Abortion - Is It Moral or Immoral

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By debbietaylor63
Words 2861
Pages 12
Abortion – Moral or Immoral?

I would argue that abortion is immoral.

Abortion is a debate that continues day in, day out, year in, year out. We have laws that have been set into place, yet the debate continues. The opposing sides in the debate each strongly believe they are right. The pro-choice supporters see a woman's right to choose as central to the debate. The pro-choice advocates see the life of the baby as the most important concern. Very little middle ground exists on the issue of abortion.

I. When Does Life Begin?

[1] "Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote."
— England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31

"Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).
"Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being."
— Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2

[2] The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed. Keith L. Moore, Ph.D. & T.V.N. Persaud, Md., (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), 2-18:
"[The Zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm ... unites with a female gamete or oocyte ... to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a…...

Similar Documents

Is Abortion Immoral?

... use of another person’s body – even if one needs it for life itself” (White 110). Applying this to abortion of pregnancy due to rape, she insists, “unborn persons whose existence is due to rape have no right to the use of their mothers’ bodies, and thus that abortion them is not depriving them of anything they have a right to and hence is not unjust killing” (White 111). Thomson argues that, “a woman surely can defend her life against the threat to it posed by the unborn child, even if doing so involves its death” (White 108). It means, a woman has a right to defend herself, and self-defense is moral even if it involves killing. Only unjust killing is immoral. So it is a moral act to abort in order to safe the woman’s life whenever her life is threatened due to the pregnancy. She shows that, unlike the case two tenants living in one house, the pregnant woman houses the child; in other words, she owns the house, so whether abortion is permissible or not to save the mother’s life, it is not right to be performed by a third party, but only by the mother herself (White 108). So far, I totally agree with Thomson argument in the case of pregnancy due to rape or to save the mother’s life. However, difficulties arise with the larger of cases when a woman voluntarily indulges in intercourse, knowing that it can result to pregnancy, and she becomes pregnant. Thomson’s response is that the distinction between rape and responsible pregnancy shift the focus from the fetus’s right...

Words: 4599 - Pages: 19

Abortion - Is It Moral or Immoral

... end the life of a baby even in the pre-birth stage which by its definition makes abortion immoral. VI. Utilitarianism “According to Utilitarianism, moral right and wrong are determined solely by the balance between increases and decreases in the well-being of everyone affected, that is, the total well-being.” Since a fetus is a person - that is, a moral subject. This criteria for who "matters" under a utilitarian philosophy, is that one is a sentient being capable of pain, pleasure, self-awareness and therefore, moral value. Since a fetus is a person with these characteristics, then the conclusion is obvious for a utilitarian. The person (born or not) has a very strong interest in life. Death, after all, forbids all present and future happiness. Only the death of another person, or perhaps crushing and lasting pain to many, could hope to outweigh the child's right to life. UTILITARIAN CHART Elective Abortion in the United States FOR AGAINST PREMISE VALUE PREMISE VALUE Only in cases of incest or rape could it possibly have a positive outcome for mother +1 BABY: death -1 MOTHER: a greater risk of getting breast cancer -1 MOTHER: acute stress disorder -1 MOTHER: post-traumatic stress disorder -1 MOTHER: negative psychological, physical, cognitive and behavioral effects -1 MOTHER: depression, anxiety and prolonged grief -1 MOTHER: 3 times more likely than the general population and 6 times more likely than women who gave birth...

Words: 2861 - Pages: 12

Moral Permissibility of Abortion

... doctor states how it was a terrible thing to be kidnapped and forced against her will, but the fact remains that she cannot leave for nine months because that would kill the famous violinist; it would be “Immoral” to let him die. Thomson argues that the same could be held for a woman who gets pregnant without meaning or wanting to. It would be a “Good Samaritan” act, but it is not required of her and cannot be under law. The difference, however, between a mother and the violinist of Thomson’s analogy is the fact that the woman did indeed have a choice. Unlike occasions of rape or incest (where the victim did not voluntarily engage in sexual activities), in most cases of abortion, the woman had the choice to engage in sexual activities. Even with all the contraception and medicine available, there is always a chance that pregnancy will follow such acts. The same is true for a sexually-transmitted disease: you can protect yourself in every possible way, but the possibility of contracting the disease remains. That disease then becomes a part of your life, not just something you can choose to throw away. A child, a living human being, is not a disease and has the right to life; it is not just something you can choose to throw away. Making the choice to engage in them is to realize the consequences that may follow. Furthermore, we can draw upon the article “The Wrong of Abortion” by Robert P. George and Patrick Lee to show one more difference between the analogy of the......

Words: 1147 - Pages: 5

Abortion

...| Abortions | Is it moral or immoral | | Naugie Pratt | 9/25/2012 | | Ethics of Abortion; Is it moral or immoral? Many debates over abortion focus on the political and the legal side of things, whether or not it is or isn’t morally correct for a woman to have an abortion. Many would argue that abortion should be outlawed and treated like a murder, instead of a personal choice over one’s life. Behind the debates are more fundamental ethical questions which aren’t always given the specific attention they deserve (Cline, Austin). Some would also believe that the law shouldn’t legislate morality, but all good law is based on moral values. (Cline, Austin) http://atheism.about.com/od/abortioncontraception/p/AbortionEthics.htm Arguments of a fetus being a person with legitimate rights, this would have to be a “no” and “yes” answer. The reason being is because it is a “woman’s right” to do whatever she wants with or to her body, if she is competent enough to make a life effecting decision, such as getting an abortion. Even if the fetus is a person, the abortion may be justified as necessary to a women’s bodily autonomy, but that wouldn’t mean that abortion is automatically ethical or unethical, to say the least. Even though states can’t force women to carry pregnancies to term, but they could argue that it is the most ethical choice to make. (Cline, Austin ) http://atheism.about.com/od/abortioncontraception/p/AbortionEthics.htm In my personal......

Words: 351 - Pages: 2

A Moral Arguement on Abortion Rebuttal

...A Moral Argument for Abortion Rebuttal Casey Garza December 6, 2012 A Moral Argument for Abortion Rebuttal Casey Garza December 6, 2012 Davidson Loehr’s article “ A Moral Argument for Abortion” is based on a wide range of arguments based on bates over abortion. One of the arguments I found that I did not agree with was when he stated, “ It’s a quantity of life versus quality of life issue” (Loher, 2011). I feel that no matter how many humans there may be in the world at one point in time, that should not factor the life of one human being. There are many issues that I am able to see both sides of when it comes to abortion, but with this topic I cannot see any reason behind this argument. The reason I feel this way is because no matter the economic level of a family, they can still be happier then the richest family in the world. According to Census 2010: Household Size Trends, the average household size in 1970 was 3.25. In 2011 it was 2.61(Cohn, 2011). What I am trying to show it that abortions were not as common in 1970 as they are today, and the household rate is still much lower. This is also taking into consideration that in today’s society, it is much more socially accepted for a married couple to decide to not have any children. I guess what I am trying to say is even if we added in what the household size would have...

Words: 573 - Pages: 3

Moral

...Moral Education Assignment Topics 2012 1. Social service activity Organize a charity visit to an orphanage home, rehab center, old folks home, animal shelter or any welfare home. Write a full report on your visit. You must include charity itinerary and share your experience. You may include pictures, interview scripts with the Principal or any document which is relevant. 2. Bribery The problem of bribery exist and there has been attempt to curb it since the Melaka Sultanate period. Why is bribery an important issue? Write a report on the causes of this unethical conduct and how such problem can be resolved in our country, Malaysia. 3. HIV /AIDS As we are aware of, until now there is no cure for HIV infections and AIDS patients have to face death. Write a report on AIDS and explain the importance of protecting and not discriminating HIV/AIDS patients in our society. 4. Internet Internet misuse may cause harm and pollutes the mental growth of teenagers. Conduct a simple research on the disadvantages of internet for example addiction to social networking websites and the effect of this to users. 5. Bully issues Bullying has taken place for centuries where the stronger abuse the weaker. Write a report on the importance of overcoming bullying in schools. You may support your report with examples. (From newspaper cuttings, magazines, journals etc) 6. Family Institution In western countries, sending aged parents to retirement...

Words: 688 - Pages: 3

Immoral Morality

...Immoral Morality “The bourgeoisie have economic power and thereby gain social and political control of their society. Eventually this upper class will control the dominant discourse and formalize and articulate their beliefs, their values, and their arts to develop their ideology...the rich become richer, while the poor become poorer and more oppressed.”(Bressler 168). This “upper class” tends to look down on those they consider to be below them. They often consider the lower class less pleasing, and often less than human than themselves. Through a Marxist reading of The Great Gatsby, we can see how Fitzgerald portrayed the “elite upper class” as lacking a sense moral responsibility. To these characters nothing is of value unless it furthers their elite status, they show little concern for anyone but themselves and place little value on human life. Marxist theory asserts that in Capitalism, desired people are perceived as desirable objects. Often in Gatsby, human beings are treated as objects to be obtained. When we see Daisy’s daughter she is brought out as a show piece. Daisy shows her off and then sends her away with her nurse even though the child asks to stay with her mother. Daisy treats her like an object talking about her as though she were an inanimate object. She wants her daughter to look perfect, like a "little dream" (Fitzgerald123). Her daughter is nothing more than another way to establish her social status. Daisy demonstrates that clearly wealth and...

Words: 1349 - Pages: 6

Abortion

...Meredith Kaiser Ajume Wingo Philosophy in Society Abortion is a hot button issue that has become the highlight of many debates, political debates, and religious differences. The issue of abortion is the contemplation of whether taking away the existence is of a fetus inside a women’s womb is moral or not. This debate has created political phrases such as “pro-life” and “pro-choice” (Lecture). Most would think that these two phrases are concretely of a singular meaning. “Pro-choice” does not simply mean that abortion is correct and moral but that women should have the right to choose whether or not the fetus is allowed to continue its existence in the womb of that particular woman. “Pro-choice” believers are perceived to believe that abortion is immoral under every circumstance, yet many “pro-choice” may think there are particular circumstances in which abortion is immoral and also moral. “Pro-life” on the other hand is not simply the political belief that abortion is immoral. Rather, it is the belief that the fetus inside a women’s womb is not just a fetus simply existing within her, but rather it is a separate and independent livening within the women whose life began at the time of conception. This view entails that abortion is murder because the baby is considered living on its own from the time of conception and therefore should have an opportunity to live a long fulfilling life without the interference of an abortion letting that happen. In this paper I will review...

Words: 446 - Pages: 2

Abortion

... foetus as human life, sacred and important just as any other living human being, however the differences in belief about when life begins results in the problems people have with issue of abortion. Other groups state that life begins only when the foetus become viable, however as many non-religious people also take this into perspective and accept views on the beginning of life, can either be when the foetus becomes viable or that life begins once the baby is born ( ). Situation ethics, the idea developed by priest Joseph Fletcher in the 1960's is to decide on the best thing to do in a situation when we feel that there are no particular moral guidelines to follow. Others would describe situation ethics as a modern day dilemma which is why many become confused about a situation, however when a decision has been partially made up as it often concludes to two conclusions which is the best, however it does help to make an informed decision. It could be argued that situation ethics is immoral ( ) because it gives everyone the chance to prove everything in a positive light. Through practising situation ethics pragmatism is shown. The second of the four working principals is relativism where you do not have to do it perfectly, but as long as you try and it is still to the benefit of others, by doing this some rules may be broken or go against morals ( ). Thirdly positivism, the person making the decision does it to benefit someone else, finally the last of the working...

Words: 1291 - Pages: 6

Moral

..., headaches and increased stress to the body. The disorders are caused by the radio frequencies emitted by the cell phone antennas. Cell phones transmit information to your local provider via microwave transmissions. These signals are absorbed by your body and are the basis for these health issues. Using a cell phone is harmful to human body. If a student gets brain tumours or cancer how they can continue for their study. Cell phone not only will influence an academic achievement of student, it also wills harmful human health. CO-CURICULAR Advantages of co curriculum  Co curriculum important although it only contributes 10% Students’ achievement in co-curricular activities is important although in terms of weight age for university admission, it only contributes 10% compared to the 90 % for academic achievement. | | The Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Dato’ Saifuddin Abdullah said that co curriculum is important for building the character and personality of students as well as equipping them with high moral values. He said that tertiary education does not focus on academics alone but on the contrary covers other aspects including communication skills, ethics, team work, professionalism and others. “So, beginning this academic session, the Ministry with the collaboration of all the universities will start to evaluate soft skills as an important element for admission into institutions of higher learning,” he said. He said this at a press conference...

Words: 8071 - Pages: 33

Abortion

... ICCPR state when life begins. So it can be stated that a level of ambiguity surrounds the UDHR & ICCPR as it relates to the issue of abortion. The question/issue of abortion is better addressed by the American Convention on Human Rights.  American Convention on Human Rights Article 4(1)-“every person has the right to have his life respected; this right shall be protected by law and in general from the moment of conception. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life”. International law has left us with some uncertainty on the subject matter and according to Professor Stephen Vasciannie the Baby Boy Case is correct in attacking some significance to the phrase “in general”. He further notes that it still leaves an unsatisfactory position as parties to the American Convention which makes it difficult to draft abortion laws. I however believe that abortion is wrong and should not be done. Abortion goes against biblical and moral principles or laws. It punishes an unborn child that has done nothing wrong, and it often results in subsequent medical complication. Abortion goes against biblical and moral principles or laws. Life begins at conception therefore abortion is murder. It disobeys the Sixth Commandments of The Bibles Old Testaments (Exodus 20:13) is "Thou shalt not kill." A fetus is a living human being who deserves the right to live and have his life respected. Committing abortion goes against these rights. When one commits abortion they have......

Words: 1349 - Pages: 6

Is Abortion Moral? (from a Biblical Christian Perspective)

... Is Abortion Moral? (From a Biblical Christian Perspective) Name of Author College Abortion refers to the removal of the pregnancy tissues, which includes the fetus and the placenta from a pregnant woman's womb. The other terms that are similar are termination of pregnancy or elective abortion among others. There have been several arguments on whether abortion is morally right or not. The argument follows the opinions generated from the religious followers who are mostly against abortion. Child abandonment, infanticide, and abortion were allowed under the Roman law during the times of Jesus (Bokenkotter 1990). It is surprising to find that Jesus never addressed the case since for Christians to read. Even if He did, it was never documented. This concern can make a Christian fail to know whether abortion is condemned by God or not. From the Bible, there is no clear evidence on whether abortion is moral or immoral. However, drawing lessons from some of the verses in the bible clearly indicates that the practice of abortion violates the moral obligations. A good example is from the book of Jeremiah in the Bible, in chapter one from verse four to five, which say that before the birth of Jeremiah, the Lord had consecrated him. The Load had already chosen prophet Jeremiah to be a famous prophet to the nations. God Himself new Jeremiah as a human being before birth and considered him to live in order to carry out His mission. God could not have allowed Jeremiah to die. Biblically...

Words: 6080 - Pages: 25

Abortion

...Lavon Russell Joannah Bruscell English 120 - Advanced Composition 08 January 2015 Abstract The purpose of this research paper is to highlight the benefits of allowing the freedom of choice on abortion to continue. The main debate is whether abortion is moral or immoral. One of the great things about being human is to have individual thoughts and opinions. That is something that will never change. In this paper, I will first discuss what abortion is as well as its origin. With the use of various sources, I will showcase statistics that lend support to how I came to the determination that abortion should remain legal. These statistics will include abortion rates in the United States vs. the rest of the world, how income or poverty levels affect abortion, and individual frequency of abortion. Abortion is arguably the most highly debated topic in our society today. Also, despite there being many social issues that divide our country, abortion remains to be the most divisive to date. Abortion is the pre-birth termination of a fetus at different stages of pregnancy before life is self-sustainable while still in the mother’s womb. The backbone of the United States has and will always be that all people are created equally and that every person has “certain unalienable rights by their Creator”. Declaration of Independence has been the defense certain rights such as free speech, religion, the right to bear arms, the right to a trial, etc., but it is not limited...

Words: 1959 - Pages: 8

Abortion

...Abortion Ethics and Abortion Since 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court made the decision that abortion was legal, abortion has been one of the most controversial ethical issues in our society. For many years there have been a lot of debates about whether it is morally and ethically right to have abortions. No one takes the issue of abortion lightly due to the fact that there are so many people with different perspectives on abortion and how it should be handled. Just because individuals see abortion one way others see it another. Religion, definition of abortion, pro-choice, pro-life, moral personhood, rape, and rights are things that will be discussed. Abortion is defined as the termination of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo, resulting in or caused by its death (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion). An abortion that is terminated on the sole fact that it becomes a threat to the pregnant female is referred to as a therapeutic abortion. An elective abortion is a term used for any other kind of abortion not related to health reasons. Most people relate a miscarriage as a form of abortion, but for myself I don’t really see how a miscarriage is related. The pregnant female doesn’t have a choice in a miscarriage, but only has a choice in an induced abortion or any type. Abortion can be traced back as to ancient times. Evidence suggests that abortions were taking place in a number of different ways, from herbs to abdominal pressure...

Words: 2451 - Pages: 10

Are Homosexuals Moral or Immoral?

...The moral status of homosexual is still on the line: whether it is moral or immoral. In this reaction paper, I will discuss my stand regarding the moral status of homosexual. Let me first define the word moral. Based on Merriam Dictionary, moral is defined as these: concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior; based on what you think is right and good. So this suggests that morality is both subjective and objective just like values. According to an article I’ve read on the internet, homosexuality is not immoral. There were major ethnical theories presented, but I will focus on just one theory, which is utilitarianism. Utilitarianism states that morality should be guided by the results of an action. If an action leads to good results, then it is a good act, but if an action leads to bad results, then it is a bad act. This theory will tell us that homosexuality will be morally right if its consequences lead to happiness, and wrong if it ends in unhappiness. Now, the question is this: does being homosexual lead to happiness or pain? Before I answer that question, let me first discuss the possible causes of homosexuality. According to Craig Biddle, an author of books regarding morality and principles, there are three elements that causes homosexuality. Two of which are biological and environmental. Science is still inconclusive what makes some people homosexual, but it is believed that there some genes that makes them such. Most scientists would agree...

Words: 1003 - Pages: 5