Explain the ethical responses to abortion

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Explain the ethical responses to abortion

I will be explain how a balance of absolutist and relativist ethical theories would respond to abortion. Relativist theories such as Utilitarianism and situation ethics allow abortion in some circumstances. Whereas Kantian ethics and Natural Law are absolute and say abortion is wrong in any circumstance.

Bentham’s Act Utilitarianism is teleological and would look at how much pleasure would result from a woman having an abortion. Bentham would measure the pleasure with his Hedonic Calculus. If the pleasure outweighs the pain, then an abortion would be acceptable. For Mill, individual sovereign was important, meaning a person has the right over their own body. He was a weak Rule Utilitarianism. Rule Utilitarians believe in making rules that lead to happiness. On one hand this may include giving the right of abortion to all women. However in certain circumstances you could argue that a rule denying a woman the right to abortion would lead to more happiness. For example, the guilt of an abortion could be outweighed by the joy of bringing new life into the world.

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One form of Christian ethics is Josephs Fletcher’s Situation ethics. Situation ethics hold agape or love as the most important factor in decision making. In some situations Fletcher may say that although murder is wrong, sometimes we must look past laws in order to do what is right. Therefore in some situations we need abortion because it can be the most loving thing to do. For example, it is loving to offer an abortion to a rape victim.

Kantian ethics is deontological and absolute. Firstly Kant would ask whether the maxim of abortion can be universal. The universal law ‘everybody ...

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