In the article “Is Abortion a Human Right?”, the author discusses the recent push by Amnesty International to recognize that the right to an abortion is a human right for women. The article was authored by Susan Mulligan and published in U.S. News and World Report on December 2, 2015. The article examines the issue of abortion and its availability in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is notorious for its lack of abortion availability for women. While Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, it does not follow the laws regarding abortion that are established by the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom allows abortion up to the twenty-eight week of gestation. However, Northern Ireland only allows abortions when there is a risk to the health or life of the mother. A judge in Northern Ireland questioned whether this was a violation of the human rights of women.
I found the article very interesting. The article mentions that in the United States, abortion rights tend to focus only on the rights of the privacy of women or the right to life for the fetus. The discussion in the U.S. is therefore very polarized. However, no one questions whether or not there is a human rights issue for the woman. I believe this question is one that the current politics of the U.S. would have trouble assessing. The entire issue of abortion has been one of the most crucial issues of politics for the last forty years since the Roe V. Wade case before the Supreme Court. It is difficult, due to the years of rhetoric, to even consider what the human rights issue of abortion would be for Americans. However, when one considers it, it is apparent that it is a human rights issue. Women have a right, according to the idea of human rights, to be autonomous individuals.
However, one must then question if there is a human rights issue with regards to the fetus. Obviously, a fetus is not an autonomous individual. It cannot live on its own for most of the gestational period. Therefore, there is no autonomy associated with most of the gestation. Still, it is difficult to not consider the human rights of a future human. I believe this article raises more questions than it answered. I found it interesting. I also believe that it raised new questions for me to consider with regards to this topic. I appreciate that.
- Mulligan, S. (2015, December 2). Is abortion a human right? U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved from: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/12/02/is-abortion-a-human-right