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The only situation which would justify abortion would be to save the mothers life. Discuss this statement.

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"The only situation which would justify abortion would be to save the mother's life." Discuss this statement When analysing this statement, there are several different factors that should be taken into consideration, these are: women's rights, personhood, the sanctity of life and the normative ethical theory. Abortion is and always has been an extremely controversial subject and there have been many laws and acts enforced however even today there is still a lot of discrepancy over the issue. Firstly, there is the issue of women's rights. These rights form a large part of the general issue of abortion. Many perceive abortion in terms of the foetus, not the women, her life and her place in society. There was a famous feminist philosopher called Ellen Willis who believed that under all circumstances women should have complete control over their own lives and their bodies, "can it be moral, under any circumstances, to make a woman bear a child against her will?" In a case called 'defence of abortion' in 1971, Judith Jarvis Thomson said that in cases whereby women are pregnant against their own will, i.e. ...read more.


If this is agreed with, then women have the right to make the decision as to what they think is best for themselves and for the foetus, this can potentially inhibit the extinction of the foetus. A feminist called Christine Overall thinks that it is immoral not to respect the personal preferences of the mother for several reasons. Firstly, it is a violation of the mother's autonomy to keep the foetus alive if that's not what she wants. As a mother, she is the only person that is in the right position to make the decision that she thinks is right. The final aspect of the women's rights is the pill. This is another crucial and important issue. It has always been a big debate. Feminists approve of the pill for many reasons, some being that it is a lot easier as it is not a medical procedure. Also, the fact that the pill is widely available makes it more appealing too, not only that but it is relatively cheap. ...read more.


The final aspect of personhood is enduring self. Religious reject John Locke's views as they believe that he fails to recognise the uniqueness of humans. A theory put forward is, memories can be lost, i.e. through amnesia, so if you have amnesia does that make you a completely different person too? The enduring self view holds that there is a difference between physicality and soul as the soul is made from a different substance to the body. Supporters of this view are dualists such as Plato. This issue is important to the abortion debate, when a foetus becomes a person it is then regarded as extremely vital they are protected in the same way as we are. If the foetus is not yet considered as a person, then the issue of abortion is dependant upon other aspects, for example the state of mind of the mother. Thirdly, another key aspect to consider are the Sanctity of Life arguments, this issue centres around the issue of how the value of a persons life is decided. The idea of sacred life is one that has spread through religions, but sanctity of life appears in secular ethical traditions. ...read more.

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