Ethical Paper on Abortion

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  • Topic: Abortion, Pregnancy, Fetus
  • Pages : 5 (1810 words )
  • Download(s) : 646
  • Published : July 23, 2011
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What is abortion? An abortion is a medical or surgical procedure used to terminate a pregnancy. A medical abortion is an abortion that is brought about by taking medications that will end a pregnancy. (1) A Surgical abortion is an abortion which ends a pregnancy by emptying the uterus (or womb) with special instruments. (1) Some of the reasons for a woman to get an abortion may be that they can't afford a/another child, health reason of the child's or her own safety, social reasons such as unwanted child or not ready for having a child, and rape or incest. Abortions performed in the seven to nine weeks of the first trimester are medical abortions. (2) All abortions after nine weeks are surgical abortions. Surgical abortions are performed from week six to 21, and any abortion after 21 weeks is very rare; less than ”2% of abortions are provided at 21 weeks or after, and they are extremely rare after 26 weeks of pregnancy. Very few abortions are provided in the third trimester, and they are generally limited to cases of severe fetal abnormalities or situations when the life or health of the pregnant woman is seriously threatened.” (3)

In this essay I will compare the articles of Leonard Peikoff and Kerby Anderson on the topic of abortion. Leonard Peikoff is Pro-Choice, which is in favor of the women's right to chose to have an abortion. Kerby Anderson is Pro-Life, which is opposed to the women's right to chose to have an abortion in favor of the rights of the fetus to live.

In Abortion Rights are Pro-Life by Leonard Peikoff, he states throughout his article that an embryo or fetus is not a human and is part of a woman. The mother has the right to decide what she wants to do with her body. Here are a few sections from his article that help describe his viewpoint upon abortion. "The status of the embryo in the first trimester is the basic issue that cannot be sidestepped. The embryo is clearly pre-human; only the mystical notions of religious dogma treat this clump of cells as constituting a person." (4) "We must not confuse potentiality with actuality. An embryo is a potential human being. It can, granted the woman's choice, develop into an infant. But what it actually is during the first trimester is a mass of relatively undifferentiated cells that exist as a part of a woman's body. (4) "That tiny growth, that mass of protoplasm, exists as a part of a woman's body. It is not an independently existing, biologically formed organism, let alone a person. That which lives within the body of another can claim no right against its host. Rights belong only to individuals, not to collectives or to parts of an individual." (4) One thing that can help with this point of view is by taking for instance a parasite such as a tapeworm. A rather crude comparison, but it is not a human being although it is dependant to one; it could not live outside a host's body. Even though it is not a human being there are medical and surgical procedures to terminate the parasite, but it is up to the choice of the host to ride oneself of them or not.

Peikoff uses very clear language and does not use any slang or jargon throughout the article and the sentence structure is well done and does transition well. However, there is a large amount of propaganda such as "Anti-abortionists are not lovers of life--lovers of tissue, maybe. But their stand marks them as haters of real human beings." Another example of his propaganda is " The anti-abortionists' attitude, however, is: "The actual life of the parents be damned! Give up your life, liberty, property and the pursuit of your own happiness."". Neither of these statements has been made by anti-abortionist, yet he makes the assertion that this is their ideology and motives against abortion. (4) The way he writes this essay he uses a slightly biased, dogmatic, and technical tone. Although he does use good medical and technical terms to describe what an embryo is, he use a dogmatic tone to...
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