Is it considered Murder?

by MelissaBlack on February 9, 2015 - 5:28pm

In 1988, abortion was legalized in Canada. Regardless of this fact, it remains one of the most discussed and debated topics as it is still one of the few countries that allow it. Abortion is the termination of a fetus during human pregnancy and may easily seem morally unjust or ethically wrong seeing that many believe that a human life is being severed. Others view abortion as the removal of a fetus in a good light since they believe that a fetus is not alive until birth. For this reason it is not seen as an act of murder. 

We can consider the abortion issue from a deontological perspective which refers to the position where one acts in reason of duty. In light of abortion, a woman in this perspective would choose abortion with the reason that it is her job to make sure that does not give birth. Some decide to end their pregnancies because they feel as if they cannot care for a child themselves. For example, if a sixteen-year old was pregnant as a result of a rape, why should she give birth if the pregnancy was involuntary? 

In this case, the young girl was forced into a situation that she was not yet ready pursue. It is highly likely that a young may not have the means to care for and/or raise a child. In such situations, some may then say, in order to avoid murdering a fetus, she can perhaps continue with the pregnancy and then give the baby up for adoption. Having and raising a child may not be the only problem for a young girl, however. Pregnancy is a already a huge responsibility in itself. Her schooling may be affected and other countless various things as well. In this case choosing abortion was her duty and in her best interest. 

A utilitarian would choose the situation that would benefit the “greater good” or commonly explained as the situation that is most advantageous for the greater amount of people. In this case, people who are against abortion would say that by aborting the child you are killing it since no good is being done as a result of killing a human (it is considered wrong). Others who agree with the action of abortion might say that aborting the child is a better option seeing that we are disabling the child with an unfortunate life where he/she would not be properly taken care of. There are many different cases that are considered. If a woman has a condition that will only be even more detrimental to her health with pregnancy, imagine what it could do to a fetus. Abortion would be the best option in the case seeing that we are saving the baby from a life of sickness.

Although abortion is an option for pregnant women who do not want to keep the baby, there are various solutions.  There are many reasons why women get pregnant and being irresponsible while sexually active is one of them. The idea of abstinence and practicing safe sex should be emphasized more in high school. The affect of having unprotected sex can seriously affect one’s life, and this should be discussed immensely with young people who are beginning the journey of their sexuality.


Your article presents a moral dilemma on wether we should murder a human being while in the shape of an embryo or that still contains life. Many people will see this as a total disgust, but I disagree, I think that getting an abortion for particular reasons may lead to a better life in the end. The fact of getting an abortion only shows how responsable you are towards having a child and that only proves that in the long run people who accept abortion have a better understanding of life itself.

Overall a good summary. the only thing was your point on a utilitarian point of view. A utilitarian would typically believe that they are morally obliged to do the most good for the most amount of people. So I believe in the case for abortion a utilitarian would probably be against it because even though the parents or parent may be unfit to support the child, putting it up for adoption is always a choice. Thus making the old parents, new parents and newborn all happy.

Your summary is well written, especially the conclusion. You chose a touchy subject on which people can debate for hours, but you summarized it in a great way. Even if you seem in favor of abortion, you still advise women to practice safe sex. As the old adage says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
I found an article about a rape victim in Ireland who did not have the chance we have here – abortion is permitted only if the mother’s life is threatened or if she is suicidal. The woman in question did not get help when she sought it and had to fight the system in order to have her rights respected:

I really liked the fact that you gave both sides to the story. It’s interesting that some people don’t really take into consideration that sometimes the right choice for their situation is abortion. If the woman can’t give her baby a proper life, then she should terminate the pregnancy because she might not be able to take on the full responsibility of raising a child. I don’t believe abortion is ever the right answer, but since some believe that a fetus isn’t human until it’s born, then there shouldn’t be any harm in killing something that isn’t alive, and it’s best to not give the child a horrible and unstable life. On a different note, some might find your article unreliable since there is no source. Facts and stories about abortion aren’t common knowledge, so that’s why your article becomes really interesting since we learn about it, but then comes the question: How can I trust this information with no source? I believe you should take this into consideration because your arguments/main ideas are really strong and convincing, but they aren’t reliable without a reliable source.

Overall, this posting is well organized and to the point. There are however a few points I would like to touch. Firstly, you mention “a fetus is not alive until birth”. The benchmark for when a fetus is actually considered alive is quite blurry, and remains a largely debated topic. Many pro-life supporters believe that a fetus can actually be considered alive during pregnancy, some even say within twenty weeks. Your deconstruction of the deontological framework therefore must take this into account, as it alters the maxims relating to abortion, especially those ascribing to when abortion is considered ethically correct. Moreover, I understand your point about utilitarianism; that abortion provides the greatest good for the greatest number, as it ensures that women have total rights over their bodies. What you fail to cover, however, is one of the arguments most often used by pro-life supporters, which is also based in utilitarianism; that is, banning abortion creates the greatest good for the greatest number, as it protects all human life form that could potentially contribute to society. Pro-life supporters often use the following rhetorical questions to argue their point: what if the child aborted had the potential of becoming the next great scientific mind? What if the child aborted had all the makings of the next Albert Einstein? Their argument is flawed, however, as there is no way of knowing if that this actually going to happen. The potential contributions of an unborn child should not outweigh the rights of women in what can be considered the greatest good for the greatest number.

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