Open Always
Email: support@globalcompose.com Call Now! +1-315 515-4588
Open Always
Email: support@globalcompose.com Call Now! +1-315 515-4588

Sample Essay on Abortion

This sample paper on (Sample Essay on Abortion) was uploaded by one our contributors and does not necessarily reflect how our professionals write our papers. If you would like this paper removed from our website, please contact us our Contact Us Page.

A Database of over Million Scholarly Resources. Start your Search Now

Sample Essay on Abortion

Introduction

That the many decades of attempts to solve the ethical problem of abortion have yielded little or no progress is unsurprising considering that the problem itself is nothing like other moral dilemmas that humans have grappled with. While other moral dilemmas may be solved by applying general moral principles, nothing is general about abortion. For instance, a fetus is very different from a fully developed human being and its relationship with the pregnant mother is unlike the relationship between a child and its mother. These peculiarities render abortion a polarizing issue even among people with common moral views about many other issues. Acknowledging this peculiarity, Manninen believes that presidential candidates could win or lose elections based on their stand on this issue alone (33).  This essay will show that abortion is permissible by demonstrating that opponents of abortion have not adequately responded to the questions that their own claims such as the personhood of a fetus generate, and that compelling a woman to sustain the life of another individual is unethical.

The primary argument that critics of abortion have raised is that killing the human fetus through abortion denies the fetus its right to life. The assumption in this argument is that the fetus is a person and thus is entitled to the right to life, meaning that any deliberate action or inaction that results in the death of a fetus such as abortion is morally wrong (Boonin 14). Although anti-abortionists agree that the fetus has a right to life, they disagree about the point at which a fetus becomes a person or an operational human. For instance, Nebraska’s Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (PCUCP) allows abortion as long as it occurs within 20 weeks after conception (PCUCP 1). The lawmakers in Nebraska argued that a 20 week old fetus could feel pain. However, the age at which the fetus becomes sentient is controversial even among pain experts. In fact, medical research suggests that the fetus does not attain sentience until way into the second trimester (Manninen 33). Some states such as Montana and Colorado have attempted to prohibit abortion altogether based on the argument that personhood begins at conception. However, their attempts failed because they could not substantiate their claims of personhood at conception.  

The lack of consensus on the legal age at which the fetus becomes a person points to a much serious problem of the vagueness of personhood itself and consequently its appropriateness as a prerequisite for attaining the right to life. According to Boonin, personhood is not only an ambiguous term but also one with confusing usage (15). For example, one might use the term personhood to refer to “the state of being human” and thus deserving the right to life. In other words, anti-abortionists ascribe personhood to the fetus simply to imply that the fetus has the right to life. In this sense, the term personhood has normative connotation (Will 591). Similarly, personhood may also be used to describe the possession of certain factors such as the ability to experience pain, express and respond to emotional stimuli. In this sense, the term is simply descriptive rather than normative. These different usages of the term personhood render it insufficient and inappropriate for qualifying humans or the fetus for the right to life. It is unlikely that scientists will coin a satisfactory definition of personhood. As Manninen observed, personhood is a philosophical rather than an empirical phenomenon (35). Similarly, after investigating European legal systems, Te Braake concluded that the diversity of philosophical ideas about the personhood of the fetus is so varied that a consensus on the meaning of personhood is not forthcoming (386). Therefore, discussions about personhood are irrelevant in solving the abortion dilemma at least for now.

Now that the claim by anti-abortionists is that the fetus is a person and thus has a right to life fails because of the ambiguity of personhood itself, we will adopt the moral stand of the anti-abortionists that the fetus has the right to life and still demonstrate that abortion is morally permissible. For more than a century, the society has defended the right to bodily autonomy without notable compromise or debate. In 1914, for example, Justice Benjamin Cardozo of the New York Court of Appeals ruled that adult human beings have a right to bodily autonomy and thus nothing can be done to their bodies, even if it is for their own benefit, without their consent (Manninen 39). The ruling was a reflection of societal attitudes towards bodily autonomy rather than an imposition of moral standards. Since no one has opposed the right to bodily autonomy, it is agreeable that the society considered, and still considers using another person’s body or body parts without their consent an immoral act.  

However, the exercise of the right to bodily autonomy may have dire consequences for others. For example, suppose John is suffering from leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. Suppose also that after a long search, the physicians finally find Jim, John’s brother, as the perfect match for the bone marrow operation. Unfortunately, Jim refuses to undergo the operation necessary to obtain the bone marrow sample needed to save John. The key ethical question that this scenario raises is not that Jim would violate John’s right to live by refusing to donate his bone marrow. Rather, is it morally permissible for the physicians (or the society and the government) to force Jim to forfeit his right to bodily autonomy in order to save John?  When the judges in a Pennsylvanian District Court were confronted with a similar question as this in 1978, they did not hesitate to rule that forcing an individual to give up his bodily autonomy would shake the very moral foundation upon which the society lay (Manninen 39). The consequence of such ruling means that John’s life would be lost unless somebody concedes to the intrusion of his/her body to donate the bone marrow. 

The analogy of Jim and John reveals that by refusing to donate his bone marrow, Jim does not deny John the right to life, or otherwise imply that John’s life has no value. It simply shows that Jim is not under any moral obligation whatsoever to give up his body or part of his body to John to enable John to exercise his right to life. Thomson shares a similar view in his case for abortion by arguing that an individual who depends on another for life support cannot claim to have the right for such support (Thompson 267). In other words, John has no right to depend on Jim for survival, yet clearly, John retains his right to life. Similarly, a pregnant woman has a right to bodily autonomy that the society already recognizes as moral. Bodily autonomy means that nothing can be done in and on her body without her consent. But, prohibiting abortion does exactly the opposite. While the fetus and the woman have an equal right to life, the fetus depends on the mother to live, but is not entitled to the mother’s body. In other words, forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy is equivalent to denying her right to bodily autonomy. Therefore, abortion is the act of a mother freeing herself from a dependency relationship in which she provides another person with the means for survival. A mother should be free to choose whether to offer her body for the fetus to use it for its survival. This way, she would be afforded equal protection, a right that other individuals not affected by abortion by the fact that they cannot carry a pregnancy, enjoy freely.

 

Conclusion

The abortion debate cannot be solved by basing arguments for or against it on the personhood of the fetus because it is highly unlikely that scholars will arrive at a specific and universal meaning of the term. Instead, the debate should progress with both parties acknowledging that a fetus has a right to life. With this in mind, it is morally wrong to demand that a woman render her body for use by the fetus since it would violate her right to bodily autonomy and equal protection. When a woman becomes pregnant, she should choose freely between carrying the pregnancy to term and terminating it altogether because it is the only way to ensure that women’s ability to become pregnant does not limit their enjoyment of their right to fair treatment.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 “Pain Calpable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance (PCUCP).” Web 12 June 2014 

Boonin, David. Defense of Abortion (Chapter 1). New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Print.

Manninen, Bertha Alvarez. “Rethinking Roe V. Wade: Defending the Abortion Right in The Face Of Contemporary Opposition.” American Journal Of Bioethics 10.12 (2010): 33-46. CINAHL with Full Text. Web. 12 June 2014.

Te Braake, Trees A.M. “Does A Fetus Have A Right To Life? The Case of Vo V. France.” European Journal of Health Law 11.4 (2004): 381-389. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 June 2014.

Thomson, Judith Jarvis.“A Defense of Abortion.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 1.1(1971): pp. 266-273.

Will, Jonathan F. “Beyond Abortion: Why The Personhood Movement Implicates Reproductive Choice.” American Journal of Law & Medicine 39.4 (2013): 573-616. Academic Search Complete. Web. 12 June 2014.

 

 

Sharing is: CARING

Are you looking for homework writing help? Click on Order Now button below to Submit your assignment details.

Homework Writing Help
We Can Help you with this Assignment right now!
Sample Essay on Abortion

Are you looking for homework writing help on (Sample Essay on Abortion)?Well, you can either use the sample paper provided to write your paper or you could contact us today for an original paper. If you are looking for an assignment to submit, then click on ORDER NOW button or contact us today. Our Professional Writers will be glad to write your paper from scratch.

 

We ensure that assignment instructions are followed, the paper is written from scratch. If you are not satisfied by our service, you can either request for refund or unlimited revisions for your order at absolutely no extra pay. Once the writer has completed your paper, the editors check your paper for any grammar/formatting/plagiarism mistakes, then the final paper is sent to your email.

Privacy| Confidentiality

Sample Essay on Abortion

We do not share your personal information with any company or person. We have also ensured that the ordering process is secure; you can check the security feature in the browser. For confidentiality purposes, all papers are sent to your personal email. If you have any questions, contact us any time via email, live chat or our phone number.

Our Clients Testimonials

  • I appreciate help on the assignment. It was hard for me but am good to go now

    Impact of pollution on Environment
  • Am happy now having completed the very difficult assignment

    Creative Message Strategies
  • Your writer did a fine job on the revisions. The paper is now ok

    Ethics: Theory and Practice
  • The paper was so involving but am happy it is done. Will reach you with more assignments

    Title: Privatization in or of America
  • I expected perfection in terms of grammar and I am happy. Lecturer is always on our head but was pleased with my paper. Once again, thanks a lot

    Title: Bundaberg Inquiry
  • The paper looks perfect now, thank to the writer

    Health Care Systems
  • You helped me complete several other tasks as you handled paper. wonna thank you

    Critique Paper on Political Change

Related Articles

Sample Essay on Abortion

Nursing Assignment on The telomere

 Discussion: Politics and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Cite your sources – type references according to the APA Style Guide.
Read More

Project Management on Lean project/construction management

 Discussion: Politics and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act I have attached the assignment brief, you must only look at the bits that I have highlighted yellow and Section...
Read More

Project Management on Lean project/construction management

 Discussion: Politics and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act I have attached the assignment brief, you must only look at the bits that I have highlighted yellow and Section...
Read More

Economics Assignment on Project 2: Distributions

 Discussion: Politics and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act this course is economics of sports, just follow the instruction, and turn in a spreadsheet.
Read More

Get more from us…

Would you like this sample paper to be sent to your email or would you like to receive weekly articles on how to write your assignments? You can simply send us your request on how to write your paper and we will email you a free guide within 24-36 hours. Kindly subscribe below!

Email Address: support@globalcompose.com