Moral & Legal Justifications of Abortion

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PHL 126-01
10/31/12

“Congratulations! You are having a baby!!”

“Pregnant”, a little disyllabic noun, but it has one of the biggest implications, especially with words ending with suffix –lee. Geographically, a pregnancy intended to be kept full-term could be a good or bad thing; for example, in China, where population size is being somewhat monitored, a second or third pregnancy would cause alarm, and potential sanctions. Religiously, it would prove pre-marital sex, which is not encouraged till marriage in some religions. Financially, it would require smarter expenditure in order to prioritize on the incoming baby’s needs. Most importantly however, emotionally, it could bring great join to the expecting parent(s) or great distress. Laughter and tears of happiness would probably be expected from a woman or couple who had grim odds of reproducing, but what about the teen mom-to-be? Or the busy workaholic? According to the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (M.C.C.L.), a pro-life group, about 54,559,615 U.S. abortions have been reported, since it was legalized in the U.S. in 1973 to 2011. Of this astounding number, less than 2% of women who aborted their fetuses say they became pregnant as a result of rape or incest. So what goes through the mind of those who ultimately decide to have an abortion? In what situations should abortion be allowed based on reviewing the moral and legal implications? Legally, abortion should be allowed in a case where the mother-to-be is mentally unstable or not yet mature mentally. In most situations, physical care of the fetus wholly falls on the mother when it is still at a fetal stage and most of the emotional and further physical care of the child after birth falls on her too. It does not make any sense to not give a slightly pregnant woman dealing with a mental disorder the option of abortion. Even though she should have reasoned out before winding up pregnant that she was not quite qualified to be a mother, the reality of the situation is that it happened, and if she ( or her loved ones, in this case) believes she really cannot take care of the baby, she should abort. What if she does not remember to take her pre-natal vitamins or eat healthier and avoid alcohol and drugs during her pregnancy? Those actions definitely hurt the innocent fetus mentally and physically in ways that may not be observed until they become alive. Dangers caused just by smoking during pregnancy include the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (S.I.D.S.), increased chances of miscarriages, and increased chances of birth defects such as cleft palate. What about mentally unstable women who have to raise their kid on their won, but could forget to get their children the appropriate shots, or try to give them the shots at home, or create an unstable home environment for their children by their constant delusions or mood swings, just to name a few? My point is; forcing such a woman to keep her pregnancy ultimately would gravely hurt the innocent child, some of whom might not bounce back after such a rough introduction to life. Is it worth repeating the cycle that much? Of course there is the option of Foster Care, but at what point do individuals have to take responsibility for their actions? Secondly, and despite the fact of sounding cliché, abortion would be a smart move legally and morally in extreme cases because they do occur. By extreme cases I mean a) rape; whereby the woman not only lost her right to say no, but wound up pregnant. Should she keep it, knowing fully that she cannot dissociate her feelings of shame and anger from affecting a potential relationship with the child she might deliver? She has a legal window of 7-9 weeks in the U.S. to make and carry out an abortion decision, and she will decide by then definitely, but at least she has the option to abort. Another case would be non-consensual incest that leads to pregnancy. Incest is morally shunned because it is a bad thing, but while the man...
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