Abortion is a divisive and complicated issue that poses moral and ethical concerns. According to Bernstein and Manata (2019), abortion is when the fetus is terminated before birth. Several scholars have made arguments for and against abortion. This essay seeks to provide an understanding of the morality of abortion.
Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Abortion
According to Romanis (2023), Abortion attitudes have changed over time and between civilizations. The practice has been legally accepted in some nations and outlawed in others (Bernstein & Manata, 2019). Countries such as Albania, Canada, and Australia legally allow abortion, while nations such as Egypt, Jamaica, and Iraq. Even though abortion is considered to be illegal in these countries, it is allowed in permitted in situations that are considered to be lifesaving.
Culture and religion are other factors that significantly affect how abortion is viewed. Different denominations have different views on the morality of abortion (Romanis, 2023). The catholic denomination deems abortion a sin and advocates against the practice. The Muslim denomination only allows abortion to be carried out under certain conditions.
Ethical and Moral Theories and Abortion
The morality of abortion can be examined using ethical and moral theories. Utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics are three important ethical philosophies. The utilitarianism theory considers an act good if it increases happiness or pleasure (Lane & Robert, 2022). In this case, the pain and suffering the reduce. The morality of abortion based on the utilitarian theory is accessed based on its effect on the unborn, father, and mother.
The deontology approach places a strong emphasis on the parties’ moral obligations. It claims that specific actions, regardless of their outcomes, are essentially moral or immoral. According to the theory morality of abortion depends if the act violates the unborn baby’s rights. In situations where abortion interferes with another person’s rights, it is considered wrong.
Lastly, the virtues theory emphasizes the characters of the persons involved. Virtues, in this case, would entail honesty, companionship, and courage, to name a few. Virtue ethicists examine abortion’s morality regarding how well the individuals involved reflect their virtues.
Pro-Choice and Pro-Life Arguments
The pro-choice argument proposes that women can decide what happens to their bodies. Consequently, women can decide when to abort (Bernstein & Manata, 2019). The welfare of women is advanced in circumstances where they have access to safe and legal abortion. The consensus is that making abortion illegal does not prevent women from undergoing operations that may result in complications.
The pro-life argument recognizes that the fetus has rights that must be protected. Taking away the right to life through abortion thus makes the whole act wrong (Bykov, 2019). According to persons advocating for life indicate that life begins at conception. Instead of killing the baby, adoption is considered the better option since abortion is likely to result in psychological torture to women.
Legal Perspectives on Abortion
Abortion is not always legal in all countries and regions. Some countries allow abortion to be carried out but, in some conditions (Simkulet, 2022). Through the courts of law, the USA set a precedence on how the issue of abortion should be handled. The ruling on Roe V. Wade guided instances where abortion was allowed. Since then, human rights groups have been in and out of court to argue against the ruling. The general feeling among human rights activists is that abortion should not be legalized through the courts.
Fernández et al. (2022) note that politicians influence the views held by a Nation on abortion. Politicians make laws, and through the laws, their views find themselves in the laws. The laws put in place to address tsue of abortion are not devoid of cultural and religious beliefs. However, communities that support life argue that life begins at conception, and as a result, laws should ensure that abortion is prohibited since it seeks to alienate life. Several religions support this position. Instead of engaging in abortion, women are encouraged to take other options to preserve life.
Through the courts of law, the United States could legalize abortion in 1973. In the case of Roe V Wade, abortion was allowed in some instances. The ruling has since been debated with several states in the USA, limiting the number of instances where abortion can occur.
It is essential to understand the viewpoints held by persons from different nations, cultures, and religions to comprehend the issue of abortion. People have different perceptions of the issue based on cultural attitudes, political views, legal views, and personal beliefs. Abortion is an emotive issue, and honest conversations between people with different viewpoints will give one a holistic view of the issue. There is no single solution to abortion, but it is appropriate to consider all viewpoints to understand the issue better.
Bernstein, C. Z., & Manata, P. (2019). Moral responsibility and the wrongness of abortion. In The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine (Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 243-262). US: Oxford University Press.
Bykov, A. (2019). Rediscovering the moral: The ‘old’and ‘new’sociology of morality in the context of the behavioural sciences. Sociology, 53(1), 192-207.
Coleman, S. (2022). Abortion, Science, and Morality in the Turnaway Study: New Perspectives for the Helping Professions: The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having–or Being Denied–an Abortion, by Diana Greene Foster, New York NY, Simon & Schuster/Scribner, 2020, 360 pp. Hardback, 27.00,ISBN978-1982141561;Paperback 18.00, ISBN-13 978982141578.
Fernández Basanta, S., Bouzas-González, I., Coronado, C., & Movilla-Fernández, M. J. (2022). Moral experiences in caring for voluntary pregnancy losses: A meta-ethnography. Nursing Ethics, 29(5), 1134-1151.
Lane, B., & Robert B. (2022). The Structure of Moral Revolutions: Studies of Changes in the Morality of Abortion, Death, and the Bioethics Revolution.
Romanis, E. C. (2023). Abortion Access and the Benefits and Limitations of Abortion-Permissive Legal Frameworks: Lessons from the United Kingdom. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 1-13.
Simkulet, W. (2022). The moral significance of abortion inconsistency arguments. Asian Bioethics Review, 14(1), 41-56