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The moral debate about abortion has focused on either the rights of the fetus or the rights of the mother. If the fetus has rights then abortion is immoral and not permissible. If the fetus does not have rights, then abortion is morally acceptable and permissible. If both the mother and the fetus have rights, then either the rights of the fetus have priority, or those of the mother have priority. If that didn’t complicate matters enough, we have those who argue that some fetuses have moral rights while others do not, making abortion sometimes morally permissible and sometimes morally impermissible.
The purpose of this essay; to argue that abortion is either always morally permissible or it is always morally impermissible, it cannot be both at the same time. There are two main arguments concerning the morality of abortion. One relates to the moral status of the fetus – whatever that may be, and the other relates to the woman’s right to choose what happens to her body.
The moral status of the fetus seems to determine whether or not it has a right to life.
On the other hand, the woman’s right to choose raises concerns about whether or not abortion is always justified. Some arguments surrounding the abortion debate focus on the permissibility or impermissibility of abortion based on how the fetus was conceived – mainly rape. Pregnancies as the result of rape seem The main focus should be women who are unwillingly pregnant, because generally speaking they are the ones seeking abortions.
There are rare exceptions, such as a woman who is willingly pregnant, but aborts the pregnancy because it is putting her own life at risk, but that is an entirely different argument and will not be discussed here. Instead, we will focus on unwanted pregnancies that are not endangering the life of the woman and how the moral permissibility of aborting these unwanted pregnancies should not rest on how the fetus was conceived.