Essay on Should Abortion Be Restricted?
A human being while developing goes through the series of stages – from a fertilized cell to the individual. At what point during these stages does life begin? Is it possible to put an equal sign between the terms “man,” “embryo,” and “fetus”? At what point does the human being become a moral subject? Specific answers that were given by culture and science varied from age to age. The issue if abortion is extremely controversial in a modern society, therefore, the paper seeks to answer whether abortion should be restricted nowadays or not.
In recent decades, abortion has become one of the most intense and widely discussed problems of the theory of morality. Abortion as a method of terminating unwanted pregnancy was known in ancient times. According to the laws of Ancient Greece and Rome, the life of the fetus was not guarded and abortion was not punished. However, this practice could not be widely extended since abortion has almost presumed a serious risk to the mother and child, whereas very often it brings fatal consequences. Abortion was considered as an immoral act and was punished when it was performed for commercial purposes or other base motives. Undoubtedly, abortion should be restricted or banned. Hippocrates treated abortion as an immoral act, unworthy of a physician. The Hippocratic Oath has been the moral principle of all physicians till nowadays. These sublime words are placed in a frame and hang on the walls of many clinics and hospitals – in those places where millions of lives are interrupted every year. The particular importance to this problem lies in the fact that it is a practical application and, at the same time, deeply theoretical one.
According to Lowen (2012), trends indicate that self-induced abortions are mostly performed for poor women in the society. Much worse is the fact that they are not safe thus lead to uncountable deaths in the community.
There are two opposing points of view around this complex and sensitive issue. The first one is that abortion is strictly a personal and intimate problem that no one but the woman can choose who should interfere in the decision-making process. It is just one of the medical operations, and in such cases, all the medical problems are resolved by the doctor and the patient. According to John and Whitley (2007), every woman understands herself better, especially when an issue relating to the child bearing is the point of contention. Before coming to the doctor, the woman faces a moral issue; life or death of the future child. Abortion should be restricted because it is a murder; unlike any surgery, this has a special purpose – to destroy a human’s life, to kill the future of the human being, who is completely helpless and powerless.
There are many arguments against the moral permissibility of abortion. The main argument for this can be considered as follows: a fetus is already a human being. As the right for life is the inalienable right of every human being, the fetus also has that right. Thus, the abortion is unacceptable from a moral point of view and should be banned (in those countries where they are allowed) or restricted. As one can see, the most important element of this argument is the assertion: the fetus is a human being. This argument is seen at the level of a simple observation of everyday life and is self-evident because it does not require any special evidence. The well-known Eastern tradition, according to which the person’s age is counted from the moment of conception, not at the time of birth, is in its favor. Even if one needs evidence, a scientific fact is that the human embryo in the early age of nine weeks has a face, fingers, and intracerebral activity; in fact, the main features of the human being are already programmed in the genes. Consequently, the abortion under any circumstances cannot be morally justified and assuredly must be restricted.
However, many scientists prove that legalization of abortions will solve many modern problems. Abortion should be legalized in order to prevent teenagers from having children (Olmos-Armas, 2006). Moreover, there are cases where there are medical contraindications, when pregnancy and childbirth pose a real threat to the life of the mother. There are other equally dramatic circumstances which, unfortunately, happen, i.e. when the pregnancy was the result of rape.. Therefore, in such cases legalization of abortion will be important for protecting the health and lives of women (Joseph, 2009).
It should be said that the issue of abortion is many-valued. It has a demographic sense, political and social importance, and a very important ethical aspect. The paper proves that abortion can be considered as a crime and should be restricted in countries where it is allowed. The severity of the problem of abortion persists despite the fact that this problem is “as old as the hills.” Historically, the physician’s attitude to abortion is one of the first and fundamental ethical and medical issues, and it is still relevant today. This is due to the fact that the abortion issue concentrates on the relationship between the people at the level of moral, legal, social, political, religious, and scientific consciousness. Abortion, contraception, and sterilization are modern forms of medical intervention in the human reproductive system. In the XX century, abortion became widespread and nowadays occurs on a background of fundamental changes of its moral judgment and legal status. The conditions of the modern civilized world allow performing the abortions which should be restricted in most cases.
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John, R., & Whitley, J. (2007). Abortion and crime: Unwanted children and out-of-wedlock births. Economic Inquiry, 45(2), 304-324.
Lowen, L. (2012). 10 abortion arguments: 10 arguments for abortion, 10 arguments against abortion: Abortion arguments from pro-life and pro-choice sides & main points of debate. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/arguments-for-and-against-abortion-3534153
Olmos-Armas, M. (2006). Nine reasons in favor of retaining abortion access. Retrieved from https://www.religioustolerance.org/moa02.htm