Is Abortion Immoral?
In Carol Levine’s book, Taking Sides, the debate discussing whether abortion is considered immoral or not raises questions about the relationship between law, society, and ethics. When discussing abortion, there are typically two polar opposite views in which to categorize the argument: the pro-life view and the pro-choice view. From a conservative point of view, the “pro-life” stance is one that sees abortion as the taking of an innocent life of a child. The pro-lifers would also argue that life begins at conception and are in favor of supporting the life of the child in the womb. However, abortion has been legal since 1973. “The 1973 Supreme court decision of Roe v. Wade declared that a woman has a constitutional right to privacy, which includes an abortion.” (p 121) Even though abortion is legalized, it does not make the choice to abort the child morally right. “Patrick Lee and Robert P. George conclude that being a mother generates a special responsibility and that the sacrifice morally required of the mother is less burdensome than the harm that would be done to the child, causing his or her death, to escape responsibility.” (p 121)
The first question to be raised is whether the human embryo/fetus should be considered a complete human being or not. The human embryo is considered to be distinct from any cell of both the mother and of the father because it is growing in its own direction. The human embryo is obviously human, with DNA characteristic of human beings. Most importantly, the human embryo is a complete organism even though it is said to be an immature one. “Rather, an embryo (and fetus) is a human being at a certain (early) stage of development---the embryonic (or fetal) stage.” (p 123) Therefore, it is arguably said that aborting the child, at any term, is considered feticide and objectively immoral. “In abortion, what is killed is a human being, a whole living member of the species homo sapiens, the same kind of entity as...
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