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A Philosophical Analysis of the issues raised by the act of Abortion

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Introduction

A Philosophical Analysis of the issues raised by the act of Abortion The word abortion comes from the Latin word aboriri, meaning 'to fail to be born'. Abortion is currently defined as 'an untimely delivery voluntarily occurred with intent to destroy the foetuses.' For the purposes of this essay abortion is the artificial expulsion of a foetus from the uterus performed at any stage, medically if not legally. The legal limit for abortion is when it is artificially removed around the stage of viability and also at the latest time it can medically be done. (Normally around the 20th week of gestation)1 Abortion is a moral and philosophical headache; Abortion is a human problem as it gives the mother psychological problems and trauma. It also gives the mother legal problems as a lot of people disagree with the act of abortion. This difficulty is raised as people can not always agree on the status of the foetus. I.e. is it a person, human tissue or a potential human. The main issues surrounding abortion are that of Personhood, when does the foetus become a human being, Human Rights, what rights does the foetus have and Sanctity of life, who has the right the take the life or potential life of the foetus? In this essay these will be the points raised as I believe they are the main aspects to do with the act of abortion. Personhood is one of the main problems surrounding abortion, i.e. ...read more.

Middle

The word right implies that something is due to people, something which ought properly to be theirs and which it is morally wrong for anyone to take away. In addition to a right and liberty, people claim a right to happiness, property and social benefits. But where do our rights come from? Today's society seems to have granted us with our society as people automatically give people what they wish without really thinking about showing that it is built into us. Christians ground their discussion of rights on their doctrine of man, made in the image of God. Judith Jarvis Thompson's feminist view argues that the foetus is a person at the moment of conception and that every person has a right to life. The mother has the right to decide what happens to her body and mostly everyone would grant this. The argument against this is that surely the foetus's right to life is stronger and more stringent than the mothers right to decide what happens in and to her body, if people think this they will conclude that the foetus may not be killed therefore an abortion may not be performed. British Archbishops accept that women have rights in respect of their own bodies but point out that no rights are unlimited and go on to say that the unborn child has the right "not to be made the object of attack by any procedure or technique... adopted... with the intention of preventing the continuation of the child's development before birth." ...read more.

Conclusion

In the case of an encephalic it is hard to justify the reasoning in continuing through with giving birth as the baby is not going stands little chance of survival outside the womb. When these cases come to light, we see abortion as compassion for the baby as we cannot see any sort of bright future for the foetus. This though can be viewed as immoral as we do not equate life and freedom form suffering. Depending on our view of when the foetus becomes a human, by committing ourselves to abortion, it can be classified as euthanasia, which is not permitted in this country. If the subject has been raped, the law could decide not to regulate abortion after rape because there are some moral duties which cannot be forced on others by those who have never had to face them. Also responsibility for taking the life of the foetus rests to a particular degree with the mother. It is her decision and she must answer for it before God. Our law states that we cannot abandon a foetus, but we must protect it. The mother is the one who will be responsible for the baby when it grows up. This means she must be able to look at herself and see if she can really give the baby the best opportunity in life. The conclusion to this is that there is no right or wrong answer to this complicated argument of abortion. There are believes and pros and cons of the abortion which have there own argument which are liked by some and disliked by others. ...read more.

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