Debates on abortion have been ongoing in every society. Recently, several people have questioned whether it is ethical for governments to legalize abortions. While others consider access to abortion as women’s rights, critics argue that abortion is always wrong and that it should be prohibited.
According to some individuals, abortion should only be permitted under certain conditions (Batchelor, 2002). This paper focuses on abortions related theories and a case study with the aim of bringing into light abortion as a health ethic issue.
According to Don Marquis, it would be morally wrong for Sarah to terminate her pregnancy. In the article Why Abortion is Immoral, Marquis asserts that abortion should only be permitted when a rape case is involved, within the first 2 weeks, and when the pregnancy has been proved to be endangering the life of the mother (Marquis, 1989).
Based on Marquis’ arguments, Sarah would be acting unethically if she terminates her pregnancy given that her fetus is 5 weeks and that it does not endanger her life. According to Marquis, abortion cases should be treated as murder cases except under the situations he outlined above.
He asserts that taking a life of a fetus is unethical just as it is morally wrong to take a life of an adult. All through his article, he argues that the killing of a fetus should be understood from analyzing the effects of death to an adult person. He believes that abortion dispossess a fetus’ valued life.
Even though the pregnancy will interfere with her studies, she should note that the fetus’ future life is more valuable than the time lost in her studies. Equally, she can continue with her studies after giving birth. Given the consequences and risks associated with abortion, it would be wrong for her to terminate her pregnancy.
Unlike Marquis, Susan Sherwin argues that every woman should be allowed to access an abortion. In this perspective, Sarah is morally correct to terminate her pregnancy. According to her, abortion issues should be treated as other issues such as inequality and other social issues that undermine the welfare of women.
She argues that fetuses should not be considered as people since they have not developed sufficiently in social affiliations. To avoid cases of abortion, Sherwin suggests that government and other relevant bodies should empower women so that they do not opt for abortion. She believes that if poverty is tackled by ensuring that women access equal employment opportunities, very few incidences of abortion would be reported.
Though fetuses are not fully developed as adults, Sherwin should note that fetuses are the foundations of our future generations. Therefore, just as we struggle to eliminate the challenges that endanger our future lives we should also struggle to tackle issues that endanger fetuses’ future lives.
From the two theories analyzed above and Kantianism, Utilitarianism, and Care Ethics theories, it is apparent that the abortion issue will remain a controversial issue both in our societies and in the healthcare contexts.
Despite the controversies, I believe that Marquis rather than Sherwin’s arguments are appropriate. Unlike Marquis, Sherwin believes that abortion should only be limited to instances where the fetus endangers the life of a mother or instances where rape cases were involved.
Batchelor, E. (2002). Abortion, the moral issues. New York: Pilgrim Press.
Marquis, D. (1989). Why Abortion is Immoral. Journal of Philosophy, 86. (1), 183-202.