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“Abortion cannot be wrong if the pregnancy is due to rape.” Discuss.

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Introduction

"Abortion cannot be wrong if the pregnancy is due to rape." Discuss. Abortion is ending of pregnancy before birth, resulting in the death of the foetus. Some abortions occur naturally because a foetus does not develop normally or because the mother has an injury or disorder that prevents her from continuing with the pregnancy until the end, namely a miscarriage. Other abortions are induced - that is, intentionally brought on - because a pregnancy is unwanted or presents a risk to that woman's health. Modern medical techniques have made induced abortions simpler and less dangerous. Various studies point to an annual abortion rate of 40 million to 50 million, one for every 2.8 live births, some countries have a staggeringly high rate of abortion. In September 1992 the Moscow Business Times reported the staggering statistic that 95% of Russian women had between eight and twenty abortions during their fertile lives. In Britain one in three pregnancies is unplanned, 70% involve contraception and almost 180,000 women had terminations in 1997. We can see that there is a high annual rate, but is abortion right? Induced abortion, the focus of this essay, has become one of the most popular ethical and philosophical issues of the late 20th century. The debate over abortion has led to legal battles in courts, and state legislatures. ...read more.

Middle

Similarly, a fertilized egg is so unlike a person that, to suppose otherwise, is to overlook all the characteristics of a person. Hence the most accepted view, particularly among physicians, is to focus upon some interim point at which the foetus becomes viable, that is, potentially able to live outside the mother's womb. But this argument has its own weaknesses, the most glaring being that the date of viability changes. Embryology, the study of foetal development, claims that the point when a foetus becomes viable is constantly changing, with every passing year medical advances make it possible to keep a premature baby alive at an earlier stage. The current definition of viability is generally accepted at about 24 weeks; however, a small percentage of babies born at about 22 weeks have been kept alive with intensive medical care. I believe that a foetus becomes a human once it has a fully working and thinking brain, which is roughly at the stage of viability. Now that we understand when a foetus becomes a person, we must consider whether or not abortion should be permitted. The argument over abortion tends to fall under two simple labels, one is called pro-choice (teleologically based) and the other, pro-life (deontologically based). On the one side, the pro-choice supporters, favour the woman's reproductive rights, including the right to choose to have an abortion. ...read more.

Conclusion

To continue the pregnancy in these circumstances is an act of charity on her part, but not a duty, and one which she cannot reasonably be expected to perform if the disadvantages to herself are considerable. She accepts that the baby is human from the time of conception, but argues that the mother has the right to abort the foetus. While this may be callous, it is not unjust. So the emendation which may be made at this point is: "The right to life consists not in the right not to be killed, but rather in the right not to be killed unjustly. So to sum up all of the above, we have asked is a foetus a person, if not, then at what stage can it be regarded as a person. Has a foetus got any rights, if so, do they outweigh the mothers right over her body. As mentioned earlier I believe that a foetus can be given the title of a human once it has a thinking brain, about the time of viability. However the whole argument over who has the greater rights, I feel is nonsense. The decision over whether or not to have an abortion, is entirely up to the mother. For it is her who primarily has to care for the child. So when the question arises: "Is abortion wrong if the pregnancy is due to rape?" I feel that it isn't, as a mother of this child may not want to bring it up, which she cannot be blamed for. ...read more.

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