“Abortion Decisions: Personal Morality”
Daniel Callahan has his own opinions on the idea of abortion. While he believes that abortion is similar to the act of taking a human life, he states that in several situations, it may be justifiable.
a) There are many problems which arise when people try to deduce whether or not they are actually taking a human life. Callahan believes that biological evidence would not help approve or disapprove when the beginning of life is for the fetus. The decision would depend on factors such as one’s moral policy, the values and rights one believes need balancing, and the type of questions one needs to be asked. The “tissue theory” implies that a developed human conceptus and even a human zygote are considered to be mere pieces of tissue. Callahan believes the theory to only be plausible with disregard of the biological evidence provided. Furthermore, since the zygote or something related can be considered a potential human, out of respect for the sanctity of life, the thought of snuffing out a potential human life is enough to cause a moral dilemma. b) For Callahan, respect for human life may imply that abortion would be the wrong thing action to take. This is due to the idea that the fetus may be a potential human, and when viewing it from a perspective in which you are observing its potential through the growth and development of the child, one can see that this may be a moral issue. Even if development in the future allows a way to destroy the conceptus before it can develop safely, many would still feel that the moral dilemma remained. This can be compared to crushing a flower before it is allowed to bloom. c) Callahan’s view of the permissibility of abortion relies on the reason for doing so. Callahan believes that the reasons should be serious enough for the woman that it actually warrants abortion as a sound alternative. As he states, “a woman has moral obligations to herself, her family, and her society.” It is believed...
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