Abortion is arguably the most contentious issue in applied ethics whether it is medically advised or sorted for any other reason. Abortion presumes the definition of the deliberate termination of unwanted pregnancy (Vaughn, 2015). There are various schools of thought that support or objects abortion for varying reasons. The premises used by each school of thought are to some degree rooted in the understanding of morality. Where ethical issues are concerned, Kaczor (2014) presumes that morality challenges in abortion come about from the rights of the mother in respect to those of the fetus, thus the termination of the embryonic life and underlying belief systems.
From a technical point of view, it is apparent that abortion is a sophisticated and risky procedure that consists of altering the already established physiological status of the body. The physiological status of the body in this perspective can be associated with the hormonal levels, increased fat deposit and dislodging life from what is already crafted in the body. It is appropriate to say that abortion is not an easy task in connection to the methods that are usually incorporated to ascertain that the entire procedure is safe for the carrier (Hodgson, 2014). The scenarios involved in abortion related cases are dangerous because there are some instances where the carrier often ends up dead in connection to abortion scenarios. Fundamentally, the type of methods used for abortion and each stage will be demonstrated in the following paraphrase for clarity.
There are numerous types of abortion namely, traditional self-induced, medical abortion where drugs are taken, surgical abortion, dilated and evacuation abortion. The aforementioned method are often preferred by practitioners in connection to the stage of pregnancy. For instance, the first trimester is often associated with methotrexate and misoprostol approach for pregnancies that are noticed during the first seven weeks. There is also the mifepristone and misoprostol that can be incorporated for pregnancies that are between seven to nine weeks (Hodgson, 2014). Lastly, there is the dilation approach, which is often surgical for pregnancies that are up to 16 weeks.
When it comes to the second trimester, surgical procedures like dilation, curettage, evacuation and induction abortion are often utilized. The third trimester on the other hand often entails use of the induction approach associated with a surgical. There is also the utilization of the dilation and extraction method, which is also associated with surgical. In simple terms, there are methods that can be utilized in first, second and third trimester when it comes to abortion related cases (Hodgson, 2014). Despite the different methods for each stage elaborated above, it is paramount for one to involve a medical officer with enough expertise to safely ascertain the safety of the carrier.
Feminists argue that they have a right to do that which they desire with their bodies at any time and if, when and how they decide to use their bodies is up to them. The feminists argue from a pro-choice perspective where they say that the fetus autonomy does not triumph that of its carrier. To them, the carriers’ life which is already recognized as a legal entity cannot be equated to potential life that is yet to be seen (Kaczor, 2014). The rights that the fetus will inherit if and when it is born cannot be therefore be used as a justification to deny the carrier her right to choose if she will carry the pregnancy to term or for any reason decide to abort. To this argument utilitarianism explore hedonic calculus pleasure is weighed Vis a Vis pain generated by the moral actions. They argue that the end justifies the means. If the subject, the mother, in this case, is satisfied with the consequences, then she was right to abort (Kaczor, 2014).
Pro-life, whose foundation stems from Aristotle potentiality principal, opine that life begins at conception and that termination of the fertilized ovum is tantamount to murder (Vaughn, 2015). To them, fetuses have physical characteristics of human beings such as the genetic code which makes them sufficient for human beings (Kaczor, 2014). It is argued that the fetus, being unable to present their case on abortion, should not be subjected to abortion since it will be equivalent of sending to death without according a chance to defend itself. That premise, therefore, negates abortion and deems it morally wrong.
It is often advised that developing fetus in the fallopian tube be terminated because it endangers both the mother’s and fetus’ life and no plausible reason will force the mother to risk both her life and that of the fetus. Claims have also been fronted that before engaging in sex, the woman knowingly accepts the act with is consequences when she fails to use protection and or refuse to admit that the modes of birth control often fails (Vaughn, 2015). What is usually not accounted for is rape. Rape is injurious to both the body, emotions and the general psyche of the victim and if by any chance she gets pregnant and carries the child to term the child will always be a constant reminder or the turmoil it mother went through.
Religious groups, though with deferring or non-committal approach to abortion, often sneak in the sanctity of life to which no one is allowed to take away. Various religious groups agree with the pro-life premise to some degree. To them, life is given by Supreme Being, and it is upon the Supreme Being to take life (Kaczor, 2014). It is sinful when another human terminates the life for which he or she did not give. According to the religious groups, the Supreme Being has outlined and determined the course of one’s life even before he or she is born.
Despite the reasons forwarded by each side, abortion remains hotly contested even though in some countries it has been fully legalized while in some is partly legalized on medical grounds. More attention needs to be given to the issue, and more open-minded approach employed to ensure that legalizing abortion will not result to more health problems than envisaged and that the services procured will be of quality and not injurious. Women also need to be cognizant of the health problems that abortion may have on them and that it should only be procured when the alternative is worse. Helping women understand the nature of abortion from a detailed perspective is paramount as it would help them to be more cautions with their life as it would be appropriate for their health. A teamwork approach is recommended among women, the society and medical sector because abortion cannot be ignored as it has been there and it will continue being there.
- Hodgson. E. J. (2014). Abortion and Sterilization: Medical and Social Aspects, Elsevier Science.
- Kaczor, C. (2014). The ethics of abortion: Women’s rights, human life, and the question of justice. Routledge.
- May, L. (Ed.). (2017). Applied ethics: A multicultural approach. Routledge.
- Vaughn, L. (2015). Doing ethics: Moral reasoning and contemporary issues. WW Norton & Company.