Is terminating a pregnancy morally justified? Abortion has always been a major hot topic in the United States, and rightly so since abortion happens to be a matter of religion, politics, science, and human rights. This issue touches upon the core of every human’s principles, and whether it is well thought out, or little thought of; most U.S. citizens do claim to be either pro-life or pro-choice. This means they are for the unborn fulfilling its life, or alternatively, giving the mother the right to choose. The question that cannot seem to be answered is the one at the core of the issue, which if ever answered, might once and for all lay the matter to rest. Is the unborn a moral entity that holds value to the extent of a human being? The response is a lot more complicated than a simple yes or no. Although the unborn, once conceived, has the potential for life, biologically the fetus does not begin to “live” until the second trimester. An abortion is “the termination of the unborn as a result of its destruction” (Arechavaleta). There is an open ended amount of reasons to terminate the fetus within its mother’s womb. A spontaneous abortion is one outside of the mother’s choice in the form of miscarriage. This holds no ethical implications because it is beyond a choice, whether from neglect or natural causes. A therapeutic abortion is normally a professional’s medical response to terminate for reasons of risk to the health of either the mother or the fetus. This holds very little critical judgment from the public or from the ethical world because it is for a legitimate reason. The elective abortion is one in which there is a deliberate intent to destroy the unborn for personal reasons. This form of termination is the one that raises great concerns in the field of ethics. Americans tend to divide human life into two fields. The first is from conception to birth. The second is birth to death. But human life in fact goes through many stages of development, particularly in the first field. There is a point from conception to birth where the fetus is only the potential for life before it is an actual living entity within the womb. There are several items of criteria to determine whether something is a living being. Not one but all of the items must be present on the checklist to establish that something is a being or an object. Firstly, it must take in nourishment. It is only by week two after conception that the umbilical cord is formed. Before that the fetus only absorbs the nutrients from the mother’s body just like any other part belonging to the body. Secondly, to determine life, something must have the capacity to excrete waste. Once again this begins in week two for a human fetus. A living being must have the capacity to grow. The fetus does indeed begin growing from the moment of its creation. Next, the being must be able to establish homeostasis. This means one’s internal environment must be regulated. The fetus is one hundred percent dependent on its carrier like a parasite. All if its bodily roles can only function by its attachment to the mother for the full term of pregnancy. Furthermore, the fetus does not have a heartbeat, backbone, or nervous system until the third week and the brain begins to form only in the fourth week. Most importantly, all human beings must be able to breathe. The fetus uses the umbilical cord to receive oxygen but will not use its own lungs until moments after birth. Because the unborn is not in a stable and constant condition for these reasons, it cannot entirely achieve homeostasis. A being must be able to reproduce as a condition for life. The fetus, if a female will not be able to reproduce until its maturity well after birth. Even if it became a male, reproduction processes are only available after further development out of the womb. The sex of the fetus is not even determined until the seventh month in the third trimester of...
Cited: Arechavaleta, Miguel. "Contemporary Moral Issue: Abortion." Ethics and Critical Thinking. Miami Dade College, Miami. 06 Oct. 2010. Lecture.
Kant, Immanuel translated by James W. Ellington  (1993). Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals 3rd ed. Hackett. p. 30. Print.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document