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Abortion is a worldwide issue defined as the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often within the first 28 weeks. This is controversial around the world due to different moral principles based upon religion and ethics of mankind. (1) As of now, safe abortion is provided in only 60 countries around the world. Many religions believe that abortion is wrong and therefore never ethical. (2) Religions against abortion include Roman Catholic Christians, Buddhists, and Hinduism. I chose this issue because I have a strong personal interest in medical ethics and I have previously studied this specific topic in Religious Studies for GCSE. This topic is in the category of medical ethics as it is a debate based on medicine. Abortion is a global issue because, in some countries where abortion is illegal, such as Ireland, unsafe abortions are being carried out illegally due to mothers who desperate to receive this treatment for a variety of valid reasons. Also, there are some countries where abortion is currently legal but there are debates and protesting to make it illegal. The first perspective is abortion is ending a human life so is considered murder and therefore never ethical. The second is abortion is ethical depending on the circumstances that the woman is in. Campaigners and supporters are identified as either pro-life (against abortion) or pro-choice (in favor of the woman’s right to choose).
Pro-choice supporters believe that the woman should always have the right to choose. This is quite simply because they support the idea that the woman has right to control her own body and if she wishes not to be pregnant then it should be her human right to have an abortion if chooses. (3)” MPs believe that no woman should be able to get out of pregnancy unless she has a “good” reason. But once we’ve started judging “good” and “bad” reasons, will anything ever be good enough? Is fear of losing your job a “good” reason? Cutting ties with an ex? Planning to finish your education? How about just not wanting to? Lots of families are desperate for children, why shouldn’t women with unwanted pregnancies have the baby and give it up for adoption? The answer is that the physical and emotional trauma of having and surrendering a child is more than any woman should have to bear unless she chooses to bear it – denying a woman abortion so others can have children is nothing more than compulsory surrogacy.” This idea of Sarah Ditum illustrates to us that denying abortion is against our right as we shouldn’t have to use our bodies for other people’s benefits such as the idea that being denied abortion leaving the only other option for the woman being adoption is the same as “compulsory surrogacy” which in turn abolishes our human rights.
Pro-life is defined as opposing abortion. Therefore, pro-life supporters believe that abortion is never ethical for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is (4)” Since life begins at conception, abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking human life. Abortion is in direct defiance of the commonly accepted idea of the sanctity of human life” This reason outlines the idea that every human life is sacred and that everyone is equal, since some people believe life starts at conception, this would mean that the child is equal to the mother and thus they have equal rights. This idea that the child has full human rights from the moment of conception, relates abortion to murder which is never ethically acceptable and therefore a strong argument as to why abortion is never ethical.
In some circumstances, a woman’s health is threatened by the pregnancy. (5)”A teenager is denied a life-saving termination because abortion is illegal in her country”. There are serious medical reasons as to why a woman shouldn’t give birth or be pregnant. These reasons could include cardiovascular disease or cancer. In this instance a woman would require an abortion as her chances of surviving pregnancy or labor become slim, also the chances of the child’s survival are significantly lowered (6). The problem with this is that only 60 countries worldwide provide legal and safe abortion. This means that millions of women of a variety of ages have died because their country doesn’t provide safe abortion if at all. This then comes down to the question ‘Is an unborn fetus more valuable than a living woman who already has a family and accomplishments?’ Which pro-choice believers would argue no. So this argument would prove that abortion is ethical as it would save a family grievance for a much loved, daughter, mother, sister or niece.
Pro-life believers could argue against a woman’s right to abortion due to right to control their own body. This is because if they control their bodies then they would’ve taken multiple necessary precautions to prevent the becoming pregnant in the first place.
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