At present it is evident that the topic that elicits endless and hot debates is the topic of abortion. As a result there are two groups, pro-choice movement and pro-life movement supporting and opposing abortion respectively. Although there are various definitions for abortion, I will define abortion as a safe medical procedure aimed at early termination of pregnancy (Thomson 6).
Statistics show that more and more women are carrying out abortion; in those countries where it is not legalized, women are forced to hide the fact of abortion (Boonin 92). They are compelled to do it in hospitals that do not have qualified personnel and necessary equipment. This ultimately results in serious health complications.
Based on the arguments of Mills who brought forth the concept of utilitarianism and greatest good for the greatest number of people, abortion should be considered to be right in certain circumstances. For instance, if a woman from a given community is raped and gets pregnant, it is worth noting that the woman and the unborn child will be called names and scolded; this ultimately depicts a bad picture of that society (Boonin 34).
Since there is no one who wishes to be called bad names, it would be rational to support abortion in this case since it will bring happiness not only to the woman but also the entire community. It has been shown that women who get pregnant from illegal acts such as rape, incest more often than not undergo serious psychological harm as compared to their victims particularly when they continue carrying the pregnancy and later in life when the child is born (Thomson 17).
The question arises whether a woman should give birth when indeed she is living in extreme poverty. In my humble opinion, a decision to medically terminate the pregnancy is a lesser evil compared to bringing the child into this world where he or she will not be provided with enough food, clothing, education, parental care and medical care.
This can be exemplified by the happening in developing countries where there is increasing number of street children and street families. This could not be the case if these women had an option of legally terminating the pregnancy (Thomson 22).
On the same line of reasoning, ethics and laws of the land advocate for personal freedom and privacy. This is where an individual is allowed to decide the course of his or her life. This is very important in terms of human civil rights. For this reason a pregnant woman is the one who knows what is happening in her body. If she concludes that she is not capable of bearing the stresses associated with pregnancy, then she needs to have a choice of either carrying the pregnancy or terminating it. When the law does not allow her to procure an abortion this amounts to serious violation of her right to basic freedom (Boonin 23).
As suggested by Thomson 12 another scenario is when doctors have shown that the unborn child is suffering from serious health complications and he or she will not lead a normal life. In this situation, it would amount to subjecting the mother and family to serious financial burden as well as stress in paying medical bills for the rest of the child’s life. In my view, it would be better to terminate such a pregnancy. Abortion should be legalized since there is increased a number of unsafe abortion which put the lives of women in danger.
Boonin, David. 2003. A Defense of Abortion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Print.
Thomson, Jarvis. A Defense of Abortion. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1.1 (1971): 47-66. Print.