come. Pro-choice has a different view to this whole abortion controversy. Pro-choice are of the view that it is the persons right to have an abortion if they want to and that no one should interfere with that right.

They base their arguments in the premise that no human embryo is a being with a brain capable of conscious awareness. Kantian philosophy provides an intellectual and philosophical basis for abortion. Kantian mode states that a human being is someone who has the ability to think for one’s self. Kantian philosophy believes that even a baby is not a human being until sometime after birth. This ability is believed to develop sometime after birth. So a foetus is not a person with full moral rights. Furthermore, there are researchers who believe that in order to have the ‘status of a human being’ it is mandatory to be accepted in to the society at large (Gillon, 2001). From the legal perspective, one of the most important debates is regarding the ‘humanization’ of the fetus; that is, the time at which the unborn ceases to be a fetus and becomes a legal human being (Davies, 1996).

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There are many others reasons that validate the viewpoint that abortion is not a social ill. For example, the most frequent motive for abortions is when contraception fails to impede the way of unwanted pregnancy. The question arises that what should be the next step of an individual when the birth control method fails? Statistics show that malfunctioning of different contraceptive measures led to 1.6 to 2 million of the 3.3 million unwanted pregnancies in the United States in 1987. These pregnancies account for about half of the 1.5 million abortions performed every year.

Bonin (2003) in his book, A Defense of Abortion, states that abortion prevents the unwanted financial burden for poor parents. In addition, it helps to avoid the disturbance in the career and/or the education of parents (especially in the case when the parents are themselves very young). Abortion also prevents an unwed mother from societal disgrace. It prevents unwanted births (such as in the case when a pregnancy occurs due to the failure of contraceptive methods). In addition, advocates of the ethical nature of abortion believe that it prevents a child from leading a life of utter desolation, in which the parents may have one of any of a number of the above-mentioned issues.

Another positive impact is maturity. How might a person mature because of their abortion experience? Well the most obvious example of maturity is after an abortion the aborted person usually changes their bad habits. Pro-Choice also believes that it is the moral right for a person to be able to control their own body whether it is having a baby or destroying it.

In 1973 (Roe v. Wade) the US Supreme Court held that a pregnant woman has a constitutional right, under the Fourteenth Amendment, to choose to terminate her pregnancy before viability as part of her freedom of personal choice in family matters – abortion became legal across the US and abortions are permitted during the first six months of pregnancy. [1]

Medical research further confirms that foetus of a certain age does not have even the physical awareness. Professor Vivette Glover from Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in London, says she believes that foetuses over 17 weeks old may feel pain.  Whereas the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) said that there was no possibility of foetal awareness before 26 weeks.  So embryos can not be termed as babies with full or partial self-awareness. So abortions can not termed as an assassination of humanity.

            In another decision, STENBERG et al. v. CARHART, Supreme Court reinforces its ideas of freedom of choice with careful consideration of moral and scientific issues. It states that:

The Constitution offers basic protection to a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113; Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833. Before fetal viability, a woman has a right to terminate her pregnancy, id., at 870 (joint opinion), and a state law is unconstitutional if it imposes on the woman’s decision an “undue burden,” i.e., if it has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the woman’s path… (STENBERG et al. v. CARHART)

Although above mentioned arguments clearly manifest that embryos are not human being in any way. They further suggest that abortions have many other benefits so court decisions should not be repealed as they are based in logic.

References

Boonin, David. (2002). A Defense of Abortion. University of Cambridge.

Gillon R. (2001). “Is there a ‘new ethics of abortion’?” Journal of Med Ethics. 27 Suppl.II, 5-9.

Roe v. Wade. (1973) 410 U.S. 113.

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0410_0113_ZS.html)

STENBERG, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEBRASKA, et al. 2000

http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-830.ZS.html

[1] This line of battle in the controversy over abortion has long been clearly discerned by Supreme Court in 1973 when court ruled in “Roe v. Wade” decision establishing abortion as a fundamental right. It declared that that most laws against abortion violate a constitutional right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment. It is one of the most controversial cases in U.S. Supreme Court history that generated much hue and cry in the media and social circles.

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Contentious Issue of Abortion. (2016, Jun 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/abortion-agree/