The Morality of Abortion
On the question of abortion being moral, the answer is clearly that terminating a fetus’ life under certain circumstances is not only moral, but it is also our responsibility to terminate it if the quality of life is in question for the fetus. A second major reason is that to declare abortion immoral would mean that we would have to consider the factor of how the conception came about. This cannot and should not be done.
Quality is a major factor in the question of the morality of abortion. When parents decide to keep or not keep a baby the issue of adoption does not play into this. The reason for this is that once the baby is born that the parents may change their mind if they want to keep it. Parents must decide at the onset of the pregnancy to decide if they can in good conscience bring a child into the world, if the answer is yes, then people should proceed with the pregnancy and then determine whether they want to give the child up for adoption. It is a parent’s moral responsibility to make sure that the environments which the child will be brought into will be healthy and supportive. It is a far greater crime to treat a child poorly for eighteen years then it is to terminate a fetus that cannot think, feel or is aware of its existence.
On the second point of making the way that conception occurred a non-factor I am not saying that having the babies of rapists or in cases of incest is okay. Still, for the argument that abortion is immoral, you must argue that the action is immoral, not the child. The child cannot be either at this point. If we are then talking about the act of abortion then who is to determine right and wrong. A court of law should have no place in this decision. The primary interests in this pregnancy should make the decision themselves. This would normally be the parents of the fetus. The action in the case of rape is defiantly immoral, but the fetus is not. To say that the abortion is moral because the pregnancy arose from a crime is to place a value judgement on a child before it is born. A fetus is just the product of sperm and an egg, an accidental meeting that resulted in a pregnancy. If the fetus is not at fault but can be terminated, why should a different set of standards be in effect because two young people experimenting with sex made a mistake and the end result was the same as in the case of rape. I offer you the explanation that the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy can be deemed moral or immoral, but the fetus and therefore the abortion cannot. The outcome was an accidental meeting of a sperm and an egg in both instances. The moment of conception does not assemble a human the instant that the egg hits the sperm, it takes a full nine months. During this gestation period parts develop slowly, not all at once. Science has determined when the cut off is that a fetus can think and feel etc… If it were impossible for us to know when a fetus could feel and think than the obvious answer would be that it is immoral, but we can tell and therefore it is not. I think that it is important to remember that morals can be established for a society in particular, such as abortion in immoral, but cannot be changed by the context of how the pregnancy occurred. Either the termination of life is moral or it isn’t. By this line of reasoning you can follow me to the logical conclusion of this paragraph. If it is logical and ethical to terminate the life of a fetus because of a particular circumstance, then it is moral to do so under any circumstance.
A credible objection to my main position is that abortion is wrong except in the case of rape or incest. One good reason for this is that young parents of a fetus that made a mistake and got pregnant made that initial decision to have sex, while the rape or incest victims did not. A second reason is that we as a society should not force a mother to relive her crime every day for nine months and possibly longer if she kept the baby.
These two statements do not even come close to undermining my position. My primary problem with the above argument is that the person on that side is putting a value on human life. The fact that the pregnancy occurred illegally makes that human being worth less than the one that was conceived by accident. The argument above hits a brick wall if you pursue it further. A person cannot come up with a justifiable reason why the fetus is worth less as a human because of the nature of the conception. At which point the person on the side of the argument must admit that values are the same and that total value is zero as a human being because it isn’t one yet. As to the second reason, why should we remind a seventeen year old girl every day for nine months and possibly longer because in a moment of haste they forgot to use a condom.
An objection to my first statement about the quality of life could be argued that after the pregnancy is over the baby could be given up for adoption. Along this line of reasoning the quality of life does not play into the factor.
This argument is filled with holes. When a person is 18 years old and loses a leg in a car accident the leg is gone, never to be seen again. The case is much the same for a young girl, she has carried this thing around for the better part of a year. A new mothers natural response to giving the fetus up would be the same if after the accident the doctors asked the victim if they wanted to keep their leg. Of course the answer would be yes. Therefore having an abortion take this problem out of the equation and lets a mother make an informed decision whether or not to have a child and whether or not to give it for adoption. A second problem is the cost of a birth. What if there is no insurance, and there is no one to pay the immense cost of a hospital stay. Why should the same young girl go into financial debt for something that she is not going to keep, and she has no way of knowing if that babies life will be any better than what she could have provided for.
To conclude this paper is a difficult task. I have tried to outline why abortion is moral by guiding the reader through a series of steps outlining thinking toward the fetus and we should regard it. The way that we should regard it is as a lifeless thing until it can feel or think, whichever comes first. This is not to that abortions should be common, cheap, or as easy to get as a physical is. Circumstances involved around the conception including the how and why should not be regarded. One abortion cannot be moral while anither is not. I would guess that I am taking an absolutists point of view on this subject. I also tried to state that social context must be taken into account, and that abortion is either one way or the other, indepedent of circumstances surrounding how the pregnancy occured. I have also tried to show how quality of life must be added into the decision of whether or not to have a child. I will lastly close with the statement that while the men of the world try to hash this controversy out, it is important to remember who physically has the child. And that it is ultimatly the womens decision whether or not to have a child. If abortion is declared immoral than it will eentually lead to laws making it illegal as well. When this happens we will see the practice go underground and have a lot of deaths among women attempting to have this done in an unclean environment.