by MikeP on February 4, 2014 - 8:16pm
In this article by Alex K. Rich, Abortion: An Overview, Rich describes the everlasting ethical issue of abortion. In the 13th century, it was very looked down upon, and if you were to abort a baby more than five to six weeks after being pregnant, it was concidered a homocide. In the 1900s, abortion laws started to become more lenient due to the health perspective of women, but in 2004, a survey was done on pregnant women to know why they desire an abortion. 92 percent of women said it was due to inconvenience, not ready to be a mother, social issues, etc. Only 0.5 percent of women said they wanted an abortion for medical purposes.
Furthermore, 50% of abortions in modern day society are women aged 25 and less, and 17% of all abortions being teenagers. That said, here is the ethical issue of
modern society, is abortion right?
Rich discusses how the majority of the ethical issue is revolved the question, is the fetus or embryo a human being, and at what point in time does it become one? Abortion-rights groups have argued that in the law, the language used for abortion is way too broad, which could potentially make perfectly common and safe abortion procedures a criminal act, which could later on end up banning abortions as a whole. They also argue that the fetus is not a 'human life' until it can maybe live on it's own outside the womb, which is between 20 and 28 weeks in pregnancy. Although Rich then says pro-life groups who are against abortion argue that the fetus becomes alive at conception. They also refer to the law, where killing a fetus/embryo goes against the Fifth Amendment. For the pro-life group, the moral claims and values are that human life is fundamentally valuable and that killing people is wrong. For the abortion rights group, even if the fetus does have a right to life, the moral claim is that you should have the right to control your own body. In favor of the abortion-rights group's claims, the pregnant woman has moral rights of her own to control her body, where if she doesn't abort the fetus, she could potentially harm her health or even kill herself. On the other side of the spectrum, for the pro-life group's moral claims, if the pregnancy comes from voluntary intercourse, women then consent that the fetus or embryo to use their body, therefore the mother was aware of the risks.
To conclude, in my opinion the pro-life group facts make a lot more sense to me. Why should a future human die in pain as a result of incompetency from the woman? A fetus starts to feel pain at 18 weeks of pregnancy and has it's own genetic code, so if the fetus ends up harming her, it is in fact her own fault for making whatever mistake she committed. I value life, especially potential life because everyone deserves the chance to live. The fetus was given the opportunity to experience life first-hand in the near future when it was born. No one has the right to give that type of hope, and simply take it away.
Rich, K. Alex. "Abortion: An Overview." EbscoHost : Web. 3 Feb. 2014.