An Abortion Is the Deliberate Killing of a Human Being

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Biomedical Ethics PHIL 235 EC
Sunday April 16th, 2006


"An abortion is the deliberate killing of a human being. As such, it is a murder. When you kill an unborn child, you rob it of its whole future life. Therefore it is never morally permissible and it should be illegal." Critically assess that claim.

Abortion is one of the most controversial and frequently debated topics in the world. The fact that the topic involves a persons right to choice, the ethical and moral question of what's right or wrong as well as what the definition of murder constitutes, it can easily be rejected or approved by a wide variety of people depending on their personal beliefs. Over the past few generations there have been much advancement in women's liberation and their right to choice. They have been granted the right to vote, females are much more accepted and now even welcomed into the workforce, they have the right to an education, and there are much more women in business and politics now than there ever was. Unfortunately, due to the many ethical issues that are brought up in the abortion debate, the fight for women's rights has not yet been settled. It has been suggested that abortion should not only be banned, but that the act of aborting a child should be considered as equally harmful as murder as it is suggested to be the deliberate killing of a human child. This paper will argue that allowing women the right to abortion is vital to their rights as a human being and their self determination. Furthermore it will explain that the ethical issues when dealing with abortion should not be solely focused on what is right or wrong but based on circumstance of the conception and whether or not the woman is prepared to bear a child. "Millions of women throughout the world live in conditions of abject deprivation of, and attacks against, their fundamental human rights for no other reason than that they are women." Our right to freedom is what we as a society have strived for over the centuries. Self determination is essentially allowing us the freedom and liberty to do what we want with our lives. It is essentially allowing a person the choice of whether to live or to die. As stated in the course notes in the debate of R. vs. Morgentaler, where section 251 of the criminal code was struck down, the principle issue raised by appeal was whether the abortion provision of the Criminal Code infringes the "right to life, liberty, and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice". Over the years women have made significant advancements in the fight for equality between the rights of men and women for which we fought so hard for. Yet now when a woman wants the right to determine what she can do with her body, she is criticized and attacked. In the principle of human rights women should have the right to ultimately decide how they choose to carry themselves and how they decide to live. Having a baby is a huge decision, and every consideration should be taken so that the right choice is made. Because only women have opportunity to carry a child the responsibility when it comes to abortion is most often placed on them. It is unfair to give a person such a huge responsibility without allowing her to decide whether or not she is ready for it. "A woman needs to desire very much to be a mother, so that she can be able to willingly tolerate the sacrifices, discomforts and risks that result from gestation and childbirth." Many people argue that a woman has a choice whether or not to keep the child, and if unwanted, she could carry it to term, and then give it up for adoption. It is often neglected however, how difficult a pregnancy can actually be and what one has to go through during the process. Quite often women are forced to sacrifice schooling, work and relationships during a pregnancy. This will depend on whether or not they can...
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