This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Question Of Abortion: The Issue, Arguments For And Against.

2360 words - 9 pages

1. IntroductionAbortion is one of the most controversial moral issues that has become the center of discussion in our contemporary society. This issue has raised strong arguments, and for some people simply to mention 'abortion' is to stir up emotions. In this essay, I will present both sides of the argument: in favor and against. To take a closer look at this issue, I will discuss the arguments of Judith Jarvis Thomson, Michael Tooley, Don Marquis and the position of the Catholic Church. Finally, I will evaluate and show the way forward.2. What is abortion?Punzo defines abortion as 'the expulsion of the embryo or fetus from the uterus before it is capable of living outside the uterus' (1969:206). Similarly, Fagothey defines abortion as 'the expulsion of the fetus from the womb before it is viable, that is, before it can live outside the mother' (1989:250). An abortion may occur spontaneously, in which case it is called a miscarriage, or it may be brought on purposefully, in which case it is called an induced abortion. In my essay I will discuss the latter, which is voluntarily chosen.Abortion, as a moral issue, presents mother-fetus conflict: rights of the fetus versus the rights of the mother. The source of controversy is the response to whether a fetus is a human being or not, because it can only have human rights - including a right to life - only if it is human. Therefore, if a fetus is not a human being, then abortion can be morally justified. On the other hand, if a fetus is a human being, it has a right to life - it is entitled to the protection we accord to any other human being. Hence, making abortion morally wrong. It is evident that what is needed in the issue of abortion is to know when a human being becomes a human being.'Would the sperm become a human being when ejaculated into the woman? Would it become a human being when united with the ovum to form a zygote? Do we say that a fertilized ovum is a human being? Or do we want to say that the embryo becomes a human being at a later stage?' (Borchert 1986: 249).The advocates of abortion hold that a fetus is not a human being, and killing it, is not murder. On the contrary, opponents of abortion, the Catholic Church in particular, assert that a fetus is a human being right from conception. The disagreement and failure to pinpoint in a pregnancy the moment at which a fetus becomes a human being has provided a fertile ground for arguments on abortion and has made it a debatable moral issue. Below are some arguments against and for abortion.3. Arguments against abortion3.1 Don MarquisMarquis argues that it is wrong to kill a fetus just as it is wrong to kill an adult. He posits that it is wrong to kill an adult because he/she is deprived of the future. 'The loss of one's life deprives one of all the experiences, activities, projects and enjoyments that would otherwise have constituted one's future' (Benevac 1992: 308). This explains why it is wrong to kill a fetus because in its...

Find Another Essay On The question of abortion: the issue, arguments for and against.

Arguments For and Against the Reintroduction of the Death Penalty for Murder

1924 words - 8 pages Arguments For and Against the Reintroduction of the Death Penalty for Murder The death penalty was abolished in the United Kingdom in 1965. (Blackwell 1968.) The abolishment of the death penalty was not a simple case. Since 1957 the issue had been before the House of Commons more than 19 times. However the death penalty is still used today in many countries across the world. During the year 2000 at least

The Issue of Abortion Essay

870 words - 3 pages The Issue of Abortion People all over the world, especially those in American society, do not take the issue of abortion lightly. Dealing with ethics, religious beliefs and the law, it is one of the most controversial subjects of this time. Abortion poses a moral, social and medical dilemma that forces many individuals to react in very strong and unfortunately, opposing ways. Forty percent of the American people believe that the decision

Discuss and Evaluate the Arguments For and Against the Use of the Death Penalty.

3024 words - 12 pages Discuss and evaluate the arguments for and against the use of the death penalty.Capital punishment is "the infliction of death as punishment for certain crimes" (dictionary online). In the Bible itself it prescribes death for crimes such as murder, kidnapping, witchcraft and many more. By 1500, in England, only foremost felonies conceded the death penalty - murder, larceny, burglary, rape, arson and treason. However, from 1723 under the "Waltham

The Controversial Issue of Abortion and Christianity

1124 words - 4 pages The Controversial Issue of Abortion Abortion is a very controversial issue in society today. Some people think that abortion is a good idea to solve problems and that it is justified yet the Catholic Church would argue this is not the case and that abortion is wrong. There are some very strong arguments both for and against abortion. There are two methods of abortion: 1) The Suction Method: This is used for

A Look at the Arguments for and Against Censorship

1681 words - 7 pages form a distinct opinion on censorship given the arguments for both sides. The decision of whether or not to place restrictions on books, television, the internet, etc. impacts all corners of the world. Censorship has had a large influence on US history and will continue to affect its future. Works Cited “Censorship.” Current Issues: Macmillian Social Science Library. Detroit: Gale, 2010. N. pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 13

The Cloning Delimma: contriversal arguments for and against cloning

1586 words - 6 pages Cloning is one of the most widely talked about topics in this world. It is one topic that evokes a great public response worldwide. The defenders of cloning believe that cloning and genetic engineering will be the answer to most of the diseases in the future. On the other hand, the people against cloning view it as ' playing God '. Cloning is unethical because people will lose their identities if their clones come into this world. We are taking

discursive essay on the legalisation of cannabis; different peoples views and arguments for and against it

754 words - 3 pages DISCURSIVE WRITINGAn issue that creates heated debate almost anywhere you go is the legalisation of cannabis. There are two different opinions: one, that cannabis should not become legal because it leads on to the use of harder drugs and causes more petty crime. The second view is that if it became legal then fewer people would have to sneak around to get cannabis and therefore not get caught up in the underworld of drugs, and that would stop

The Moral Question of Abortion

2137 words - 9 pages Abortion is the termination of the unborn as a result of its physical destruction. The three types of abortion consist of therapeutic abortion, spontaneous abortion and elective abortion. Therapeutic abortion is an abortion done for reasons regarding the health of the mother. A spontaneous abortion is a miscarriage, a fetus being expelled before it is physically able to live under normal conditions outside the uterus on its own. This especially

The Controversial Issue of Abortion

1422 words - 6 pages . The argument present in this case is that performing the abortion is directly killing the child, whereas not doing anything at all is just the same as letting the mother die. The question is which one is right. How can abortion be though of as murder if the mother is doing it to save her own life? How can she just sit there passively and wait for her own death. A woman has the right to defend her life against any threats posed by an unborn child

Outline the arguments in favour of abortion

545 words - 2 pages Abortion is:"An operation or other procedure to terminate pregnancy before the foetus is viable." ( The English Dictionary)There are many different arguments against and for abortion, although there are three main groups. There are those who believe abortion should be available on request (Pro-Choice), those who believe abortion is acceptable under some circumstances (Pro-Life), and those who believe that abortion is not acceptable.Pro

The Abortion Arguments of Cider House Rules

1105 words - 4 pages The Abortion Arguments of Cider House Rules I am writing this essay on a Saturday evening, not with any real contemplation, or even planning. I am writing this because I was just minutes ago watching the movie Cider House Rules. I won't go into the plot of the movie, but, to explain my motivation for writing this, I will simply describe one portion of the movie. The scene at issue in my mind right now is one where a fourteen-year-old

Similar Essays

Arguments For And Against Abortion Essay

2425 words - 10 pages Arguments for and Against Abortion An abortion is also known as a termination, meaning to terminate, to stop. An abortion is when you stop a pregnancy, by removing the foetus from the womb. Many people frown upon abortions, as they see them as the killing of a life. Other people believe that it is a ‘potential’ life, and that a foetus is not considered to be a child. Some people feel that in a situation

Select One Moral Issue And Identify The Arguments For The Issue, Against The Issues And Outline The Teachings Of The Catholic Church On This Issue

710 words - 3 pages Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy before birth. An abortion results in the death of an embryo or a foetus. For many years abortion has been an extremely controversial subject. One important aspect of the issue is whether a woman should be permitted to have an abortion and if so under, what circumstances. This makes abortion a moral issue.The people, who are against abortion, believe that, even though the baby is carried within the mother's

Analysis Of The Arguments For And Against Affirmative Action (Issue #10, Stanley Feingold, George Mc Kenna, "Taking Sides" 13th Ed.)

1878 words - 8 pages status to minorities. Another weakness I find in her case is that she doesn't seem to give much basis for continued affirmative action other than to contend with the arguments of her opponents. She also doesn't convincingly prove how a continued affirmative action policy will yield further racial equality. When she cites the distortion of "lowered standards" under affirmative action policies she only uses the example of test scores and doesn't

Arguments Against Abortion Essay

729 words - 3 pages Abortion is wrong and it should not be allowed for another one to happen. There are two points to be made, one is that the unborn child is in fact, a life, thus should not be aborted at any time during the pregnancy, and that there are indeed some good alternatives to abortion, so it does not have to happen if a mother feels she can not take care of her child. First, an unborn child is still a life and deserves to be allowed to live