CWV 101 Ethical Dilemmas: the Abortion Debate and Consequential Moral Theory
How it works
The debate on abortion has become a public domain for quite some time. There have been diverse views on the case of abortion. For this research paper, I will be using the consequential moral theory to back up my facts on the topic of abortion. Firstly I will talk about the history of abortion, and I will highlight how abortion is being conceptualized amongst different groups of people, cultures, religions, and counties. Followed by the ethical and legal status of abortion.
Then I will argue about the negative or positive effects of abortion on women. Lastly, this research paper will talk about whether abortion should be abolished or not. When does life actually begin? When, if ever, is it right to terminate a pregnancy? These are some of the moral dilemmas that are faced when dealing with the issue of abortion. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. There are many different stands held on the issue of abortion.
Effects of Abortion on Women
On one side is a group opposed to legalizing abortion, arguing that the legalization of abortion would make people more irresponsible. Irresponsibility would lead to more unwanted pregnancies, and the rate of abortion would soar. For those holding a conservative view on abortion, abortion is never acceptable except when necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. In contrast, the liberal view believes that abortion is always ethically acceptable at any point of fetal development and for any reason. Opponents, on the other hand, look at the issue from a moral and a religious point of view.
Religious and Moral Perspectives
They argue that life is sacred and God-given. Only God can take away life and not a human being. For these religious-oriented thinkers, life begins at conception, and the fetus should be viewed as a human being with a right to life (Wells 223). Meanwhile, there are those in the middle that hold the moderate view. They believe that abortion is ethically acceptable up to a certain point of fetal development and that some reasons are acceptable.
Proponents of abortion have always encountered stun reactions from religious leaders and other leaders. Religion views life as sacred, God-given, and that only God can take life away. They have also maintained that life begins at conception, the moment an ovum is fertilized. Terminating a pregnancy is therefore equated to murder and going against God’s commandment that one should not kill (wells 219).
Abortion is a sin from the religious point of view, and those who commit it break God’s commandment (Krook 268). Applying the analogy of the ‘wilderness’ as discussed by Cronon, one would not help thinking that human beings are naturally afraid, and yet their fear is most destructive.
Challenging Moral Grandstanding
The reality is that human beings create reality they live (Cronon, 96). Therefore, in the case of the abortion debate, one would be forgiven for thinking that moral grandstanding is based on certain human fears. However, what people have not realized is that the fears are more damaging than empowering.
In a recent case, President Obama was heckled at a graduation ceremony for medical students over his stand on abortion. Just like the obsession to want to save the wilderness, people want to save unborn babies. However, this is an inclination that is more instinctual than reality or reason driven.
Just as people should realize that wilderness is not what it really seems (Cronon 83), so also should all absolutistic thinkers on abortion realize that all is not what it seems; circumstances are not black or white. The main reason why most women seek to terminate a pregnancy is the fear of the responsibilities that come with the child. Child care is involved and requires responsibility and a financial base to support.
Alternatives to Abortion
Women engage in sex without expecting the outcome to be a pregnancy. Often it occurs when they are least prepared for this responsibility forcing them to seek ways of terminating the pregnancy. Pregnancies occur when we least expect them due to not tuning in and appreciating our nature. If we understood and appreciated who we are, we would know that sex at given times would result in pregnancy. Further, even when using contraceptives, we would understand the associated risks or limitations.
Those proposing abortion, claiming that the babies born when unprepared are unwanted babies, have been encouraged to give out their babies for adoption rather than kill the innocent fetus. Many American families are willing to adopt children and provide them with care. Women who are not ready to take the responsibility of taking care of the children can carry the pregnancy to term and take the children for adoption.
From a humanitarian ground, bearing a child and giving it out for adoption would be a more appropriate action to take rather than “kill.” Church leaders urge the faithful to fight this temptation the same way Jesus struggled and endured the devil’s temptation in the wilderness (Moseley 168)
- Glover, W. B. (1972). Religious Orientations of H. G. Wells. JSTOR.
- Krook, M. L. (2009). Quotas for Women in Politics: Gender and Candidate Selection Reform Worldwide. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Cronon, W. (2012, February 1). Scholarly Authority in a Wikified World. Perspectives on History.