Moral and Ethical Issues of Abortion
Such a complicated and delicate bioethical subject as abortion caused the establishment of two opposing points of view. Many believe that artificial termination of pregnancy is a strictly personal issue, which should not concern anyone but the pregnant woman and cannot be decided by anyone else. It is considered to be a common surgery, and as any other operation, it shall be settled by the doctor and the patient. However, there are others who think that abortion contains a considerable moral and ethical problem as well as some socially significant aspects. In addition, opposing views are supported by religious beliefs and traditions (Badruddin 1). The question of the determination of an unborn child as a complete human being remains to be one of the most controversial in bioethical practice.
During the last decade, abortion became one of the most debated dilemmas regarding moral norms and legal rights. There are multiple reasons the issue is now more relevant than ever. First, most aspects of abortion are inseparably linked to women well-being, health, and rights (Cantens 125). As the modern society’s concerns about gender equality and particularly women rights increase, questions regarding pregnancy termination gain momentum. Second, the development of medicine and healthcare brought surgery to a qualitatively new level, which allowed abortion to have significantly less negative consequences for patients. Moreover, such development made the procedure more accessible and safe. Finally, various demographical problems have impact on the governmental approach to legislation aspects related to abortion.
In modern society there are three main positions regarding the artificial termination of pregnancy. Liberal approach implies that a fetus or embryo should be considered a part of mother’s body without specific rights to life. Therefore, abortion should be morally and legally acceptable on any stage of pregnancy. Conservative position follows the idea of embryo or a fetus being a human being from the moment of conception and having human rights. Consequently, abortion should be considered a murder and must be prohibited according to conservative point of view. The last position is moderate and it advocates abortion as an undesirable, yet necessary action under certain circumstances such as health hazard or early stages of pregnancy.
As already mentioned abortion predominantly affects the interests as well as health of individual women. The child’s mother represents the most important and, according to some views, the only interested party related to the above-mentioned issue. The reason behind such views is that the unborn child, indeed, may be considered a part of mother’s body and may represent a potential threat to her health (Herring 337). The second heavily involved person is the doctor, as if abortion is considered morally inappropriate or even is equated to a murder, the operation may contradict with surgeon life values and principles causing psychological trauma. Another no less important involved groups and individuals are family members and particularly the father. The significance of the engagement of the above-mentioned groups may vary but in most cases they are involved in the issue as it potentially affects their closest relatives. All of the mentioned individuals and groups may take opposing stances on the subject depending on their internal convictions.
Organizations dealing with women’s rights and equality may be significantly involved in the issue. As abortion is considered women’s right in most cases such organizations greatly support and promote social acceptance and legitimate justification for artificial pregnancy termination. The problem may also be influenced by companies, which hire human resources. Decree and unworkability related to pregnancy and childbirth has been a controversial question for employers for ages, hence they may promote abortion (Fredman 201). Finally, governments are involved in the subject to a degree. As partially mentioned, the issue is related to various demographic changes. In case of population decline governments may introduce regulations prohibiting abortions and in case of population growth they may, contrary, promote such operations.
The issue contains a significant moral aspect and cannot be judged objectively. The opposing sides are not able to agree even on the basis related to identification of a fetus as a human being with independent rights or a part of mother’s body. For the abovementioned reasons involved groups are not able to come to a resolution and establish unified approach. Nevertheless, significant steps have been taken in order to solve moral dilemmas of abortion. The issue has been acknowledged by wide masses and even though it remains controversial, it is at least discussed. Personally, I believe that abortions should be approved in both moral and legal fields and the decision should lay with the child’s mother. Despite that, I also think that measures should be taken by governments and the society to prevent conditions in which abortions may be needed. Sexual education as well as overall improvement of living standards may decrease the rates of unwanted pregnancy.
Conclusively, artificial pregnancy termination is a very complicated, controversial and relevant issue, which should not be ignored by both the society and the government. Even though people tend to strongly disagree with each other regarding the subject, a unified approach should be developed. The best decision may be to make a compromise by allowing abortion on a legislative level and still acknowledging the value of fetus’ life, promoting relationships, which may not lead to unwanted pregnancy.
Badruddin, Shirin. “Abortion and Ethics.” Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics, vol. 07, no. 06, 2016, doi:10.4172/2155-9627.1000291.
Cantens, Bernie. A Critical Introduction to the Ethics of Abortion: Understanding the Moral Arguments. Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.
Fredman, Sandra. Comparative Human Rights Law. Oxford University Press, 2018.
Herring, Jonathan. Medical Law and Ethics. Oxford University Press, 2020.