Abortion from a Utilitarian View

Topics: Pregnancy, Abortion, Abortion law Pages: 7 (2588 words) Published: November 17, 2011

This paper expresses the viewpoint of a Utilitarian and how they would look at abortion. This paper illustrates there should be a right to choose what you should be able to do in regards to abortion and uses the term “reproductive freedom”. Contained within are statistics on social and economic benefits of abortion and the Utilitarian viewpoint for abortion is explained.

Abortion is an essential part of living in the modern world. Today, we expect people to be able to identify what sex is and what procreation is. They are not the same. To enjoy it as an expression of love, intimacy and desire is different from the sole purpose of making a baby. We also can expect to have the ability to plan our future families. Contraception works for most people most of the time when it is used or having it’s theories applied. But, we are fallible, and our judgments sometimes are not clear. Sex, by its very nature, can be passionate and impulsive, it is not always planned or prepared for. Family planning demands that abortion be made available as a backup when contraception has failed. When mistakes happen for a variety of reasons and the woman becomes pregnant, options to amend and/or end the pregnancy should be available. Abortion is a sensitive topic that requires a considerable amount of understanding when addressing the reasons and ethics behind it. I support abortion as a supervised medical procedure, performed by qualified medical personnel, used as a means to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. My justification for abortion stems from a rule-utilitarianism standpoint (Utilitarianism.com, 1¶, 2010). When using the rule-utilitarian consequentialist principle of ethics (Utilitarianism.com, 1¶, 2010), we establish a set of general morals and rules in which we can apply to every moral question based upon our findings. When we take this and apply it to abortion, we see that abortion is completely ethical and can provide for the greatest amounts of good for the greatest amounts of people. In society these days, Utilitarianism is the name of the game. From Recycling plastics, metal and paper, to cutting down on our eco-footprint, the basis of Utilitarianism is still the same; the philosophy of the greatest good for the greatest amount, is one of the basic building blocks of the society. Utilitarianism in general is based on the empirical evidence that has widespread acceptance. By looking at the medical and social health benefits of abortion, we can come to the conclusion that it is ethical on the basis that it spreads happiness amongst a great number of people. The following statistics reflect the social, physical, and emotional benefits of abortion According to the CDC, “Specialized surveys indicate that most abortions are elective. In one U.S. study, women on average gave 3.7 reasons for obtaining an abortion, with 76% choosing concern about how having a baby could change their lives” (CDC, 4¶, 2006). This shows that women choosing abortions do think of consequences ahead of time, regardless of how safe or protective their measures with their sexual activity were. I do support abortion but not as an alternate use for contraceptive devices. I think that it is incredibly irresponsible to use a medical procedure as birth control. My thinking should reflect that I like having the option of the procedure open but with a few restrictions placed on the moral side of the argument. I do stand by my opinion that I support all medically supervised abortions, in the physical sense. What I mean by this is, I support all abortions regardless of the length or pregnancy, age restrictions or religious beliefs. Half of all pregnancies in the U.S. each year are unintended, and about half of these are terminated by medically safe, legal abortions. In 2000, 1.31 million abortions took place, down from an estimated 1.61 million in 1990. From 1973 through 2000, more than 39 million...
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