An essential problem in biomedical ethics is abortion – artificial termination of pregnancy. Currently, there are three leading positions in the attitude of people to induced abortion. The first thought is that abortion is morally permissible at any stage of development of the embryo since the fetus, until the moment of birth, is part of the mother’s body and does not have the right to life. The second position suggests that abortion is morally allowable only in the initial stages of fetal development. However, there is also a third position about the fact that abortion is a form of killing a person. As the embryo (and even more so the fetus) from the moment of conception is a personality with the right to life. Hence, supporters of various theories have argued about which opinion is the best for a long time. However, even at the legislative and political levels, there is no consensus on this issue. Thus, highlighting the arguments will create a shared vision and solution to the dilemma.
The support evidence
The fundamental ethical principle of opponents of abortion is the inviolability of the life of the unborn child. The legal foundation for their arguments is the Declaration of Human Rights, namely the right of every human being to live. It is a scientific fact that personal growth begins at conception. An embryo is not simply a part of a woman’s body; it is a biological structure that is not identical to any of her organs because it is a human growing in her body. The fetus has a special ontological status: it is a ‘potential human being’ (Marquis 185). Its nature is predominantly biological, and socially, it is the object to which the care should be directed in average, not deviant, cases of artificial abortion. This process also imposes detrimental risks to women’s health. Any abortion causes irreparable harm to a woman’s health, and regardless of the circumstances, childbirth is preferable because it is a natural process (Marquis 189). Therefore, it means that abortion at any stage of pregnancy is a deliberate termination of human life as a biological individual.
The contra argument
It is crucial to state that there is also a radically opposite point of view. Supporters of abortion believe that pregnancy also poses risks to a woman’s health. In addition, they appeal to the fact that, statistically, most women who decide to do this procedure already have children. The reason they go for abortion is most often the inability to provide for another baby. Terminating a pregnancy may also be necessary if the fetus has abnormalities. Not all families are willing to take on the responsibility of caring for a child with special needs. Moreover, not all parents are well off, and they may not give the child a decent education and provision.
Prohibiting abortion cannot destroy abortion as a phenomenon. After all, its central, mainly social reasons, will remain unchanged. The practice of abortion will simply be transferred to the shadow sphere, which will lead to risks to women’s health. However, in order for society to share the view of abortion, it is necessary to improve awareness of the sinfulness of such operations. At the same time, providing quality sex education at school will help reduce the percentage of undesired pregnancies. It is also essential to remark that developing and increasing government assistance at birth can also encourage women to remain pregnant.
Marquis, Don. ‘Why Abortion is Immoral’ The Journal of Philosophy, vol. 86, no. 4, 1989, pp. 183-202