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The arguments for and against abortion.

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Philosophy - Practical Ethics Essay - The arguments for and against abortion Name: Sandra Carden I.D. : 01847651 Year : 1st Arts "Abortion has been a fact of Irish women's lives for centuries, just as it has been and continues to be for women elsewhere" (The Abortion Papers Ireland, pg. 4) However, in Ireland the Constitution has held a scrupulous control over women's availability to abortion. Over the past fifteen years in particular, the Abortion debate has been paramount in this country. It is something that brings astonishment to fellow Europeans, along with the ongoing debate over the morning after pill. Contraception was banned in Ireland up until the 1960's, the women's movement brought it to the fore and following much controversy it is now it is widely available. Traditional ideologies and practices were challenged and the outcome was greater freedom of choice and liberation for women. It was a group referred to as the Irish Women's Liberation Movement whom emerged at the end of the 1960's that were responsible for objecting openly about the restrictions regarding contraception. All the same, they just skimmed over the topic of abortion. This group diversified and this saw the emergence of a younger more militant group, which took a stronger stance on the abortion issue. This resulted in a redefinition of the issue as a question of rights rather than medicine or psychiatry. The abortion issue has been marginalized or even organized out of politics except where counter pressures such as a strong women's movement or religious party intervened. (The New Politics of Abortion, pg. 75) Despite their efforts the group collapsed and a reliance on Women's Centres and Clinics for information and assistance became widespread. "No issue in reproductive ethics is riddled with more fundamental moral disagreement than abortion" (The Abortion Papers Ireland, pg. 166) Abortion in Ireland has clearly reflected a perceived and growing threat to Irish Catholicism and the Irish Government. ...read more.


If she feels she would be unable to cope with the baby if she went to full term then maybe this is the best option for her, another woman may still decide to have this baby regardless of the implications. Both are within their rights to choose, after all they are the people who will be rearing the child for the rest of their lives. In her book, The Uses of Philosophy Mary Warnock rejects "the principle that all human life is of equal value". She opposes Binchy's argument that all human beings have a right to life. She claims that a) We have a right to kill certain newly born infants b) Therefore why do some people believe it is wrong to kill certain unborn infants? Mary Warnock claims that severely handicapped neonates do not have a right to life, because their life chances are seen as very poor. Professor W. Binchy's article "Abortion and human rights" which was written in response to David Mc Connell, a Trinity professor who had "advocated a change in the Constitution to permit the abortion of severely handicapped foetuses". Binchy's main argument is evident from the following quote "If it is not legitimate to permit the killings of beings who have been born, why should it be legitimate to kill them before their birth?" Binchy has argued that there is no basis for authorising the killing by abortion of the handicapped unborn. He asks: "Is it essentially that unborn children have a radically more restricted right to life than those who have been born, and that this right is supposed to be disposed of at the wishes of the parents?" He proposes that the reason for abortion's wide acceptance by many is due to "The profound misunderstanding of their humanity, and a denial of their entitlement, as members of the human community, not to be killed even where those who chose to bring about their death do so with a wish to protect them from future suffering" J.J. ...read more.


Abortion was the end result for many of such women; this can only be due to their carelessness. Although the statistics for Irish women's reasons for abortions would have you believe that the majority of them were suicidal, it seems this is not quite true. The suicidal reason was given in many cases, in a bid to guarantee the abortion went ahead when they were to see the doctors during their consultations prior to the abortion. It is therefore clear from studies on the negligence in contraception use, that a re-education of Irish women is necessary, education programs must be administered to girls as young as 11. This would ensure a better understanding of contraception, the availability and use of it and would in turn help in reducing the number of abortions among Irish women. Another important issue is the availability of clinics where young women particularly in rural areas can remain anonymous as oppose to using local surgeries where the doctor resides in their locality. This has discouraged and prevented many young teenagers from seeking contraception and lacking the assistance they required until it was too late. If we have modernised as a nation, as most people will lead us to believe then these issues should not be shrouded in the secrecy that they once were. Throughout my essay I have shown countless arguments for and against abortion. Abortion has been an extremely complicated issue in Ireland, in particular since the 1960's and 1970's. Prior to this period abortion was an issue masked with silence and shame. In my view abortion should be available on the basis of "the right to choose". Many people have their own personal reasons for seeking abortions and those reasons may not be of significance to an outsider but if for any reason a woman herself feels she is unable to cope with the pregnancy and will be unable to cope with a child, the final decision should lie in her hands. ...read more.

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