Abortion is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy by the removal of the fetus from the uterus (Marquis, 1989). This action results in the cause of death to the fetus. However, abortion can sometimes occur spontaneously as a result of complications of the pregnancy. Most times, abortion is induced due to a number of reasons, sometimes done in order to preserve the health of the mother and this is termed as therapeutic abortion. In most instances, abortion has been induced for other reasons apart from the health reasons; this is termed as elective abortion (Marquis, 1989). There are a number of philosophical debates that have arisen as to whether abortion is morally right or wrong. There are a number of different philosophical arguments that have been presented by different individuals. Some argue that abortion is morally right while others have presented opposing views on why abortion is morally wrong. Hence, abortion has been a centre of debate among philosophers. Though various arguments have been put forward to support abortion, I disapprove of abortion basing on the moral principles and the principle of being just and fare.

Defense of abortion
    The opposition to abortion has, among most philosophers relied on the preposition that the fetus is a human being. It has been claimed that the fetus becomes a person from the moment of conception (Thomson, 1971). We are therefore inclined to think that the fetus has already become a human being. This is because, by the tenth week, the fetus already has a face, arms and legs, fingers and toes, other internal organs and an activity of the   brain. The premise therefore that the fetus is not a person is false (Thomson, 1971). However, most of the opponents of abortion have always relied on the fact that the fetus is a person and others who defend have always claimed that the fetus is not a person but rather a bit of tissue that will later develop in to a person at birth. It is therefore notable that these arguments are farfetched. To defend abortion, it is better to have a clear understanding of both sides. As far as rights are concerned, it is agreeable to all that every person has a right to life and therefore, the fetus has a right to life (Marquis, 1989). On the other hand; the mother also has a right to decide what shall happen to and in her body. But then, the person’s right to life is far much stronger than the mother’s right to decide what happens in and to her body and thus abortion may not be performed.

As far as this is concerned, abortion is morally impermissible, but, supposes an individual wakes up one morning and finds himself having been kidnapped in order to safe an ailing famous individual by donating an organ like a kidney (Thomson, 1971). The ailing individual’s circulatory system has been plugged in to the body of the kidnapped. If the system is unplugged, it would mean that the famous ailing man would die. If the system has to be in the body for about nine months till the ailing man recovers, who would agree? However, every person has a right to life and on the other hand, also has a right to decide what happens in and to their bodies. In this case, an individual was kidnapped and thus did not volunteer. If this is compared to abortion, would the opponents of abortion make an exception on grounds of pregnancy resulting from rape? Certainly, they would make an exception. Now, if we consider a case whereby the mother has to spend nine months of her pregnancy in bed, the opponents of abortion would agree that it would be very hard on the mother, but, all the same, all persons have a right to life, the fetus is a person and therefore, it has a right to life. What if, the pregnancy was to miraculously go on for nine years, or the rest of the mother’s life, certainly again, they would make an exception (Thomson, 1971). Suppose a woman has become pregnant and is diagnosed with a cardiac condition and as such, she will die if she continues to carry the pregnancy. What would be done in such a case considering that, the fetus being a person has a right to life? Presumably, both the mother and the fetus have equal right to life. However, the mother as a person too, has a right to decide what happens to and in her body. What will happen then if abortion is not performed? should we flip a coin to decide who dies? If we add the mother’s right to life to her right to decide what happens in and to her body, then the sum of the mother’s rights outweighs the fetus’ right to life.

If abortion is performed, it would be directly killing an innocent person which is absolutely impermissible (Marquis, 1989). Directly killing and innocent person is murder and is absolutely impermissible. Then if one’s duty is to refrain from directly killing a person, then abortion may not be performed. Then if one’s only option is to decide between directly killing a person and letting a person die, one would prefer letting a person to die and hence abortion may not be performed. It therefore depicts that the opponents of abortion has treated the right to life as if it was unproblematic. It is not and this has been precisely the source of the mistake made by the opponents of abortion. In some view, having a right to life includes having a right to be granted that right (Thomson, 1971). Then it means that the fetus has not been given the right to have a right to life and hence abortion can then be performed. Some people are rather strict on the right to life. In this view, it does not include the right to be given anything but rather to and only to the right to life and not be killed by anybody. But considering the ailing man, granting him the right to life would mean allowing him to continue using an individual’s kidney while he had no right at all in the first place. In the same case, the fetus has no right to continue in the mother’s womb while it had no right to be there in the first place especially in the case of pregnancy resulting from rape. In the case of health reason, wouldn’t it be wise to terminate the fetus in order to protect the mother from danger? Given the reason that an individual has a /right to defend himself against any danger, so does the mother and hence abortion may be performed. Hence the argument of the right to life would only give the fetus the right if the pregnancy resulted from a voluntary act (Thomson, 1971).

Why abortion is morally wrong

While other philosophers argue that abortion is permissible, it has been met with opposition on the basis of the morality of abortion. This argument on the immorality of abortion has been based on a major assumption on the wrongfulness to kill an infant, a small child or an adult (Marquis, 1989). Therefore, if the fetus is a human being, then is it morally right to kill the fetus? A typical abortionist will argue that life presents itself from the moment of conception and further that the fetus possesses both the necessary and sufficient genetic code essential for a human being. On the other hand, the pro-choice will then argue that fetuses are not persons or social beings. Therefore, the arguments on abortion requires not only some claim characteristics fetuses but also some basic moral principle that ties the fetus to having or not having the right to life. This argument should also be based on some other moral principle that will generate the obligation or lack of obligation not to end the life of a fetus (Marquis, 1989).

The pro-choicer attempt to find the moral principle that concerns the wrongfulness of killing. It is always prima facie wrong to take the life of a human being (Marquis, 1989). Then if the fetus is a human being, then abortion is morally wrong as it is absolutely morally wrong to kill an adult. On the other hand, the anti-abortionists depict the fetus as a human being and thus should be granted the right to life (Marquis, 1989). If depriving an adult this right to life, then is abortion morally right considering that the fetus is a human being? Most opponents of abortion have considered the unproblematic assumptions on our own case. This has posed the question; is it wrong to kill us? And why is it wrong? It could then be argued that what makes killing us wrong is the great loss others would experience as a result of our absence. More over, it is obvious that what primarily makes killing wrong is neither the effect of the murderer not is it the effects on the victim’s friends but rather, its effect on the victim. It is therefore morally wrong to kill because it deprives one of the future experiences or activities the victim would have enjoyed (Marquis, 1989). Therefore killing is wrong because it inflicts the victim with the greatest possible loss. On the other hand, the change in a biological state of an individual whether a fetus, child or an adult does not does not make killing morally wrong but depriving the individual of the future could be devastating and hence morally wrong. The complete account of the wrongfulness of killing is the aspect of not having the value of future-like-ours and the wrongness of abortion and its consequences. If we consider the people in nursing homes, they may be lacking valuable human futures, yet it is morally wrong to kill them for one reason or another. Same goes to the fetus, if it is morally wrong to kill an old individual in the nursing home, with less future value, then it is also morally wrong to kill a fetus with valuable future activities and experiences. Therefore, the analysis can be viewed by resolving the standard problem concerning the ethics of abortion (Marquis, 1989). Clearly, it is wrong to kill an adult human being and it is also wrong to end a life of an arbitrary chosen human cell. Since fetuses seem to be arbitrary chosen human cells, then abortion is morally wrong.

The moral agency has a dual aspect that has manifested itself in both power to refrain from behaving inhumanly and the proactive powered to behave humanly (Bandura, 2002). It is embedded in the broader socio-cognitive self-theory that encompasses the affective self-regulatory mechanism.  The moral function is thus governed by the mechanism of moral conduct (Bandura, 2002). This moral conduct is evident in most arguments of the right to life and the characterization of the fetus as human beings (Bandura, 2002). Behaving inhumanly disengages an individual from acting in a morally acceptable manner and thus evident in the killing of the unborn babies.

    Based on the arguments, both sides of the debate have set their views on the defense or opposition of abortion. In this case, I would therefore oppose abortion basing on the moral factors of the right to life. It is therefore imperative to consider other reasons as to why abortion is wrong and morally unacceptable in all instances. If we are to use the principle of being just, then is it not fare enough to give to those who have had less? Therefore, if the mother’s life is at stake, wouldn’t be better for the mother to die because she has had a share of her life?


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