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An individual’s perception on the value of Human Life varies depending on the person’s beliefs, upbringing, socioeconomic status, experience and marital status. Life is a very profound word that may be associated to certain sensitive issues like Abortion.
It has been a lifelong debate, whether or not abortion should be acknowledged legal or illegal. The legality of such action does not really discuss the issue but it is more on the morality of the act. Two parties have been arguing on each other’s perspective. These parties are divided to Pro-life and Pro-choice. People who identified themselves as pro-choice beliefs that a fetus is not a person, thus the act of aborting a fetus are not a form of murder. On the other hand, pro-life advocates insist that life begins right on the onset of conception. The existence of life indicates that a new human being is form and terminating or destroying life is murder, thus making abortion a murder and considering it morally wrong. This merely shows that abortion causes death to human being (Naden, 2008).
One of the conflicting issues on the debate of abortion is identifying when life began; however, none can provide a concrete answer as to when life really begins. There has been a wide array of opinion as to when life begins and when they consider a fetus as a person or human being. According to Hadley (1997), Abortion is a moral issue and is always associated to the ethics of life and death. True enough that it relates to the ethics of life and death, because an unborn child still merely a life form. All of the individual existing went through the same process as these unborn child had went through and the moral rights we have attained should not be compromised or be any different from them.
The known leading pro-choice groups in the country are Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice of America and Feminists Women’s Health Center (Naden, 2008). They are the most active group advocating the legalization and issue on morality on abortion. The argument of pro-choice in defense of abortion are the following; first, abortion is not a murder, according to Hadley (1997), neither of Christian nor do Jewish traditions give an absolute value to human life. As they compare the innocent lives of a rabbits and rats that are helplessly being taken for laboratory experimentation to benefit humanity but is not considered a murder. Fetuses are not far different from that situation, they are innocent and helpless but scientist still have no idea as to when life begins, therefore none have suggested to apply moral right to a fertilized egg or sperm which may also been considered alive. Second, fetus does not feel pain, according to Hadley (1997) based on the research recorded from The Lancet, a rise in two hormonal level was noted when a blood transfusion needle to fetuses of 23 to 29 weeks old. The fetal response cannot still be equated to the perception of pain. Third, fetuses are not persons; this notion had led the pro-choice groups that destroying them is not morally wrong. Hadley (1997) added that pro-choice groups have instilled to their minds that personhood is not a biological state but more of a social phenomena that entails the capability to reason, self-awareness, and social and moral reciprocity. Fourth, the idea of fetus is just potentially a person, however for the pro-choice people, it does not tell them that moral value of a certain potential being at a given time in its course of development. Fifth is the difference of context of
abortion and infanticide, Warren (as cited in Hadley, 1997) mentioned that birth makes it possible to a child to be given with equal basic right just anyone else without violating anyone else’s basic rights. Moreover, he also mentioned that, there is only 1 room for a full and equal right inside a single human skin. Lastly, the argument that defend an abortion that it heralds a slide into moral decline. Where infanticide was used to be prevalent in Japan but this have moved to abortion as their main method of birth control.
The advocates of pro-life have seen life in a different perspective. For them life does not need to be an existing person but they recognized that from the moment that conception exist is the start of human life. The stage of development does not indicate whether life exists or not for the human life all started in the union of fertilized sperm cell and egg cell. Naden (2008) mentioned on his book that from the moment of conception, a one of a kind person exists. The destruction of a unique brand new life is murder and therefore wrong. Pro-life group considers the abortion of an unborn unique child is murder. Pro-life also points out that even at the Bible the unborn being refer to as a child. A child per se considered as a person. The most common reason why pro-choice opt abortion is because they tend to support women does not want to be pregnant merely because they don’t want to have a child, but the reason behind this is due to lack of preparedness of conceiving and facing the new changes in life. As Hadley (1997) explained, parenting is something natural and not a process that can be planned for and learned. Women are known and designed to care and nurture for an offspring, this is the reason why we have uterus for the baby to lay on for the 9 fruitful and developing months. The pro-life groups always ends up in valuing life and acknowledging that unborn child is also rightful of moral rights as we are because we are also considered as persons and human beings.
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