Irresponsible Abortion

by avers2 on September 12, 2013 - 8:27pm

After birthing 3 kids and having one procedural abortion, Jennie Linn McCormack finds herself pregnant yet again. Pregnancy number five and she hasn’t learned her lesson? The man that impregnated her this time has been in and out of prison, and will clearly be of no help during a pregnancy. Instead of keeping the baby, she decides to take the cheapest and easiest way out of her repetitive mistake by purchasing abortion pills offline. Having an abortion is not a walk in the park experience, but those going through with one must be mature enough to have one. McCormack indubitably is not. Online shopping should always be a hesitant act, especially with medicine. The pills arrive in an unlabeled envelope, and McCormack takes them without any thought. The next morning, McCormack delivers a 5 month old dead female fetus with hair and recognizable features. Afterwards, she wraps it up in a bag, sticks it in a box, and hides it under her bed. It’s understandable that she was scared, but how does someone take such careless actions? Was she even thinking?  Of course it started to rot, and smell. She then takes the fetus filled box and places it next to a grill on the porch of her house. Officials discover the fetus decomposed and frozen before charging McCormack with felony. McCormack says that she “…wasn’t being careless or sleeping around all the time”, yet she managed to have 5 pregnancies all of which she was undoubtedly incapable of handling.

Abortion is a tough topic, but I do believe that in certain circumstances it is ethical.  For example if a woman is raped, or knowingly cannot take care of a child, abortion should be taken into consideration. With that being said, there needs to be guidelines and limitations. Abortions became legal with standards, and that is the way it should remain. Women should not be doing it themselves. Doctors are doctors for a reason, and it is their job to take care of situations such as these. Not only do self-inducing abortions hurt the fetus, but they are potentially hurting the woman. There continues to be much debate about abortion in general, and the amount of time a woman can be pregnant before an abortion is ruled out. It is unfortunate to see financially stressed women struggle to afford an abortion, but if it were easily accessible and cheap it would just be another form of birth control.


Calhoun, A. (2012). The Rise of DIY Abortions. (Cover story). New Republic, 243(20), 14-17


I think you are right on many levels. It would in fact be unfair to prevent pregnant women who have been raped from getting an abortion because of women like Jennie Linn McCormack who did not take the time to go through the safe procedure. However, I think it is important to acknowledge another point of view to really get the full perspective. For instance, deontologists would rather investigate the actual act of abortion as opposed to the benefits that may arise from it. According to the deontological perspective, the act of killing a human being, whether an adult or a foetus, is wrong. The consequences of the abortion do not matter to deontologists. Even if it implies more happiness or a better quality of life for the pregnant woman, nothing justifies murder. They strongly value life, and any attempt to end life is wrong. Even if I somewhat disagree with this perspective, it is a very important perspective in this whole abortion debate and I think it should be considered.

To say that I am appalled by this story is an understatement. With abortion being a very real procedure with its own health and psychological risks involved, I’m surprised abortion pills are available for purchase online. Abortion has always been a very delicate subject but introducing this concept along with the letters DIY is even more alarming. It’s extremely difficult to regulate anything that is on the Internet and being able to buy such pills online should not even be a possibility. Imagine young adolescents engaging in unprotected sex and not being the slightest bit worried, knowing they have a backup plan ready for purchase at the tip of their fingertips, in the comfort of their own homes. It’s anonymous, fast, easy, and way too much of a bad idea.

Abortion is indeed a tough topic, but I think you handled it very well and I agree with your arguments. The ethical standpoint of this debate is very important to consider whereas it is usually the area in which controversy arises. As stated through a consequentialist method, abortion can be an ethical choice if you are trying to provide the best outcome for the people involved (the baby, the mother and, if applicable, the father). By keeping the baby you may just be putting him/her into a lifetime of misery, especially if you think you aren't ready to take care of it. In a situation like this, having an abortion may be the responsible and ethical choice because you are not simply thinking selfishly, you are also taking into consideration the viewpoint of the child and all other possible repercussions.

I cannot express how shocked I was due to McCormack’s actions in order to stop her pregnancy. I also agree that abortion should stay legal for certain cases, but there should be more control over the procedure of abortions. It is unbearable to think that someone could just order pills online to take a baby’s life away without anyone finding out. Abortion should definitely be left in the hands of a doctor who will do it safely and before a certain period of the pregnancy. Should McCormack be accused of murder? It is difficult to determine when one can be considered as a human being, but if what she was doing was right, why not get it done in a hospital? Also, hiding the dead fetus kind of implies that she is ashamed of her actions, and trying not to get caught. A virtue ethics perspective would focus on her character and intentions. Since she already has three kids and has gotten an abortion before, she is developing a certain pattern. She could have prevented her pregnancy by using protection or taking the contraceptive pill. However, her intention was to end her pregnancy.

Abortion is huge responsibility and is not something to be taken slightly.It is the easy way out for a one night mistake and its not the foetus fault to suffer the consequence.It is not because he cant defend himself that he has no rights to live.The pregnant women needs to assume her actions when she consent the act of having a baby.

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