The Ethics of Abortion

Essay by seanlvnCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2007

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Abortion is the termination of pregnancy and expulsion of an embryo or of a fetus that is incapable of survival. Surrounding this practice is passionate debate and heated controversy as to whether a mother has the right to take away the life of a potentially viable human being. Those for abortion take the stance of Pro-Choice, as they believe that the matter falls into the hands of the mother and thus is entirely her decision, or choice. Those against abortion are collectively known as being Pro-Life, because abortion takes away the life of the fetus. I agree with the latter, that abortion is immoral because you are taking the life of a potentially viable human being. The argument against abortion can be structured in a premise-conclusion format. 1st Premise- The fetus is an innocent person. 2nd Premise- It is morally wrong to end the life of an innocent person.

Conclusion- It is morally wrong to end the life of a fetus. At conception life is started, and just as murder is generally accepted to be immoral, so too is abortion. The bottom line is that a person's right to life is stronger and more stringent than the mother's right to decide what happens in and to her body, and so outweighs it.

Abortion raises two issues, first is the moral status of the fetus. Is it, as some have suggested, no more valuable than any other piece of human tissue, such as a tonsil? The second question involves women's rights and the question of political domination. Can a pregnant woman legitimately get an abortion, based on her right to control her body, even if there is another person inside her? I feel the answer to both questions is no. As for whether a fetus is no more valuable than...