Deontological and Utilitarian arguments for Abortion Essay
The Issue of abortion Is one that has been at the recent forefront of many political discussions in the united States and around the world. There are people spread across both sides of the argument whose opinions vary in intensity and depend on different sources of information to back up their points of view. For the purpose of this paper, abortion will be defined as the deliberate termination of human pregnancy. It Is my opinion that abortion, completed early enough in a pregnancy, Is not an unethical act and should not be considered to be a decision that Is immoral.
My argument Is based on Ideas that are rooted In both utilitarian and deontological ethics as I will show throughout the essay. One of the few religions to condone acts of abortion is Hinduism. This is not to say, however, that Hinduism is blindly accepting of all kinds of abortion. In Hinduism, the belief is that one should make a decision based on what kind of effect it will have on all those involved. This Is a very utilitarian way of looking at abortion because It looks at the decision and determines which choice will cause the least amount of harm to he mother, father, fetus, and society (BBC, 2013).
Traditionally in Hindu culture, when considering circumstances where abortion is a possible solution to a problem, it is usually found that the procedure Is not the appropriate response to the situation and aborting the baby would have negative social and spiritual consequences. I believe this is important because although Hinduism isn’t “pro-choice”, like many democratic liberals In our country, It still allows for abortion to be an acceptable option in circumstances where not performing the procedure would cause more harm than he abortion itself.
Another argument that surrounds the discussion of whether abortion is right or wrong is in regards to cases where the unborn fetus is known to have some kind of disability. Proponents of the pro-life argument usually cite how people who live with disabilities are happier to be alive with a disability rather than not being alive at all and therefore should be allowed to develop and try to live as normal a life as possible.
I don’t believe that this Is a strong argument against abortion because It Is not only the life of the disabled person that needs to be considered. Although a disabled person may be happy In the life they live, it is likely that many people have experienced things like emotional hardship and financial hardship caused by living with someone with a disability. Therefore, it is likely that the abortion off disabled fetus would reduce the amount of harm done to those involved overall.
A popular question surrounding this discussion Is whether or not the fetus has the right to life. A right to life can be seen as a right to be provided with everything necessary to sustain life (BBC, 2013). This brings abortion into a more deontological concussion because the question is if the fetus has a claim on the fundamental rule that people have a right to life. Eventually this debate arrives at the conflict that decides when a fetus is really considered a person. On one side, people believe that life starts at conception.
The other side of the discussion believes that life hasn’t congruence with the second opinion because until a fetus has developed certain organs like the brain, which essentially creates a person as we would know them, it is not considered a person and therefore does not hold the same claim to the right to fife that further developed fetus and living people do. This means that if an abortion is performed early enough in the process of development, it does not go against a fundamental human right.
Other deontological arguments in regards to abortion have to do with different religions. In Christianity, the belief is that a life starts at the moment of conception and because of that, abortion isn’t condoned under any circumstances (English, 1975). Judaism however, condones abortion when the health of the mother is threatened by the fetus. It also gives permission for its followers to discuss the issue n a case by case basis with their rabbi to determine the best course of action (BBC, 2013).
If I were to include the arguments of other religious traditions I would have a list of many different rules for how to appropriately address the issue of abortion without compromising one’s morality. Because there are differing opinions on the morality of abortion that come from religion, it makes them difficult to use as sources to argue one side or the other when different traditions support different sides like Judaism and Christianity. This, I believe, makes deciding on a universal standard for he abortion issue based on knowledge of religion irrelevant.
A common pro-choice argument is that the mother of a baby has a right to defend herself against personal threats (Thomson, 1971). This is generally thought of when there are circumstances where the fetus is causing a threat to the mother’s physical health. It is my belief that the concept of self-defense can be extended to issues relating to a mother’s ability to sustain her in society, which a baby can have a large impact on. If a baby poses a threat not only to the health of a mother but to her evildoer, then the mother is has a right to decide if she will keep the baby.
I think that this decision is warranted because if the mother cannot sustain herself, then she will be unable to provide for the child in a way that would be beneficial to its own future and we unfortunately live in a world where there are already too many children that aren’t being well taken care of. As Vive outlined above, it is my belief that abortion is not immoral for many reasons. The religious traditions that all outline different opinions of abortion differ too much and too frequently to successfully establish abortion as wrong.