Moral Impermissibility of Abortion Albert Term Paper
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The pro-life arguments state that a fetus is in fact a real-life person in the making. Is true there's no supporting scientific evidence for the beginning of personhood, but what if an unborn child has a soul and can actually feel pain? Isn't then artificial abortion a crime? Just because we are not sure, we should take the most radical solution that we can and are allowed to by law?
This is the first solid argument to sustain the moral impermissibility of induced abortion. Because having an abortion equals the death of a life growing inside, as a natural result of unprotected sexual intercourse. It is therefore considered that the new life, the fetus, did not have a choice. And having an artificial abortion furthermore deprives him/her of the right to chose (whether to live or not). So, if it's about the right to chose and the freedom to decide your own destiny, an intentional removal of a growing life is not and can never be the right answer.
Even if we can't undoubtedly say that it is in fact a person, there is "something too human about a fetus which looks so much like a baby" (Cline) that should make us think twice, because "the ability to kill something which looks like a baby is one which we should avoid"(Cline).
Abortion is not only about the fetus, either. When facing a moral dilemma like this, science can also give a helping hand in trying to determine a woman to make the right decision. Thus another valid argument sustaining the pro-life point-of-view is the moral burden the mother feels after going through an abortion. As any other traumatic experience, abortion induces delayed negative psychological effects, including guilt, anger, anxiety, depression and sense of loss, even suicide, regarded as symptoms for Post-Abortion Syndrome ("Post-Abortion Syndrome"). Studies and statistics say that "70% of aborting women expressed general disapproval of abortion, yet tended to rationalize themselves as
exceptions to the rules" ("Post-Abortion Syndrome"), "women who have had abortions are nine times more likely to attempt suicide than women in the general population"("Post-Abortion Syndrome"), and also that "91% of abused children are from planned pregnancies"("Post-Abortion Syndrome") and that "child abuse is more frequent among mothers who previously had an abortion" ("Post-Abortion Syndrome"). Is therefore clear that is not with a light heart a woman resorts to abortion. And even when she willingly and free of any soul searching decides to have an abortion, negative effects undoubtedly appear, and leave ugly, painful, often permanent marks of remorse and shame.
There are however two exception that can justify an induced abortion. And these imply either lack of consent in a sexual intercourse (rape), either unforeseen complications or difficulties concerning the pregnancy, in this last case abortion being the only solution to save the mother's life or to prevent the birth of a deformed or unhealthy baby. The consequences of not having an abortion in case of rape or severe complications and threats to the mother's health can be more damaging, at a psychological and behavioral level, than the removal of the unwanted pregnancy.
Having the freedom of choice, when it comes to induced abortion, must be interpreted as a woman's right to do whatever she wants with her own body, with her own destiny. Her right stops there, at her body, at her destiny. Is it a mother's the right to decide (with only two exceptions) the faith of a life that is unable to veto her irrevocable sentence to death? No.
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Cline, Austin. "Ethics of Abortion: Is it Moral or Immoral to Have an Abortion?" About: Agnosticism/Atheism. 2007. The New York Times Company. 22 April 2007. http://atheism.about.com/od/abortioncontraception/p/AbortionEthics.htm
Freedom Quotes- Albert Camus." About: Quotations. 2007. The New York Times Company. 21 April 2007. http://quotations.about.com/cs/inspirationquotes/a/Freedom1.htm
Post-Abortion Syndrome." Leadership U. 2002. Leadership U. 22 April 2007. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/tul/pap1.html
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