Abortion is a Serious Ethical Issue:
Usually debates about abortion focus on politics and the law: should abortion be outlawed and treated like the murder of a human person, or remain a legal choice available to all women? Behind the debates are more fundamental ethical questions which aren’t always given the specific attention they deserve. Some believe that the law shouldn’t legislate morality, but all good law is based upon moral values. A failure to openly discuss those values can obscure important discussions. Is the Fetus a Person with Rights?:
Much debate about the legality of abortion involves debating the legal status of the fetus. If the fetus is a person, anti-choice activists argue, then abortion is murder and should be illegal. Even if the fetus is a person, though, abortion may justified as necessary to women’s bodily autonomy — but that wouldn’t mean that abortion is automatically ethical. Perhaps the state can’t force women to carry pregnancies to term, but it could argue that it is the most ethical choice. Does the Woman have Ethical Obligations to the Fetus?:
If a woman consented to sex and/or didn’t properly use contraception, then she knew that pregnancy might result. Being pregnant means having a new life growing inside. Whether the fetus is a person or not, and whether the state takes a position on abortion or not, it’s arguable that a woman has some sort of ethical obligation to the fetus. Perhaps this obligation isn’t strong enough to eliminate abortion as an option, but it may be enough to limit when abortion can be ethically chosen. Does Abortion Treat the Fetus in an Unethical, Callous Way?: Most debates on the ethics of abortion focus on whether the fetus is a person. Even if it is not a person, however, this doesn’t mean that it can’t have any moral standing. Many people object to abortions later in pregnancy because they intuitively feel that there is something too human about a fetus which looks so much like a baby....
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