The debate over the ethics of abortion revolves around the question of whether or not the fetus is a living being, the rights of the pregnant woman as opposed to those of the unborn, and the situations of anguish and suffering that may surround a pregnant woman. Many people argue that abortion is a woman’s individual choice and must therefore be a legal part of society today. As stated in an article entitled “When human life begins is an issue of politics, not biology,” a new law in Texas is aimed at eliminating nearly all abortions within the state (Sarkar, 2021). Access to abortion has long been under attack in the United States. As on September 1, 2021, women in the state of Texas will no longer be able to seek an abortion.
The article points out that criminalizing abortion perpetuates inequalities in society. The resources available to a woman, her location, and even the medical facility where she receives normal treatment all have an impact on her capacity to obtain abortion services (Sarkar, 2021). Teenagers and people living in poverty or rural locations are among the most vulnerable demographics who are most likely to be pushed into having a clandestine abortion in an unsafe place. As such, the solution to these issues would be to legalize but regulate abortion and provide safe environments for people to receive them when necessary.
In the article “When human life begins is a question of politics – not biology” the issues of bioethics in abortion are discussed. The author argues that biology does not dictate when human life begins and answering this topic requires appealing to our ideals and exploring what we consider to be human to be successful (Sarkar, 2021). Perhaps biologists in the future will learn more about this phenomenon. Until then, the subject of when human life begins during prenatal development will continue to be a matter of debate. And it will be up to politicians and judges to formulate policies in response to the question of when life begins and how this affects abortion.
Many Americans have varying views on abortion and the protection of human life, which is why those who oppose abortion rights are aware of this fact. There are others who believe that any discussion of abortion’s constitutionality should be based only on scientific evidence rather than the opinions of those who oppose it. Articles such as this one point out the erroneous logic that underpins this preference for scientific authority and statistics above discussions about human values. Bernard Williams, the late philosopher, has long emphasized that understanding what it is to be human requires more than a scientific understanding. The moment a fertilized cell, embryo, or fetus becomes a human being is unknown to science.
The article can be related to the utilitarian theory that abortion should be morally permissible. Utilitarians can argue that abortion is morally justifiable since women would suffer horrendous repercussions if they did not have the option of having an abortion: Because of the lack of safe and legal contraceptive and abortion options throughout history, women have suffered horribly (Vaughn, 2010). They were often physically handicapped and died young as a result of being forced to bear many children at extremely short intervals. This was a regular occurrence in most pre-twentieth-century countries and much of the Third World at the time. Childbearing causes poverty to worsen raises infant and child mortality rates and places a heavy burden on the resources of both families and governments.
Because no absolute value is placed on human existence in utilitarian theory, it avoids moral questions about the beginning of human life. Because of the importance of “Act Utilitarianism,” which chooses to assess each scenario on its own merits, a woman’s decision to have an abortion and the consequences for her life are entirely up to her (Vaughn, 2010). Utilitarian thinking can be used to analyze occurrences such severe prenatal defects, rape, and financial hardship. Because judgments should not be based solely on the well-being of the person, Rule Utilitarianism advocates for a universally applicable rule about abortion.
The article’s question of whether or not the unborn are to be regarded as a human can be related to Kantian theory. If it is a human, it has inherent value and cannot be used as merely a means to an aim, as is sometimes the case. It cannot be murdered just for the sake of the mother’s convenience or the convenience of society (Vaughn, 2010). However, if the unborn child is not considered a human, abortion would appear to be more easily justifiable. In recognition of the woman’s personhood, she has the right to exercise her autonomy and sovereignty over her own body, which may include choosing to terminate her pregnancy.
Abortion is about giving women the freedom to decide when they want to start a family based on a variety of factors. The government has no business legislating against a woman’s personal preferences. Raising a child is not a simple endeavor, and it needs a lot of time, money, and emotional and social support. Abortion is worse than having an unplanned pregnancy because the child would grow up in an unsuitable and dysfunctional environment that lacks the love and stability that a baby needs. To legislate or not to legislate on abortion is a matter of personal interpretation, and it should not be done. In order for individuals who believe abortion is morally acceptable to have one, it should be offered to those who do not. Prohibiting abortions will not stop the practice; instead, women will resort to unsafe and illegal methods of getting an abortion, so it is preferable to provide them with options that are both safe and legal.
Sarkar, S. (2021). When human life begins is a question of politics – not biology. https://theconversation.com/when-human-life-begins-is-a-question-of-politics-not-biology-165514
Vaughn, L. (2010). Bioethics: Principles, issues, and cases (Vol. 58). New York: Oxford University Press.