Abortion: Ethical or Not?

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TOK Essay: Moral Issues

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To what extent does reasoning influence the morality of abortion?

“Abortion” and “morality” are words that have been the center of many debates for the past decades. Abortion, for the purpose of this essay, is the voluntary act of the mother to create a means of end for the feotus inside her. Many people have argued over the justification of the actions of a woman who is willing to terminate her pregnancy. Many would say that abortion is morally wrong but others also perceive that it can be morally justifiable. The problem in deciding the morality of abortion does not lie on finding an accepted principle, but in determining the relevant factors that affects an individual’s perception of abortion.  

Many people in society conclude that abortion is always wrong and therefore is unacceptable. One of the main premises of this argument is that the feotus within the womb of the mother is a human being and has the rights to life.  Since the feotus is regarded as a human being, its intentional killing during pregnancy can be seen as murder. Murder, according to the law, is wrong and therefore, states that abortion is wrong.  Don Marquis states that circumstances, such as premature death of a human being, where a person is deprived of future experiences are wrong. Although he points out that abortion is not the same as premature death, he claims that they are both wrong since abortion obstructs the feotus from experiencing life and having a “future like ours” likewise as a premature death would deprive a human being of a future life.

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“The claim that the primary wrong- making feature of a killing is the loss to the victim of the value of its future has obvious consequences for the ethics of abortion. The future of a standard foetus includes a set of experiences, projects, activities, and such which are identical with the futures of adult human beings and are identical with the futures of young children. Since the reason that is sufficient to explain why it is wrong to kill human beings after the time of birth is a reason that also applies to feotuses, it follows that abortion is prima ...

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