Discussion on Whether Abortion is a Crime

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Abortion can be defined as the deliberate causing of the death of a fetus, either by directly killing it or by causing its expulsion from the womb before it is “viable.” With “the killing of an innocent human being without his/her consent is murder” and “abortion is the killing of an innocent human being without his/her consent” are premises to an argument with a conclusion of “Abortion is murder.” Lets break down the first premise. This premise is correct by saying that it is not right to murder somebody without his/her consent. But one has to rebut the phrase human being. When talking about the abortion issue many distinguish between the phrases human being and persons. Human being, in a moral sense is a “full-fledged member of the moral community”(198). One could not say that a fetus is a human being because of the fact that it is not a full-fledged member of the moral community. It is living inside a woman, which it has minimal rights, but has a right to life.

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The second premise hightens the first by saying that it abortion is the killing of a human being without consent. Of course you can say this because a fetus is cannot consent and say, “kill me because I will have no chance to survive”. This is a very touchy subject because it brings back the point about what is a human being. A moral community in which a human being belongs is one that has rights and privileges. Does a fetus have a common sense to make a judgement on the killing of him or herself. I don’t think it does so therefore the conclusion is wrong by saying abortion is murder. If murder is killing an innocent human being, then abortion is not murder. It is not murder because of the fact that there is a distinction between human being and person. The doctor is not murdering a human being because it is not part of a full-fledged moral community. The fetus is inside, with no community and no common sense personhood. You can’t say that a fetus is a human being using Mary Anne Warrens’ explanation of a human being that I already described. A fetus is not part of a community at all. It is inside a womb, in a female, that really cannot make a choice for itself. It will have to abide by what the mother does because it does not have mental or emotional status yet. Mental and emotional status is the ability to plan, acquire acquaintances, and awareness. How could somebody say that a fetus is equal to a human being in this case? When you are born and even two years beyond, do you have the ability to do all this? The answer is no because you really don’t know what is going on. Abortion can’t be murder in this case because you cannot get the fetus’ consent. It is literally impossible to get the consent of a person that is not even born and does not know what is going on.

You can also bring this argument further by bringing in the fact that the mother could die if she prolonged the pregnancy. Would one say that abortion is murder in this case. If the mother is going to die upon the birth of the child, why would it be morally wrong to murder a fetus that could not be considered a “human”. The mother is human according to the common sense person and also to the definition of a human being. Why would killing the fetus, which is not “human”, be murder when a mother, a “human being” could die because of the fetus being born. You could say that the fetus has a good and prosperous life ahead of him, but how good will the baby be without a mother. I know there is adoptions and all of that, but the way I look at it is the fact that how could they put this baby up for adoption and the baby learn eventually that it was he or the mother to die. Of course the kid will feel good but also I think he would feel like there is an open end to his life.

Another good point about this argument is the fact that the mother was raped. I feel that it is up to the mother to make the call if she can have the baby or not. I don’t feel like abortion is murder in this case because of the fact that the mother was raped by an unwanted man to be the father of her gift. Is the baby to be a gift? In this case, probably no because of the fact that she was raped. Most rapes leave a mental mark in the mother’s head. Wouldn’t the mother look at the baby and remember the bad time she had when she was being raped? There is much controversy over this issue. I don’t that it is right for the mother to continue in a pregnancy that was conceived by a rapist. Personally, I am for and against abortion. I don’t feel that it is right for an individual to have an abortion every time she gets pregnant, but I feel that it is legit to have an abortion if the mother was raped, going to die because of the pregnancy, and if the baby will have to struggle through its life!

There are so many arguments about the abortion issue but there is another argument, like the first, that its premises do not prove its conclusion. Premise one states that “only persons have a right to life” and premise two states “the fetus is not a person”. These two premises try to make the conclusion of “the fetus does not have a right to life”. One must first look at the word fetus. How is fetus defined? A fetus is a human offspring at any stage of its prenatal development. Now the question arises, “when does a fetus become a person?” Many would say that the fetus is a person when it is born. To prove this argument wrong, one could say that a fetus is a person at the time of conception.

One must look at the definition of a person in this argument. There are many views of when fetus is a person. Most can say at a fetus is a person when it is conceived. You could say that a fetus is human because it is living. The large question that is very hard to answer is when the fetus is part of a full-fledged moral community. Pro-life would say that the fetus is in a moral community right when it is conceived.

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The conclusion of this argument basically says that a fetus does not have a right to live. A fetus may not have many rights, but it does have some rights. One could say that it has a right to live because it will live a long, meaningful life. Why would it be wrong to say to say this? Everybody should have a right to live. Looking at the first premise of persons have a right to life, almost everybody could agree on this statement. The second premise of the fetus is not a person can have controversy over. Some say a fetus is a person because it has a meaningful life ahead of him but on the other side one could say that a fetus is not a person until it has brain waves, which is in the eighth week. I feel that a fetus does deserve a right to live, but there are many issues on the other side that are also convincing.

Works Cited

  1. Baker, R. (2019). The Moral Status of the Fetus: A philosophical exploration. Springer.
  2. Boonin, D. (2014). A Defense of Abortion. Cambridge University Press.
  3. Chavkin, W., & Swerdlow, L. (2019). The Globalization of Abortion Rights. Routledge.
  4. Don Marquis (1989). "Why Abortion is Immoral". The Journal of Philosophy 86 (4): 183–202.
  5. Gensler, H. J. (2019). Ethics and the Future of Spying: Technology, National Security, and Intelligence Collection. Routledge.
  6. Glover, J. (2017). Causing death and saving lives. Penguin UK.
  7. Lizza, J. P. (2018). Persons, Humanity, and the Definition of Death. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  8. Norcross, A. (2000). Killing, Abortion, and Contraception: A reply to Marquis. The Journal of Philosophy, 97(5), 273-292.
  9. Rosenthal, J. A. (2018). Is There a Moral Right to Abortion? The Journal of Ethics, 22(4), 403-420.
  10. Steinbock, B. (2012). Life before birth: The moral and legal status of embryos and fetuses. Oxford University Press.
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Discussion on Whether Abortion is a Crime. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 27, 2023, from
“Discussion on Whether Abortion is a Crime.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019,
Discussion on Whether Abortion is a Crime. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 Sept. 2023].
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