Abortion has become one of the most noxious, controversial, and disturbing issues that many societies continue to grapple with. Most of the groups involved in this debate present scientific, legal, ethical, and moral arguments to either oppose or support the practice. Due to the nature of this debate, many people have presented meaningful insights that will dictate its future. This essay discusses and explains why all debates about abortion do not always boil down to the fetus’ moral status.
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All arguments about abortion do not come down to the question of what is the moral status of the fetus since there are other aspects involved, including the health conditions of the mother, the fetus’s ability to survive outside the womb, ethical issues, father’s rights, and infanticide.
Abortion has remained a legal practice in the United States since the year 1973. Although existing laws outline specific situations whereby the process is permissible, the topic has remained controversial. Although most of the arguments revolve around the moral status of the fetus, there are others that are informed by various concerns or issues. Questions founded on this aspect seek to describe whether people should treat fetuses as human beings with moral liberties, statuses, and responsibilities or not (Smyth and Lane 117). Those who support abortion acknowledge that unborn babies lack such rights despite the fact they are biologically human. Those opposed to it indicate that people should not ignore the moral statuses of fetuses.
Conservatives propose that all embryos have identifiable or unique genetic codes. According to Frederico et al., all attempts aimed at placing the beginning of humanity at any given stage after conception are inappropriate since such developments must be allowed to take place (334). This means that the ethical or moral positions of all unborn babies should be supported.
The abortion debate goes further to focus on other critical aspects that are different from the fetus’ moral status. Firstly, many people will cite the health of the would-be-mother whenever supporting this practice (Marecek et al. 9). They will argue that abortion is essential when the woman’s life is endangered by her pregnancy. Terminating it through abortion can protect such a person from premature death or medical complications. The second aspect is the rights of the father. Any decision to support or oppose this practice should be guided by the father’s position.
This debate will be inconclusive without considering the fetuses’ ability to survive outside the womb. Some people might support abortion if there are appropriate conditions for the embryo and the unborn child that will guarantee continued existence (Smyth and Lane 118). This means that the topic has been expanded beyond the fetus’ moral status. Another issue many people take seriously is that of ethics. This expansion of the concept of morality deals with the question of what actions ought to be wrong or right. Under this argument, those against abortion would state that it defies the utilitarian and deontological principles (Smyth and Lane 118). Finally, the subject of infanticide also emerges whenever addressing this debate.
Objections and Responses
Several objections to the above arguments will emerge since there are specific groups that acknowledge that all discussions and debates about abortion come down to the question of the fetus’s moral status. They will assert that pregnant women and medical experts providing similar services will consider the stage at which the unborn child will have moral privileges (Marecek et al. 11). Some will go further to indicate that the issue of personhood is what matters whenever addressing this discussion. According to them, prolife and pro-choice individuals will consider this aspect of morality before making their decisions.
Although these objectives appear valid, it is irrefutable that there are other critical concerns that debaters, religious leaders, liberalists, and conservatives will always raise. They will present various notions to either support or reject abortion (Frederico et al. 339). Some of them will include the rights of the father, the health of the would-be-mother, infanticide, and ethical questions.
From the above analysis and discussion, it is evident that the abortion topic is complex and will always go beyond the fetus’ moral status. This is true since those who are against or in support of the practice will raise numerous issues, including the rights of the mother and the father, problems of infanticide, ethical grounds, and the fetus’ ability to survive after the process. With a proper understanding of the above problems, many people will approach this dilemma from an informed perspective.
Frederico, Mónica, et al. “Factors Influencing Abortion Decision-Making Processes among Young Women.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 15, no. 2, 2018, pp. 329-341.
Marecek, Jeanne, et al. “Abortion in Legal, Social, and Healthcare Contexts.” Feminism & Psychology, vol. 27, no. 1, 2017, pp. 4-14.
Smyth, Dawn, and Paula Lane. “Abortion in Modern Health Care: Considering the Issues for Health‐Care Professionals.” International Journal of Nursing Practice, vol. 22, no. 2, 2016, pp. 115-120.