Ethics of Partial-Birth Abortion

Essay by npr1955University, Master'sA+, June 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

In October 2003, the United States Senate passed a bill that banned partial-birth abortion. A partial-birth abortion is performed in the second and third trimesters. The bill prohibited any physician from knowingly performing a partial-birth abortion, unless it is necessary to save the mother's life that is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. There are many people that oppose bans on safe abortion procedures.

This billed was immediately challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union. They felt that the bill was deceptive and dangerous measure that sacrifices women health and rights for political gain. In June 2004, a United States judge ruled that the law banning late-term abortion was unconstitutional. This leads me to my discussion on moral and ethical issues concerning abortions.

Abortion has been one of the topics of hot debate for the last three decades and will be for decades to come, because you have pro-life groups and pro-choice groups.

Every since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973, some Americans feel the need to ponder whether aborting fetuses is a moral action. On one hand, some people feel that abortion should be legal because a woman has a right to control whether she wants to continue a pregnancy or not. On the other hand, some feel that fetuses have no advocates and deserve a right to live, so it is immoral to abandon their rights and kill them. This issue is not only at the center of political debates, but philosophical debates as well.

The applied ethical issue of abortion involves a consideration for the reasons for or against terminating the life of a fetus. Much has been written on the issue of abortion, both in the popular press and in the philosophical literature. The debate focuses on two distinct issues.