A nineteen year old girl lies frozen in the fetal position; taking three positive pregnancy tests has thrown her into a nightmare. Reflecting on one poor decision she made- one pill she skipped- she imagines foregoing all of her dreams of getting a doctorate in order to become another working-class single mom. She disregards this option upon much deliberation and decides to have a medical abortion. Holding no beliefs about souls residing in unborn embryos or fetuses, she is relatively unshaken by the procedure and makes a commitment to be more vigilant moving forward.
This girl, like all women, has the inalienable right to determine what they do with their bodies regardless of faith or personal opinions of others. Fetal development occurs within the confines of a woman’s body, and is therefore subject to any decision she may make. Unplanned pregnancies occur in the contexts of all walks of life under many circumstances, whether consensual unprotected sex, incest, or rape. Those who hold opinions against letting women choose to terminate pregnancy have judgments clouded by predetermined dogmas, such as religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds. This is a substantial problem because ethical issues such as abortion are most effectively debated in the realm of objective viewpoints. By putting personal beliefs aside, people could learn to think better, do better, and ultimately be better when it comes to allowing others to make their own decisions.
The timeless debate over the right to abortion services has been reinvigorated in light of safer medical procedures, new legislation, and increased media coverage. The hot topic, however, has been mostly affected by the new identity of women in America. Generation X and Y has bred a race of women who shamelessly express themselves and pursue serious aspirations. Unplanned pregnancies due to small lapses in judgment do not fit into the equation for certain women, whether or not they are in a stable relationship. A cost-benefit analysis of abortion versus raising a child will provide a utilitarian ethical argument for the right to abortion. On the other hand, Kantian philosophy will determine that today’s woman is genuinely autonomous and rational and therefore has a moral entitlement to make her own decisions. These two broad components of moral ethics will then be supplemented with an argument majorly outlined in Lewis Vaughan’ Contemporary Moral Issues, specifically Warren’s Personhood Argument for Abortion. To conclude, some fallacies that religious groups use to condemn abortion will be analyzed. By examining all these components of the arguments for and against abortion, it is clear to see that the ethically correct decision lies in allowing women to have the final word when it comes to their bodies.
A utilitarian moral argument can prove that, in some cases, maximal good comes as a result of terminating pregnancies. In certain cases, the benefit of having a child far outweighs the cost. These are...