Ethical Implications of Abortion

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Abortion has and continues to be a controversial topic. Most would argue that every woman should have the right to terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason, because her body and the fetus are one entity. Since termination of a pregnancy or abortion is the status quo within society, most would agree with this consensus. I, however, without properly acknowledging the rights of all the parties involved with abortion (the fetus and father), I do not believe it should be used so freely within society. Since the historic case of Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortion has been the accepted standard within society. With this historic judgment, women within this country are legally able to obtain an abortion up to a certain point during their pregnancy. Most believe that “a pregnant woman and her fetus should never be regarded as separate, independent, and even adversarial, entities” (ACLU, 1996, p.1). But with men gaining an increased roll in child rearing and with medical advancements, the rights of the men and fetus should be considered before abortion is ever considered an option. There is a long and complicated history that goes hand in hand with abortion. The action of performing abortions can be traced back to the early American colonies. Although many religions forbade or even restricted the practice, abortion was not considered illegal in most countries until the 19th century (Boston Women's Health Book Collective, 2005, p.1). Even though abortions became outlawed in the United States, it did not stop women from getting abortions illegally. “By 1965, all fifty states banned abortion, with some exceptions which varied by state: to save the life of the mother, in cases of rape or incest, or if the fetus was deformed” (Boston Women's Health Book Collective, 2005, p.1). Many women worked daily in an effort to have abortion legally available to women. The landmark court case that made an impact for women’s rights on the topic of abortion is Roe v. Wade, one of the most controversial Supreme Court cases in history. Roe v. Wade case established the foundation for abortion rights within the United States stating that laws banning abortion“violate a constitutional right to privacy” (ACLU, 1996, p.1). This case was opposed by many who thought that the fetus was infact a person from conception and therefore has the right to life, but ultimately this viewpoint was overruled in favor of the “pro-abortion” side. The Supreme Court ruled that the decision to legailze abortion is “necessary to preserve women's equality and personal freedom” (ACLU, 1996, p.1). The Supreme Courts decision to legallize abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973 was the spring board for many decades of court cases to try and reverse the decision. Today, there is still great controversy on the topic. Many politicians and ordinary people debate over what their stances on the subject daily. But whose view is morally and ethically correct, Pro-Choice or Pro-Life? Throughout history abortion has remained a topic of extreme controversy and debate. What makes abortion such a controversial topic? “An individual's personal stance on the complex ethical, moral, and legal issues has a strong relationship with the given individual's value system. A person's position on abortion may be described as a combination of their personal beliefs on the morality of induced abortion and the ethical limit of the government's legitimate authority” (Lemos, 2007, p.45). The stances on abortion are split into “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” These groups have opposing viewpoints on the morality, legality and ethics of abortion. Pro-life activists tend to be religious and avid on the rights of the fetus. Their perspective is that from the moment of conception, that is when a fetus is a human being and therefore has a right to life (Kissling, 2004, p.1). Pro- life activists consider abortion murder and want to have it outlawed since they believe murder of any kind is unacceptable. The pro-choice...
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