The Issue of Abortion

Categories: Abortion

An abortion is a medical or surgical procedure that deliberately ends a pregnancy before an embryo or fetus is born. Questions about the moral status of abortion and debates about whether abortion should be legal have its place in the public discourse and philosophical writing for more than 5 decades. This topic has been controversial since the ancient times. However, religious, ethical and state views about abortion vary from place to place. The argument is life and death though the uncertainty of complication makes it difficult.

I don’t believe in abortion because it’s murder we are not the ones that can decide whether the person that a woman gives birth to should live or die.

In developed countries the practice has been allowed under certain conditions, and it is done using modern techniques, which are safe and take care of the future health, physical, biological, and psychological needs of the individual.

There are many different stands held on the issue of abortion.

For those holding a conservative view on abortion, abortion is never acceptable except when necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. In contrast, the liberal view believes that abortion is always ethically acceptable at any point of fetal development, and for any reason. And, there are those in the middle, which hold the moderate view. They believe that abortion is ethically acceptable up to a certain point of fetal development and that some reasons are acceptable.

No matter, how we persuade ourselves, every woman that decides to put an end to her pregnancy understands that it is wrong.

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It couldn’t be another way, as our instinct tells us that it is absolutely unnatural to decide for another human being, whether they should live or die. Yes, they can come up with different excuses, but it in no case changes the sense of their action, the action that will cost life to their child.

Opponents of abortion typically object to the practice for religious or ethical reasons, contending that the procedure constitutes the cruel termination of what they consider to be a viable human life. Those who support a woman’s right to choose an abortion argue that access to safe, legal abortions is a human right. In Roe v. Wade (1973), the US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion through the end of the first trimester, or the twelfth week of pregnancy. After twelve weeks, a woman’s access to abortion may be restricted based on the discretion of the states, as well as the level of risk that the pregnancy poses to the woman’s health.

The issue of abortion remains highly controversial, and state legislatures have enacted laws to restrict and regulate access to the procedure. Several of these laws have been challenged in federal courts, with some laws, such as the denial of state funds for the procedure, being upheld. Iowa adopted one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws in May 2018 when Governor Kim Reynolds approved a bill prohibiting doctors from performing an abortion if a fetus has a detectable heartbeat, which can be as early as six weeks. Other laws, such as those requiring spousal consent for an abortion, have been struck down. Politicians, religious leaders, health care providers, and activists each contribute their own perspective to the ongoing debate.

Opponents of abortion generally refer to themselves as pro-life, while advocates for reproductive rights typically identify as pro-choice. Differences of opinion persist within both movements. Some pro-life activists may condone abortions in cases of rape or incest, while others take an uncompromising stance, believing that all abortion is murder. Within the pro-choice movement, some activists contend that no restrictions should be placed on abortions, while many who identify as pro-choice support laws that require a waiting period before the procedure can be performed or laws requiring minors to obtain permission from their parents.

The topic of abortions has been spoken on throughout the recorded history of the world. The topic of abortion has sparked some of the most notarized debate; over whether abortion should be a legal option or even appeal to our religious belief.

Basically an abortion is any medical or surgical procedure that deliberately ends a pregnancy before an embryo or fetus is born according to Webster dictionary.

Abortion along with its early techniques were developed as early as the 15th century when the Egyptian suggested that insertion of plant fiber covered with honey and crushed dates could induce an abortion or a mischarge. This idea was shared amongst ancient Rome and Greece; they weren’t much concerned with protecting the unborn child. But according to the philosopher Aristotle fetus did not become formed and begin to live until at least 40 days after conception for a male and 80days for a female.

Subsequently by the 19th century abortion was legally restricted in almost every country.

According the National Center for Biotechnology Information; restrictions on abortion were introduced for three main reasons:

  1. Abortions were dangerous and were killing a lot of women; young mothers who nevertheless sought abortions and risks their lives in doing so.
  2. Abortion was considered a sin against God, or a form of transgression of morality
  3. Abortion was restricted to protect fetal life in some or all circumstances.

Now living in the 21th century, were science had advance far beyond basic human understanding, abortion methods have become much safer but does not change the morality and just down right sin before God. However in some societies and due circumstances, persons are permitted to have an abortion. These societies would lay down laws in relations to the maximum age after which the fetus must be aborted. Types of these circumstances includes; abortion for the sake of the mother’s health, pregnancy is the result of a crime (rape, incest or child abuse) and even where there the proof that the child of the pregnancy would have an unacceptable or low quality of life such as serious genetic problems or even physical handicaps.

Methods of abortion range from Non-surgical and surgical methods; the abortion pill is a method of terminating pregnancy using medications taken by mouth or injection. This method was developed in 1980s by the French. Basically with works in two stages; first the women given the a drug that would block the process of developing fertilized eggs after which a second drug is given which induce contractions and bleedings which causes the fetus to be expelled from the body. It is said the earlier an abortion is performed the safer it is for the woman but how safe can it be? The second method is the morning after pill which consists of high dose of female hormones. This particular drug mist is taken with 72 hours of sex and the earlier it is taken the more effective it would be. It operates as a contraceptive by preventing or delaying ovulation. It also acts on the lining of the womb so to prevent fertilized eggs from implanting. As those methods seems humane even though the cost of life; the latter is more unsafe and deadly, the surgical method of abortion. Surgical method consisting vacuum aspiration which is cringle-worthy in itself means a tube is gentle inserted into the womb through the cervix.

The contents of the womb are then sucked out through the tube. That’s something for the imagination. Such a method cannot be safe for mother even if she survives the metal trauma would definitely cause some amount of behavioral or physiological implication. The dilatation and evacuation, dilatation and curettage method is more sicken this method involves a tool used to enlarged the woman’s cervical canal, when the womb is opened to a sufficient level it is emptied by suction and any remaining content are scraped out with the curette. Very harsh and violent procedures, after which patients may feel some soreness and cramping but from the beginning of these methods a significant number of women suffer psychological complications and up to 20% experience depression so severe most contemplate or commit suicide. The scientific term used to describe the mental turmoil caused after abortion is call Post-Abortion syndrome (PAS). It was found that women who abort such a mass array of psychological “disturbances” such as denial, anger doubt and guilt. Abortion can cause depression of varying lengths which would cause patients become aggressive or nervous. Not only of the physiological implications but most experience difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term after an abortion. A study found that

Societal attitude and views on abortion differ on the basis of gender, professionalism, age among other variation. A polled conducted in the USA revealed that most Americans about 85% support abortion if the mother’s life is in danger. The public opinion on approval regarding abortion varies depending on the trimester of the pregnancy.

Many individuals view abortion as a solution to unplanned pregnancies, and a way to ease the burden of caring for a child. Many Individuals also see abortion as an Interference with the natural cycle of life, and as a corruption to society. These two extreme and opposing viewpoints, the pro-choice and the pro-life, have classified abortion as a legitimate among the people. Abortion has become a social problem as a result of current social conditions.

Legally, at the start of the 20th century other than china, abortion was illegal in almost every country. China is the only country that has not place criminal restriction on abortion but during this time a number of countries enacted law that allowed abortion on specific grounds.

Legal regulations are not the only factors affecting women’s access to abortion but cultural norms and values regarding this topic differ across the planet. Some cultures around the world have been known for having abortion culture such as Japan, China and even Cuba

Many in society treat women as sexual objects and see women’s bodies as sexual unit available to men whether the woman consents or not. This is evident in many sexual harassment, sexual abuse cases that have been occurring for centuries. To put it differently, until society is able to guarantee safety and full personhood to women to ensure that they will not be raped and their bodies touched with consent, they will not conform to men. It is also unjust to prevent women aborting to cope partially with these injustices. Removing abortion from the small options open to women will increase gender based oppression.

Although many supporters of abortion rights claim that restriction on abortion have a negative impact on the poorer less developed nations, the world health organization estimates that death from unsafe abortion practices results in tens of thousands of women death every year.

Subsequently all the religion have taken an affirm position on this topic. They believe people involved in abortion are affected deeply not just physiologically but spiritually as well. Abortion is still a difficult and even unresolved issue for some religious groups. Some religious groups have major uncertainty about abortion. For example the world’s largest denomination the Roman Catholic Church; they said that deliberately causing an abortion is a grave moral wrong. The church based its doctrine on natural law and on the written word of God, words such as, (Deuteronomy 24:16); which states parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin. Not to mention, Jeremiah 1:5 which states “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”. These scriptures were used to craft laws in its favor.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or means, is gravely contrary to the moral law”.

Since the sixteenth century causing or having an abortion would lead to automatic excommunication from the church.

The Church of England share the Roman Catholic’s view that abortion is gravely contrary to the morality. Maybe if the world views life as Buddhism does. They believe human life begins at the moment of conception at which point they believe consciousness enters the womb and therefore abortion would be seen as an act of killing.

This strong frim believe by the church has sustain throughout religious history. Such belief has a vital influence on society’s attitude regarding abortions.

Many argue that the church is being too harsh due to lack of supporting information from the bible to sustain and strong position. The New Testament did not explicit give direction on the issue of birth control or abortion. The Old Testament did however condemn abortion as a capital offense as the fetus is not regarded as a possessing a soul with the sixth commandment proscription however, many theologians today argue that man must not destroy what god has created; aborting a pregnancy destroys the gift of human life.

Not all religious groups have a public position on abortion, in the case of Islam. They believe that the soul does not enter the fetus until 120 days after gestation. This gives this person under this doctrine a window of opportunity to terminate the pregnancy.

In today’s world, Christian countries where abortions are even illegal have the highest levels of abortions. Even with the church strong stance and clearly stated policy on abortion, church members may not agree.

This issue of abortion lends on the question of personhood. The main issue we think about in relation to abortion is what it means when we say ‘human life is valuable.’ We mostly refer to human a member of the biological species pro-lifers argue that taking the life of another person, other than extreme circumstances, as a grievous sin. On the other hand, yes most pro-abortion persons argue that the fetus is not a person until it reaches a certain later stage in development. This view was argued against by moral philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson in here A Defense of Abortion paper published in Philosophy & Public Affairs in 1971, stating that the fetus has a right to life. She explained the “right to life consists not in the right to be killed but rather in the right not to be killed unjustly”.

Subsequently, Mary-Anne Warren an American Philosophy questions the permissibly of abortion in her article; stating that moral opposition to abortion is based on the arguments: is wrong to kill innocent human beings: the embryo is an innocent human being, hence it is wrong to kill the embryo. She claims the word ‘human being’ is used in 1 of 2 different senses.

  1. Human being is used in normal sense of a full fledge member of society and our community
  2. Human being meaning a biological species just like animals

She holds the view that the embryo is a biological human organism and not a person; a person that have rights, rights such as the right to life.

She note in her distinction between a person and biological human that the properties that characterize a person is one consciousness and capacity to feel pain, ones reasoning ability as such as to solve new and complex problems, the ability to communicate through many different possible topics, self-motivated activities and self-awareness. She states that a person does not have all 5 but if something has all 5 it is person whether biologically human or not.

Again not all share the same view as Mary-Anne Warren, Don Marquis, an American philosopher argues that abortion is wrong because it deprives the embryo of a valuable future. He argues such an act deprive all the valuable experiences activities project and enjoyments the future human being would have. His argument states implies that what specifically makes this killing wrong is not the effect it as on the murderer or the victims’ relatives but its effect on the victim itself. Is it right to kill “non-human’ that have a future like ours? Who determines who lives and who dies? Who determines whose future is worth living?

Another philosopher Jane English argues that abortion in many cases can be defended on the grounds of self-defense or something similar to the self-defense clause. She claims in most cases the fetus is threatening the life of the mother and in this case aborting the fetus would be analogous to killing an innocent life that was force to attack you and has to be terminated. In essence though the fetus is innocent it poses a threat to the mother’s well-being, mentally or even physically. She states if those indicators are alerted self-defense can be justify however if the pregnancy poses a slight threat self-defense cannot justify abortion.

The philosophical argument for life has two simple premises one from natural value and one from natural science.

The premise based on natural value is that all human beings have the right to life because they are human. Surprisingly enough, this is the premise that most pro-abortion philosophers will disagree with in the modern debate. This is just a brief introduction to some of the ways philosophers have argued about abortion. Needless to say, there has been much additional philosophical discussion pro and con about these approaches.

Abortion is not a nice topic to think about or to discuss. The idea of aborting your unborn child is not pleasant but women will continue to have unplanned pregnancy.

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The Issue of Abortion. (2021, Apr 21). Retrieved from

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