Abortion could be within the top five serious issues facing society in the present day. In America, nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended and about 4 of 10 of these pregnancies are aborted. 22% of all pregnancies are aborted in the United States every year. It is evident that the moral issues facing abortion are set aside for over 1/5 of the pregnant population. The primary debate is whether the fetus can be considered a human being or not while in the womb. Every day, people are faced with the devastating moral decision of whether to have a child or not.
Before diving into whether abortion is morally right or wrong, the idea of morality needs to be defined. Something that is debated to be morally right or wrong needs to break down every aspect of the problem. When deciding the moral status of an issue, the final product needs to produce the maximum happiness considering everyone involved. The good needs to outweigh the bad in order to act accordingly. Also, the final product must be completely and fully justified after all reasoning is deciphered. After all said and done, now a moral decision can be made rationally.
On the subject of abortion, the moral decision is solely circumstantial. There are some very valid reasons for needing an abortion. Unfortunately, many abortions are performed without any moral standard or outlook on the mother’s situation. The initial issue to take into account is the means of sexual intercourse. Also, health issues for both the fetus and the mother factor into the moral position. Among others, another primary issue is the financial capabilities of the family in question. With all of these concerns put to rest, the final decision of whether to abort can be made with a valid moral background.
Sexual activity is growing to a younger age group every year and more and more people are having sex. When a couple consciously has sex together, they must be very aware of what repercussions they may face if things do not go as planned. If the proper precautions are not taken, it is likely that the female could become pregnant. Also, it seems as though in today’s society that the idea of sex is backwards. It has been made into more of a recreational activity than a means of procreation. People have forgotten that the purpose of sex is not for pleasure but strictly for the creation of a new being. The pleasure involved is more so an incentive to do so. This careless couple should be inclined to keep the child considering the pregnancy was just a part of the sexual procedure that the couple partook in.
However, if the circumstance of intercourse is not consensual, the option of abortion being morally permissible is clearly at hand. If a woman is forced into rape or any other form of nonconsensual relations with a man, it is necessary for the mother to get an abortion. The child would be brought into a life in which it was not meant to be in. The mother cannot be expected to foster a child in which she had no intentions of having sex in the first place. Not to mention, forever will the mother look at her child with the remembrance of the nonconsensual event. Neither the mother nor the child will grow to be mentally healthy thus making abortion morally permissible.
Other situations regarding health can alter the moral status of whether a fetus should be aborted or not. If the fetus can cause irreparable damage to the mother during pregnancy or birth, it is necessary for an abortion to take place. In many cases a woman’s life can be at risk if a child is born. The idea of saving one life at the cost of another rather than possibly losing two lives makes having an abortion seem necessary. A woman’s health during pregnancy is the primary concern for everyone.
Some health issues may affect the fetus yet do not affect the mother. Even so, in some cases abortion may need to be considered. The fetus can be born with an illness or deformity that will hinder the coming child into an abnormal and unfulfilling lifestyle. If a child is forced to spend its days in a hospital with no cure in sight, there is no real lifestyle thus making abortion a serious option. Unfortunately, in these previous two cases, many of the cases involve parents who are looking to have children yet are put off due to medical problems. The moral issue is reversed in whether to keep the child or not based on health restrictions.
Another possible circumstance would be if the mother could not take adequate care of the child. Women may be coping with financial problems or environmental problems as well which are not proper for raising a child. Many would suggest that abortion is not the best means of handling the situation but using adoption agencies to foster the child away. The problem with adoption is that many mothers may become emotionally attached to the child after carrying it for nine months. Having to give a child away after already caring for the fetus for nine months can cause the mother serious psychological problems due to separation anxiety. Abortion agencies require mothers to sign a waiver in order to ensure that they will not attempt to retrieve the adopted child because of this problem. In order to avoid irreparable psychological harm to the mother, abortion can be considered morally permissible.
Even with all of these issues considered morally permissible, many debate the issue to its maximum ability. Many stand firm in that no matter the situation, a fetus is a life and thus should be saved and given a chance at life. The debate inquires on whether the fetus can be considered a human being or not and if so at what stage it becomes a human being. The bottom line is that a fetus will be called a fetus up to the moments that it is completely out of the womb. However, the pro-life still believes that a fetus is a human regardless of age and habitat.
There are two contests against the idea that the fetus is in fact a human is that in the early stages of pregnancy. The first is that fetus is nearly identical to that of fish, pigs, chickens and bats during the first few months. All of these animals are always called fetuses until the departure from the womb. Although as it grows into the later months, extremities begin to separate and the body becomes molded into its given animals form. Some may refute that even if the fetus is identical to that of an animal, it is still morally wrong to kill animals. However, the killing of animals is not illegal nor do some find it morally wrong, particularly hunters. Ultimately in this sense, the fetus could not be considered a person until human-like features are developed. Not to mention there is no functioning brain until later stages of pregnancy.
The second contest is that the fetus can be considered not a human but a parasite. Just like a parasite, the fetus feeds off of its host to survive. People debate that even after the child is born it still feeds off of the mother. The difference is that a mother can voluntarily feed the child directly from the breast. Also, the child is being fed rather than “feeding” off of the mother. When the fetus is in the womb, the mother has no choice in that the fetus will feed off of her. Only when the fetus leaves the womb can it not be considered a parasite.
The status of a fetus will forever be debated but a resolution between pro-choice and pro-life parties may not be reached. People will always have different views on how abortions should be handled and whether or not they should be illegal. However if a pro-life member believes that abortions should be illegal, contraceptives should be illegalized as well. If life is life no matter the status, then men should not be able to masturbate and couples should not be able to sexual protection in order to preserve semen and eggs for conception. Considering these points, it makes it even more difficult to decide whether abortion is morally or legally permissible.
On the whole, it is an unfortunate situation for any person or couple to go through trying to decide whether to get an abortion or not. But the fact still remains that abortion is morally permissible given the correct and justified circumstances. I have a feeling the coming generation will have a more difficult time dealing with this situation as time moves on. As sexuality becomes more publicized and exposed, more people will engage in sexual relations thus raising the possibility of abortions. If you can, give the little guy or gal a chance.