Ethics and Abortion: Countering the Claims

Abortion has always been a hot-button issue, and for good reason. Passionate proponents exist on both sides of the argument, but for many anti-abortion advocates, the ethical dilemma that abortion promotes is often silenced or explained away. Women’s rights, access to healthcare, and opinions on the discussions on bodily autonomy are front and center in ethics and abortion talks. Although these arguments are cited regularly by abortion rights advocates, they end up falling flat when faced with medical and ethics-related facts.
The popular phrase “my body, my choice” takes center stage during debates about the ethical implications of abortion. At its core, this pro-abortion argument makes a few ethical claims: 1) Unborn babies are not considered humans in the same way as a newborn baby is and 2) Even if they are, the mother’s interests and preferences are more important. On the first point, the medical literature often refers to unborn babies as “the fetus” or the “embryo”. However, the definition of fetus refers to a “developing human from usually two months after conception to birth”. With that in mind, the argument comes back to the fact that since the baby is fully dependent on the mother while in the womb, the mother has a right to do what she wants. However, no other organ in the mother’s body has separate DNA, blood type, and organs of their own, so this argument does not hold weight either.
A similar argument for abortion advocates relates to the idea that abortion should be considered a form of healthcare. Pro-abortion activists group birth control in with other issues concerning women’s health, including infertility and endometriosis. However, the ethical issues surrounding abortion as a form of healthcare need to be addressed. Pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis, for example, involve treatment that does not require hurting or killing the patient. With abortion, however, the “termination” of pregnancy involves ending the life of another human. The results of preventative healthcare and abortion are not the same,
The ethical argument for abortion also uses women’s rights as a platform. In fact, modern feminism often stakes a claim on abortion being part of a women’s fundamental “right to choose”. This is based on the arguments above and particularly comes into play with horrific scenarios like rape or incest. However, these instances are infrequent. The vast majority of women who get abortions do so for more lifestyle-related reasons.
To learn more about the ethical arguments for and against abortions, or to find out options you have if you or someone you know faces an unplanned pregnancy, book a free consultation with Clearway Clinic today. There are alternatives to abortion and the ethical dilemma that goes along with it.

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