Applying Critical Thinking Skills to Ethics in Abortion

Critical thinkers apply three different concepts when applying ethics to decision making. Set priorities, attempt to find additional options and alternatives, and negotiate options fully aimed or partially achieving the most important interest of all involved parties (Peter A. Facione). Considering our values, rights, and consequences we can assume abortion is and can be different according to one’s view or the view of others in the matter. After much research I wish I could say I have decided whether I think abortion is ok, but I am still on the fence about the topic.

I plan to do more research on this topic and ask people who have experienced making the decision whether or not to abort their child.

Consequence-based ethical reasoning involves determining whether an action is right or wrong according to its consequences. If a certain action will result in a good consequence, then it’s the right thing to do; if it results in a bad consequence, it’s the wrong thing to do.

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Those would be the overriding general principles. Of course, to use this approach, one would have to define “good consequence” and “bad consequence.” A common definition raises concepts of pain and pleasure, both largely defined to include more than just physical pains and pleasures. Other possible criteria of goodness include the concepts of happiness, well-being, and benefit. Take into consideration the physical and psychological trauma for women associated with abortion. “Which act will result in the best consequences (Group.

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)? If abortion heartens medical and phycological complications is it ethical? Take the case of baby Jane Doe for example. The case was a medical dispute on the proper care of severely handicapped children. A four-month-old infant from New York with severe medical issues and her parents choose not to treat the child for the said child’s best interest. That treating her and doing surgery would only prolong her suffering in her short life expectancy (Gary E. McCuen).

Would it have been better to have aborted baby Jane before she was born with medical disabilities? The child was not able to speak for herself. Did the parents do this to end her suffering, or end their own financial responsibility as well as caring for a handicapped child? Does every human life have the same dollar amount (Peter A. Facione)? Utilitarianism, a systematic approach to ethical reasoning that defines morally right acts as those which result in the greatest good for the greatest number of all involved.

Utilitarianism is one of the most powerful and persuasive approaches to normative ethics in the history of philosophy. A consequence-based approach is that intent is irrelevant. The consequence-based reasoning is that “the end justifies the means” it does not matter how you bring about a good consequence, only that the consequence is indeed good. Can we really justify the willful destruction of human embryos by arguing that “the end justifies the means” (Group.)? Is it acceptable to undermine the dignity of human life in the name of medical progress (Torr)? So, if using an embryo for stem cell research will help us fight disease in the future or help couples have children with no disabilities make using embryos ethical? Is an embryo considered a life (Torr)? Purely in terms of consequence to that individual, there is no way to put greater value on the one than on the other (Peter A. Facione).

Rights-based ethical reasoning involves determining whether an action is right or wrong according to whose and which rights are upheld or violated by the act in question. Such rights might include the right to free speech, the right to own property, the right to vote, the right to be free from harm, the right to go wherever you want, and so on. In this case, the general principles would be something like “One should respect the right of others too. . .” or “This action is wrong because it violates this person’s right to . . .” I suppose children have a right to a happy and healthy childhood. How can a have such rights if aborted? When taking a rights-based approach to ethical decisions, one must first decide what rights are involved (Group.). In the 1960s, there was no federal law regulating abortions, and many states had banned the practice entirely, except when the life of the mother was endangered. Abortion highlights the problem in terms of pro-life arguments and pro-choice arguments ( Did you know Pope John Paul II is a leader in the pro-life movement? During his landmark 1998 visit to Cuba, he criticized the island’s legalized abortion policies ( The Roe v.

Wade case recognized the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions, including the decision to have an abortion without interference from officials ( “Morality is dependent on your religion” or, “God tells you what to do.” Those who believe life begins at conception feel that the unborn child deserves the same legal protections as an adult. Ending such a life is equivalent to murder to those who subscribe to this belief (Group.). Others argue that life begins at birth and that laws restricting abortion interfere with the right of a woman to decide what is in her own best interests. ( Religious responsibility, who appointed you God? Who gave you the right to play God? Some people appeal to religion as the basis for their values. Alternatively, some people suggest that our rights are God-given.

This answer, of course, does not satisfy those who don’t think there is a god. But even for those who do, it’s a bit problematic: how do you know which rights this god has given you? “The decision of whether to abort or not is mine and mine alone. I have the right to say what happens in my body! “And what about me? I’m the father! Don’t I have any rights? And that child-to-be? Doesn’t it have any rights?” “The flight from the grey”: people can’t understand something in the simple terms of black and white, so they pretend it doesn’t exist or isn’t important. After all, doing that is much easier than entering the grey area, getting lost, getting confused, and getting frustrated with complexity and uncertainty (Group.). It is always easy difficult for anyone to give due consideration to alternative views and beliefs (Peter A. Facione).

Values-based ethical reasoning involves determining whether an action is right or wrong according to whether or not the action in question adapts to certain values, such as truthfulness, responsibility, justice, temperance, courage, self-control, wisdom, fairness, pride, ambition, gentleness, frankness, self-interest, faithfulness, gratitude, compassion, self-improvement, non-maleficence, reparation, care, compassion, sensitivity, reciprocity, generosity, modesty, kindness, respect, patriotism, prejudice, equality, and so on (Group.).

Evaluating arguments about ethical issues is no different from evaluating other sorts of arguments. when you are presented with an argument about an ethical issue, go through the same steps: identify the issue, identify the point, and identify the premises supporting that point (both those explicitly stated and those assumed); then evaluate the premises, considering whether or not they’re true or acceptable, whether or not they’re relevant, and whether or not they’re sufficient to support the claim. Then decide whether the argument is strong enough for you to accept its conclusion, usually a judgment about whether something is right or wrong (Group.).

Is it right to abort a child following all the premises? The best way to protect people from wrongdoing is to make the wrongdoing illegal? Ethics refers to a set of behavioral ideals or moral principles that guide us in determining right and wrong (Peter A. Facione). Some people believe abortion is a crime, and others consider it to be the free choice of the person. If we apply critical thinking and ethics when we decide on abortion does it make us assume abortion is ok?

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 Applying Critical Thinking Skills to Ethics in Abortion. (2021, Apr 23). Retrieved from

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