The Ethics Involved in the Abortion Issue

Topics: Abortion, Ethics, Abortion debate Pages: 6 (2596 words) Published: October 17, 2006
The Abortion issue is a very complex and widely debated issue. Not only is the question of whether abortion is murder or not but there is a whole rang of sub issues within the debate with no general consensus on it. As for the claim above it is regarded as the classic conservative view and is also comparable to some religious views on the subject.

The text book offers the best critical analysis of this view but stops short in discussing a true multi-discipline ethical approach to the subject. L.W. Sumner's "Toward a Credible View of Abortion" gives a very clear and persuasive argument as to why the conservative or homicide argument is fundamentally flawed. Sumner points out that if this extreme view was taken literally then for the conclusion that the deliberate killing of any human under any circumstances must also be reassessed. State killings, warfare, political killings and criminal killings should all be treated in the same manner as abortions and considered murder, why should the fetus be considered any different? An important word left out of the claim above is the word innocent. Many pro-life advocates use this word before unborn child or person to justify killing the non innocent mentioned above. Another hypothetical point the author makes is whether women on the pill or IUD should be considered a probable killer much like a terrorist who plants random bombs in public places? Sumner goes on to talk about how far back the homicide argument is willing to go, after conception the sperm and ovum form a zygote, a microscopic single cell. This zygote cannot reasonable be justified as a human being and if it is should we then prosecute all scientist who experiment with these zygote's as murders? Not only do these cases of aborting a zygote raise questions on weather or not it is murder, it also raises the question of what is a human or a person . Sumner goes on to conclude that if we agree with the above points and that the development of the fetus has to be taken into account, because the homicide augment fails to do so it makes the whole argument false. A key word left out of the claim above is the word innocent. Many pro-life advocates use this word before unborn child or person to justify killing the non innocent mentioned above. It is important to look not just in the middle of the argument like Sumner did but to also look at it from all ethical perspectives, the first and most important being feminist ethics. The text book again uses another essay that completely debunks the claim above. Susan Sherwin's "Abortion Through a Feminist Ethics Lens" argues one of the most prominent, and over looked disciplines in ethics, the feminist ethics. In the abortion argument many philosophers have an opinion, doctors have an opinion and judges have an opinion but the problem with these people and there opinions are that most are males. A female perspective cannot be overlooked under any circumstances. The statement above is an evident example of someone who completely over looked the absolute right of the women over their own bodies and even her own liberal rights. Sherwin also continues to explain the difference between the liberal view and the feminist view on abortion. She reminds us that the liberal view often "focuses exclusively on the morality and/or legality of performing abortions, whereas feminists insist that other questions, including ones about accessibility and delivery of abortion services must also be addressed." In 1973 the US courts decision in Roe v. Wade in a precedent setting case marked the first time the feminist perspective was recognized and the constitutional right to privacy was found broad enough for a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. In Canada R. v. Morgentaler was the precedent setting case and it found that the old abortion laws violated section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which states: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the...
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