Abortion has become one of the hottest debates in the world. With the rising alarm in overpopulation and hiking economic standards, the need to give birth has raised questions among institutions and individuals. The discussion has mainly been stuck in between two perspectives of the debaters, the economic as well as the moral view. Those who have been debating from a moral perspective have kept their stand that no matter the circumstances, abortion always goes against the moral view of society. Those who have been debating from an economic perspective have narrowed their view to an individual level where they argue that an individual is justified to decide whether they should commit abortion or not, as either of the decisions affects them economically in one way or the other.
Whether abortion is good or bad depends on the situations at hand. A close look at what it really is, reveals that abortion is in one way or the other, ending a life that has already started. In most cases, ending a life is one of the hardest decisions any human being can make. This includes circumstances where the subject has granted permission for their lives to be ended.
Contrary to this, abortion does not seek any consent from the victim who is living in the womb. It results in killing them when maybe they were eager to be born and experience life in the world, whether it was hard or not. By analyzing the context of this topic, this paper aims to bring out the central point of view concerning the issue of abortion in society. The paper approaches the subject by use of ten scholarly sources, which it extracts, presents, analyses and links the information to bring out the concept of abortion.
The Place of Abortion in the Society
Despite being seen as one of the worst practices in society, abortion has faced a lot of campaigns for its legalization in most countries. Although some people are still against its legalization, other societies are highly advocating for it on several grounds of argument (Tribe,1992). So, the main point of the issue revolves around whether abortion should be regarded as moral or not, considering the circumstances under which it may be carried out. This question goes hand in hand with the issue of legalization as if it is moral, it should be legalized and vice versa. Abortion in one way or the other does not or may never be regarded as noble.
According to Biology and critical thinking, life begins at conception. This means that the moment the man and a woman engage in an affair and their eggs meet, life has already started. However, going deeper into science, we can regard the eggs as possessing human life. This means that killing those eggs as well as the fetus amounts to the ending of life. If the world strongly stands against the issue of ending someone’s life through all means, it should realize that abortion amounts to the ending of life, and should, therefore, be firmly against it. In his argument, Reiman (1999) in his book ‘Abortion and the Way we Value Human Life’ stands against abortion, on the basis of morality. He says that the morals that we hold against murder “show that we do not only defend ending of life but human lives, whether consciously underway or not”. If we were to follow this phrase, it becomes indisputable that aborting remains one way of ending human life, which is not already conscious.
From a religious point of argument, abortion is not acceptable. Going by the Christian doctrine, it is worth noting that the Bible explicitly prohibits the practice of abortion (Zuck, 2004). Since religion controls our way of interacting with society, its contribution to the issue of abortion cannot be ignored. However, most people would ignore the bible when it comes to the topic of abortion.
According to Genesis and Exodus, no man is allowed to shed the blood of any other man who is created in the image of God. The bible is our daily guide to a moral life. Anything that human beings do is usually prescribed by holy books such as Quran, the Bible among others. If the books are against this act, it becomes hard. The Bible promises that whoever does this, it will be done unto them also (Genesis 9:6). Additionally, the Bible also instructs that we should not commit any murder (Exodus 20:13). The same is reiterated in Deuteronomy 27:25a which rules out a curse for any person who strikes down an innocent person. Proverbs 6:16-19 has also given the guidelines on all that we are required of by God, and what we should not do. One of these things is shedding the blood of innocent blood.
From the above statements from the Christian doctrine, it is evident that the Christian religion has a firm stand on the issue of abortion. It does not in any way, compromise its practice. If indeed we live by the teachings and instructions of this doctrine, we are entitled to live by what it says about the issue of abortion. If everything else it says is wrong turns out to be wrong, then abortion cannot be an exclusion. Abortion violates the rights of the child. Every child has equal rights to that of their mother. Therefore, when mothers commit this act in the name of protecting themselves, it is important that they also regard the rights and well-being of the child.
Reasons for abortion?
When practicing abortion, most women base it on the issue of their safety and that of the society they are living in. Some argue that the main reason is to avoid victimization, while others say that financial problems, age, health issues as well as partner-related issues and future. A close look at all this is that the already living beings make decisions on abortion with a lot of selfishness, mainly considering their welfare and rights, while disregarding those of the unborn child. In her book ‘Human Rights and the Unborn Child’, Rita Joseph (2009) states that “abortion is not the privilege of the right of self-defense. Since the unborn child is not an aggressor, abortion is inconsistent with life as far as the child is concerned”. From the author’s argument, it is not hard to argue that abortion, under any means, is not acceptable, whether it justifies the rights of the parent or not, since the unborn child is not consulted.
Victimization should not be a reason for any kind of abortion. Most women fall pregnant as a result of different things such as sexual harassment and rape. As a result of this, they fall pregnant as a result of unwanted sex. In most cases, mothers who fall pregnant from victimization mostly do not dare to face the period of pregnancy because of the feeling of victimization. In the end, they resolve to abort that pregnancy. Due to this, the question of whether abortion should be granted or not comes into place.
In his book ‘Comparative Healthcare Law’, Peter Cruz (2013) states that victimization and issues such as rape have been used as the basis of legalizing abortion. However, many a time, we have not been concerned about the consequences its just causes to the unborn child. When a fetus is conceived as a result of the rape of the mother, it does not make sense killing it is in no way justifiable for it to die due to someone else’s crime. Justifying abortion from the point of the means by which it was acquired, is one way of creating a gap in the law that concerns it because most people will find excuses to practice it.
Aborting as a result of rape is the same as allowing mothers who get pregnant while drunk permission to abort as well, even if they had been consulted on it. Due to this, a law should be passed to illegalize any form of abortion by victimization and sexual violence. Ending the life of a fetus as a result of how the pregnancy is punishing it for the mistakes they did not commit
Financial issues should also not be used as a basis for committing abortion. In most cases, mothers committing abortion will argue that they are not in a position to bring up the child due to their financial position. The question is that should the fetus suffer just because the mother is not in a position to maintain them? , if yes, another question of why the mother opted to conceive them comes into focus. Sydney (2012), in his book ‘Abortion: Understanding Differences’ asserts that while it is the moral obligation of every mother to support their children in all aspects ranging from emotional to financially, it remains wrong to abort due to the lack of the ability of the parent to support their child financially. “Couples should not have children if they are not in a financial position to give them their best”. A close look at Sydney’s argument is a clear indication that the financial position of parents should not be used in any way, to justify abortion. If the parents are not ready to and able to support the kids with the little that they have, their souls make it possible to avoid anything that may lead to that pregnancy, instead of waiting to kill an innocent baby.
Other people argue that there is justification for those who are young to abort. This is entirely wrong. If we critically look at things and situations from an analytical point of view, we may ask ourselves which age can be considered young. In the conventional understanding of the age, any human being who is above fourteen years can conceive. Under normal circumstances, such is likely to be living with their parents by that time. I feel like in the case when such ladies fall pregnant; they should not consider aborting. If they are living with their parents, they can receive assistance from them in bringing the kid, instead of killing it for no reason. According to Steinberg & Rosner (2003), age should never be used as a justification for abortion. Therefore, “abortion should not be solely limited to maternal age only”.
Aborting due to personal plans is wrong as well. When mothers conceive, it becomes vital for them to consider the future of their kids. When they are aborting because they care too much about their future, it shows a lot of selfishness to the unborn because they deny them the opportunity to see and develop their future. In his book ‘Who Decides? : The Abortion Rights of Teens’, Ehrlich (2006) states that granting individual abortion rights to minors only makes them more irresponsible because plans such as education and marriage are inevitable and cannot be stopped by them being pregnant.
However, despite the continued opposition on the issue of abortion, there comes the point when a question of whether all these arguments can be regarded as valid. In most cases, the arguments refute the issue of abortion. In most cases, the evidence that opposes the question of abortion look at only one thing, the life of the fetus. As long as the fetus is being denied the opportunity to experience conscious life, abortion becomes wrong. However, in some circumstances, abortion becomes necessary regardless.
Abortion is essential for the mother’s health (UNDP, 1993). In some cases, abortion becomes necessary. Although it involves killing the child, several other factors should be considered. For instance, it becomes a question of matter to compare the life of the mother and that of the child. It becomes more sensitive to risk the life of the unborn instead of endangering the lives of both. For instance, when the mother has a mental illness, it makes sense to have the abortion as failure to do it probably leads to the death of the mother and that of the child during delivery (Ehrlich, 2006).
Abortion can also be justifiable when the quality of the perceived child’s life is going to be a problem to them (Lipmann, 1991). For instance, when an early inspection of the fetus in the womb reveals that they have serious physical or genetic problems, it becomes justifiable to end its life in an attempt to save it the agony of living a conscious life with such issues.
Abortion may also be justifiable where it is the government policy in an attempt to regulate the population. According to (Rahman & Katzie, 1998), “legal abortions should are allowed within the first 12 weeks”. As it goes without saying, no one is above the law. Again, pregnancies happen by mistake. Instead of an individual falling into a problem with the law, the only available option is aborting
In my point of view, I feel that abortion is not right at all. Under all circumstances, abortion amounts to killing and may not be right. As long as we have not consulted the fetus to ascertain whether they are willing to live regardless of their physical problems, or even their parent’s financial ability to give them a happy life, we are doing wrong to them. This makes abortion wrong.
To conclude, it is worth noting that whether abortion is good or bad depends on the situations at hand. On the one hand, abortion becomes wrong on the basis that it contributes to ending the life of an innocent soul at the expense of their parent’s life.
If abortion has to be done by it having been acquired as a result of victimization, the mother is just but denying an innocent child an opportunity to live. Finances should also not be the reason to justify abortion.
In most cases, it is more prudent to avoid getting pregnant at all, if the individual’s financial position does not give them an opportunity to stand a chance to bring up the kid in a good and comfortable way. However, in some cases, abortion may become necessary. While in most cases, we solely look at the life of the fetus alone, some of the circumstances provide us with the opportunity to prefer it as justifiable. Where the life of the mother and the child is in danger, it becomes rational to have the life of the fetus dealt with, because not acting that way will only result in the mother ending their lives too. It is better to lose one life than losing both when trying to preserve one. It makes some sense.
However, a close look at the current research shows that there is a gap left for more research on the issue of abortion. There needs to be more research to bring to harmony, these two conflicting sides of the topic. This is because as long as the present arguments continue to take extremes, there will be no universal solution to the issue of abortion.
- Reiman, J. H. (1999). Abortion and the ways we value human life. Rowman & Littlefield.
- Joseph, R. (2009). Human rights and the unborn child. Brill.
- Callahan, S., & Callahan, D. (Eds.). (2012). Abortion: understanding differences. Springer Science & Business Media.
- De Cruz, P. (2013). Comparative healthcare law. Routledge.
- Steinberg, A., & Rosner, F. (2003). Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics
- Ehrlich, J. S. (2006). Who decides? : The abortion rights of teens. Greenwood Publishing Group.
- Lippman, A. (1991). Prenatal genetic testing and screening: constructing needs and reinforcing inequities. Am. JL & Med., 17, 15.
- United Nations. Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division (1993) Abortion Policies: A Global Review, Issue 191
- Zuck, R. (Ed.). (2004). Vital contemporary issues: examining current questions and controversies (Vol. 2). Wipf and Stock Publishers.