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Abortion

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Abortion

Abortion.

Abortion: a word that causes a great deal of controversy amongst different religions, values and beliefs around the morality that surrounds this issue. Abortion has been a debated subject regarding if the fetus is in fact an actual person and what rights, if any, a woman has in terminating a pregnancy. However, since abortion was legalized in Canada in 1969 abortion has been at the center of political and morale debate, as society aims to determine whether abortion is morally acceptable or not. Is abortion morally wrong because it is essentially homicide? Is the fetus in fact a person? Or do women have the right to decide what happens over their own bodies? Do women have the right to override the rights of the fetus in the end? Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to prove that even if the fetus is a person with full morale rights, it may be morally permissible for women to have an abortion in light of their rights to property, self-defense and autonomy over their bodies.

First, we must try to define if the fetus is a person or not. The status of a fetus refers to a “human offspring at any stage of its prental development, from conception to birth.” Therefore, a fetus is a general term for the unborn at all phases of its development. The argument against a fetus being a person is that there is an initial phase where the fetus supposedly does not qualify as a person. Therefore, there would be an initial phase that the fetus would not count as murder. A few minutes after conception are zygotes actual people? It would be hard to support this idea, as commonsense tells us that the small cluster of cells has nothing to do with being a person. If the zygotes were actually people, then we would be concerned with the lost of numerous embryos due to natural causes nor do we have funerals for them. However, it is those cells that create and become a person. Therefore, the fetus is human in the genetic sense. In that case, if the fetus is a genetically a person from the moment of conception, then do they have the right to life? A human being in the genetic sense is someone who belongs to the animal species. To be a person is to have rights, or rights and duties. Therefore, if the fetus at any point in its development is a human being, then to kill it at that point would be homicide. If a fetus is a person then they would have claims to respect, worth and dignity that belong to any person. A fetus would then have the same rights to life as any other person. Although, the line between if a fetus is a human or not, is somewhat ambigious, however for the sake of this paper we will conclude that the fetus is in fact a person with the morale right to life.

Therefore, once we have established that the fetus has the moral right to live, one would think that it would create a strong case against abortion. However, it does prove that abortions are at times required under certain circumstances in which it would be morally permissible to kill another person. There are three arguments that try to defend this right. The first is the property of rights of women;

. . .where a person’s own body is surely their private property, which

no one else may use in any way without the owner’s permission.

Every women is the sole owner of her body, an even if a fetus is a

person with a right to lfie, it may not sue her body without her permission.

This point is to show that a woman, if she wishes, has the power and right to terminate a pregnancy if she does not want it. Within reason, any person has a right to control the uses of his or her own body. If a woman became pregnant accidentally

or without planning it, and they did not want the baby, then they would have the power to get rid of it if they so desired. The fetus is dependent on the mother and therefore needs the woman’s body to survive. Then we would have to look at the fetus as the property of the pregnant woman. However, it is not in the same category as an item or piece of jewelry. The woman may own her body but she does not own the fetus inside her. However, at the same time, the fetus cannot negotiate its time or sign a contract in using the woman’s body. Therefore, although the woman does own the right over her body, she does not necessarily own the rights over the fetus, which will grow independently from her. If the woman sexual intercourse then she would be responsible and would have consented to the use of her body. However, if the woman had been raped, then she did not consent to the use of her body and her property had been violated. Is killing the fetus the solution to the problem as the fetus did not rape the

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