Is the Practice of Abortion Ethical or Not?
by marilouT on September 12, 2016 - 10:47pm
In the article from the Globe and Mail “In PEI, the right to choose: No longer ‘the shame of being shipped off the island'” by Ingrid Peritz, the moral dilemma surrounding the right to abortion is being discussed after a legal change occurring in the province of PEI.
Recently in PEI (Prince Edward Island), the right to abortion has been given to women after 34 years of prohibition. The island was the last province in Canada to allow and provide access to abortion services within its borders. Before that, women from PEI were not allowed to practice abortion at home. These women had to hide, cross the border and go to another province to get the services needed. Some women who could not afford the treatment even self-induce abortion, which can be a harmful and dangerous practice. Ashley Fraser was one among the hundreds of women living in PEI who could not get abortion services. A decade ago, she had to travel to another province in order to be aborted. It took her hours to get there and cost her a lot of money. Moreover, she was filled with shame and anxiety, which is why the idea that women in PEI do not have to go through this difficult process anymore is extremely important to her. Abortion access now PEI Inc. is the group behind the recent legal change. They fought for over three decades to install the right to abortion in PEI, which was not an easy task considering the fact that this province is recognized to be mostly pro-life oriented. Also, the support of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in favor of the women’s right to choose had a considerable influence on the government of Prince Edward Island to provide access to abortion within the borders of the province.
The first value that is in favor of abortion is freedom, because a woman should have the right to decide what she wants to do with her body and should not be forced to carry and give birth to a child if she does not feel ready to do so, or simply if she does not want to do so. Then, another value in favor of abortion is autonomy, because we should all be able to make decisions that directly and significantly affect our lives, such as having a child. Finally, security is also a value supporting the right to abortion because a lot of women who do not have access to appropriate services to terminate their pregnancy will try to do it themselves and it is extremely dangerous. Furthermore, the moral principles that represent the right to abortion are the following: Always act in accordance to your own best interests, and respect people’s autonomy.
The first value that goes against abortion is parental responsibility, because every parent is responsible for the conception of their baby and therefore should take responsibility for their action. Another value that is against abortion is faith, because a lot of people believe that aborting a fetus is as worst as killing someone because in both case, a life is taken away. Finally, the value of justice also goes against abortion because some people believe that the fetus has the same rights as every human being and therefore, has the right to live. The most powerful moral principle that represent this side of the ethical issue is that human life is fundamentally valuable.
In my opinion, women should have the right to decide if they want to have a child or not, because to me, the value of freedom is extremely important. Becoming a mother is not something to take slightly because it lasts for life. Therefore, it changes a life completely. For instance, I am planning to go to the university and study for a long time. However, if I were to be pregnant right now at eighteen years old, it would be extremely hard for me to achieve this goal. I would probably have to quit school to work full time and I could not reach my full potential. This is why I believe that if a women is not ready to have a child, no one should force it upon her and she should have the right to do what she wants with her own body. We have to act according to our own best interests. Moreover, I believe that abortion is crucial in order to obtain gender equality. I also strongly believe that one’s faith should not infringe upon another’s rights because faith is subjective to each and every one.
Would you say that in this case that the moral principle of always acting in accordance to our own best interests overcomes the ethical principle that human life is fundamentally valuable?
Peritz, Ingrid. “In PEI, the right to choose: No longer ‘the shame of being shipped off the island.'” The Globe and Mail, April 1st 2016, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prince-edward-island-to-end....