Abortion As A Rights Vs Duty Issue Essay

Length: 8 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Abortion Type: Essay Paper: #27170056 Related Topics: Mother, Women, Society, Life
Excerpt from Essay :

Why Abortion Should be Abolished


Abortion is legalized infanticide. It is the legal practice of murdering a child growing in the mothers womb. It has been justified on the grounds that a woman has a right to choose whether she wants to nurture the life that has been conceived inside her. The issue is debated because it is controversial; however, the two sides of the debate do not see the issue of abortion in the same terms. Those who are pro-abortion (pro-choice) tend to frame the issue in terms of rights, whereas those who are pro-life (anti-abortion) tend to frame the issue in terms of duty. Some pro-choice advocates also seek to justify their position by referring to matters of health and safety, arguing that if abortion would abolished, women would be using coat hangers (unhealthy) to kill their children in the wombso at least abortion clinics offer a safe and secure environment. The argument, however, is inherently faulty: killing a child is immoralmurder is wrong; and, besides, if the mother does not want the child she could always give it up for adoption, as there are many families out there who want to adopt babies. So it is not as if there are no alternatives to abortion, because there certainly are. It is not a question of legalized abortion or babies in a back alley with coat hangers. It is a question of which is the correct way to look at the issueas one of rights or as one of duty. This paper will explain that abortion has to be looked at from the ethical perspective of duty because every mother has a dutyjust as every father has a duty, and that duty is not dissolved just because someone says one has a right to deny it.

The Facts

Millions of babies are killed each year from legalized abortion around the world. In the US, that number easily totals hundreds of thousands. Since 1973, when Roe v. Wade led to the legalization of abortion in America, more than 62 million babies have been aborted in the US (Christian Life Resources). That is a staggering numberfar more than the number of dead from COVID, for which nations around the world went into emergency lockdowns to preserve life. Yet these same nations around the world legally permit infanticidethe killing of babies in the womb, which is the one place in the world they should be safest and free from harm. If COVID prompted such a response from governments, particularly in the US, then why is it that abortion, which is obviously a far greater problem if one is simply going by death tolls (the number dead), is permitted by law? Is it that one does not choose to get COVIDbut one can choose whether or not to maintain life in ones womb once it has been conceived? This notion of choice is the only way to explain the apparent contradiction in modern culture: a world will go into total lockdown to present the deaths of some; yet it does nothing to prevent the deaths of hundreds of thousands each year right out in the open. It makes no sense unless one is looking at it from the perspective of the womans right to choose.

But is this right to choose the correct way to frame the issue? Certainly one has rights, especially in America. One has the right to bear arms; one has the right to a fair trial; one has the right to assemble. It is only since 1973 that a woman has had the...


Prior to 1973, this was not a right but a crime, because abortion was viewed not only as immoral but also as a danger to society. It was viewed as immoral because it went so against the grain of what it means to be a woman and a mother: women are unique in that they carry new life within themthe regeneration of society cannot come but through the womb of the woman; thus, there was always a great respect for life and the womans role in bearing life; to violate that respect was seen as a grave offense. It was seen as a danger to society because it undermined the very basis of society, which is the progeneration of new life.

Yet the 1970s saw the advance of the second wave of feminism, which got going in the 1960s under the leadership of women like Betty Friedan, who preached for a womens liberation movement with her book The Feminine Mystique (Cavanaugh). The second wave of feminism aimed at the total overthrow of traditional gender normsand Roe v. Wade played a major part in that overthrow. In the 1970s, the view of a woman as a protector and nurturer of new life was challenged by the feminist movement, who won a major victory in Roe v. Wade. The courts now said that women had a choice to decide whether they wanted to be a nurturer of life or a destroyer of life. Previously, it had been taken for granted that morally speaking a woman ought to nurture life. The second wave of feminism now promoted a new morality based on womans liberation fom traditional systems of ethics. Ethical egoism is what would replace the traditions of duty ethics and virtue ethics.

Ethical Perspectives

Ethical egoism is the idea that the ends justify the means: if a person feels that a course of action will benefit himself the most, then it is moral, according to ethical egoism. It is widely regarded as the ethical framework of self-centerednessthe exact opposite of the ethics of deontology and the classical system of virtue ethics (Seven Pillars Institute). Since the 1970s, selfishness has come to dominate the national culture, as millions of unborn children have been murdered all thanks to the legalization of abortion.

How should one view abortion? It is best viewed from the standpoint of duty. After all, a father is still seen as having a duty to a child once it is borneven if he is not in the picture. Fathers must pay child support, because their duty is to provide for and protect the young life once it is born. No one disputes that. Why is it then that the mothers duty to protect and support the life before it is born is viewed differently? If the mother has a right to kill the child before it is born, should it not logically follow that the father has the right to abandon the child after it is born? The fact is that duty ethics matters because morally speaking, a mother and a father both bear responsibility for nurturing and providing for new life when it is conceived.

The womens movement in the 1960s and 1970s changed the nature of the debate by reframing it as a matter of choice and rights. The immorality of abortion was dismissed by them. Yet their dismissal of this fundamental issue of duty has not altered the reality. A mother has a duty to nurture life once it is conceived, just as…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Cavanaugh, Lynn. “A Brief History: The Four Waves of Feminism.” ProgressiveWomen’s Leadership, 2018. https://www.progressivewomensleadership.com/a-brief-history-the-four-waves-of-feminism/. Accessed 2 May 2021.

Christian Life Resources. “US Abortion Statistics by Year.” Christian Life Resources,2021. https://christianliferesources.com/2021/01/19/u-s-abortion-statistics-by-year-1973-current/. Accessed 2 May 2021.

Rogers, Jay. “Is the Heartbeat Bill Pro-Life or Pro-Abortion?” The Forerunner, 2020.

https://www.forerunner.com/blog/is-the-heartbeat-bill-pro-life-or-pro-abortion. Accessed 2 May 2021.

Seven Pillars Institute. “Moral Theories.” Seven Pillars Institute.

https://sevenpillarsinstitute.org/ethics-101/moral-traditions/. Accessed 2 May 2021.

Totten, Gloria. “Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill is Unconscionable and Unconstitutional.” TheHill, 2016. https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/310167-ohios-heartbeat-bill-is-unconscionable-and-unconstitutional?rl=1. Accessed 2 May 2021.

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