Abortion Ethics Many pro-life advocates claim that abortion is taking the life of a child that could have an impact on the world.
This all comes down to one question: whose life is more important– the woman’s, or the fetus’s? This question can’t be answered in one simple sentence. Instead, we must weigh the two lives. One one hand, we have a fetus who make a million different futures for themselves as they grow and develop. Yes, the fetus has the potential to impact our society and achieve great success, but the people making these claims need to stop dwelling on the imaginary futures of the unborn and focus on the lives of the living. Some of these women having abortions may be unable a child without risking their own lives.
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“But couldn’t these women just have a c-section?” Some may ask. For some women, even having a c-section can’t save their lives. In some cases, it may even worsen the issue. For example, Elizabeth Logelin had delivered her child through an emergency c-section, but 27 hours later, after Elizabeth was cleared to hold her daughter, she was walking to her wheelchair when she complained she was feeling lightheaded. Just moments later, she had died of a pulmonary embolism — a blood clot that had traveled from her leg to her lung. Her family had a history of blood clotting, but the risk was increased from her extensive bed rest, absence of anticoagulants, and her c-section.
According to the Global Burden of Disease Study in 2015, there were 30 deaths of mothers per 100,000 births (qz.com). The choice of having a child helps women determine their future and gain independence. If they’re not ready, then they’re not ready, and it’s their body and their choice to decide whether they want to have a child. According to a study in 2004 from Guttmacher Institute, 73 percent of women said they could not afford to have children. Some people on the side of pro-life contend if a woman becomes pregnant, she should accept the responsibility of her actions and face the consequences. This could become an issue because if that woman is denied an abortion and is forced to keep the child, it can cause further psychological damage than if they were to just have an abortion (procon.org).
I firmly believe if a woman doesn’t want to have a child, it’s their decision, not anyone else’s. Most neurologists believe the cerebral cortex is necessary to sense pain, and the cortex is not fully functional until around the 28th week of pregnancy, in the third trimester. Most abortions are conducted in the first and second trimesters, meaning fetuses likely can feel no harm. Some pro-life advocates also believe abortions are not safe and can harm women. All in all, abortions procedures performed with proper medical equipment are completely safe and do not cause long-lasting damage (procon.
org). Outlawing abortion will not eliminate it. Just use guns as an example. If we outlaw guns, people are just going to go to more extreme and dangerous lengths to get them, right? This could be the same with abortions. If we attempt to completely outlaw abortion, some pregnant women may just find new, more dangerous ways to have abortions. The official Oxford dictionary definition of person is “an unspecified individual”. A fetus is not technically an individual until it is no longer in the womb. As stated earlier, a fetus does not become a person until it can survive outside the womb, long after most abortions are performed.
Some pro-life advocates even say the presence of human life defines personhood. There are many parts of our body that have human life and are alive, but we don’t consider them individual people. In conclusion, I feel that abortion should be legal and that abortions are just protecting the lives of the living, rather than some imaginary futures of the fetuses growing inside of them. In the words of Ayn Rand, “One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, ie., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living.”