Utilitarian Viewpoint on Abortion

Essay by amazingisbrookeUniversity, Bachelor's October 2014

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Utilitarian Viewpoint on Abortion

Brooke Brown

University of Memphis

Utilitarian Viewpoint on Abortion

Utilitarianism is the view that right actions are those that result in the most beneficial balance of good over bad consequences for everyone involved (as cited in Vaughn, 2013 pp.35). The utilitarian view is to bring about moral goodness in terms of the best outcome and the right action is based upon achieving the outcome. Abortion is the ending of pregnancy. There are three types of abortions; spontaneous abortions or miscarriage, induced abortions, or therapeutic abortions. My focus is on induced abortions related to the utilitarian moral theory (as cited in Vaughn, 2013).

The utilitarian position can be used for abortion or against abortion. It all depends on what the balance between good and bad is for that person. It is the person's duty to weigh the good and the bad consequences and make a decision.

The utilitarian argument for abortion states that the physical and emotional stress caused from pregnancy decrease the good consequence for the mother (as cited in Lu, 2011). Also, the history of the suffering of women throughout the years has been given as a reason for abortion. The quality of life that the child may have is another argument for abortion. The possibility of a child living a life where they could be terminally ill, severely retarded or have several mental defects is not an optimal existence. Mill's view has to do with the woman having the choice to decide what happens to her body and the fetus is attached to it. The utilitarian view against abortions is that a child can bring happiness to the world and family opposed to the emotional consequences that having an abortion can cause. The good that a child could bring...