The laws and ideas behind abortion are argued by both sides.

I once ventured upon some adolescent boys getting ready to torture ayoung cat by throwing it into a mass of sticker bushes to see how it woulddo. I interceded on behalf of the cat. The main antagonist, a fairly largeboy, was displeased by my intervention and said that I had no businessinterfering with their fun. His main comment was that it was his cat andhe could do anything he wanted to it. I take it that this is a form ofthe privacy (and private property) argument, that this was a private matterand I had no right to intervene. I did not at the time see fit to arguethe merits of the case on that particular issue and instead gave him othergrounds which I thought might appeal to him. I suggested that if he couldnot see any reason to see the similarity between the cat's feelings andhis own that I might help him see the relationship in this instance betweenthe cat's well-being and his own. This convinced him for the time at leastthat harming the cat might not be in his own best interest. But it occurredto me later that the cat's being his cat gave him not less responsibilityfor its well-being, as he seemed to think, but gave him even more responsibilityfor its well-being. In general, the owners of pets and the parents of youngchildren are held responsible for at least certain minimal standards oftheir charges' welfare. Recently enacted laws in a number of states requiringparents to have their children in car restraints while the car is in motionis another example of balancing parental privacy with child welfare onthe side of the welfare rather than privacy. And it does seem to me, havingseen so many parents who dangerously, carelessly, and recklessly allowtheir children to ride standing up on the front seat (as if to give theirheads better aim at the windshields in case of sudden braking or frontalcollision) that the innocent child should have a champion in the stateif the parents do not fulfill reasonable obligations. In general, a womandoes have some responsibility toward her children and even toward her unbornfetus. How much is open to discussion. And in general parents cannot justifablytreat their children any way they would want to, especially if that meansharming or killing the child, or risking its life or health needlessly.I would expect there to be made similar cases for fetal rights, thoughjust how much, and whether it could preclude abortion or not, and underwhat circumstances, is what is at issue. The point here is that privacy,by itself, is insufficient to morally justify abortion and/or other sortsof fetal harm -- regardless of the Supreme Court's legal decision.

In this essay I will examine both sides of the abortion issue.

Why Gender Equality and Abortion are Two Sides of the …

Menu Abortion access: All sides of the issue

One of my friends objects to this analogy because she thinks there isa fundamental difference between allowing your organs to be used to savesomeone outside of yourself and someone "inside" of you "for whom you areresponsible." My response is that (1) the raped pregnant woman is not responsiblefor the fetus's being inside her and (2) the responsibility for savingeither life is exactly the same; inside or outside is irrelevant. If youcan save someone else's life by donating an organ you do not really needor giving up some part of you, such as blood, that you can replenish naturally,you are just as responsible for saving or ending the life whether it isinside of you or outside of you, in the next room or in the next countyor the next country. Proximity or position have no particular bearing.I am not here arguing that we ought to require blood giving and organ donation,etc. I am only arguing that it is inconsistent not to, especially aftera donor is dead, and at the same time hold that women must use theirorgans as life support for fetuses they did not voluntarily or negligentlycause.

Something both sides of the abortion debate can agree on

The analogy or application to rape should be fairly obvious; since thewoman is not responsible in any way for the fetus, she may choose to, butcannot be required to, maintain its well-being until it can survive withouther. The fetus, though itself innocent, is the victim of a circumstancethe woman is not responsible for; and good Samaritanism cannot demand thekind of sacrifice she would have to make to carry the fetus toward termif she does not want to. That sacrifice includes great effort, as wellas emotional and physical stress. A woman might volunteer to make sucha sacrifice, and that may be a very laudable choice, but she cannot berequired or expected to make such a sacrifice. Such a sacrifice would beabove the call of duty, not a duty or obligation in itself. A woman cannotbe justifiably treated simply as a machine that this fetus is hooked upto as a life support system. Legal demands for doing positive good, asopposed to not doing positive harm, to another are far weaker than moraldemands. Except for the military draft and payment of taxes (and then onlyif one has something to pay taxes on) for the collective good (schools,highways, defense, etc.) we do not legally require innocent people to dopositive benefit for others they have not themselves taken on some specialobligation to benefit. The only people we make actually help others arepeople convicted of a crime whose sentence for punishment and rehabilitationis, or includes, some sort of service program. The law demands no one elseact as a good Samaritan at sacrifice to himself even when another person'slife is at stake. No one is required to give bone marrow to another whomight be saved by such a transplant; no one is required to donate a kidneyto someone whose life it could save and who will probably die without sucha donation. No able person is even required to give blood, though thatis a replenishable resource, safe to donate and would probably save manylives. Our society does not even require the donation of organs for transplantwhen someone has died, and presumably then has no use for them. Organ donation,even at death, is strictly a voluntary choice. Generally we do not "cannibalize"parts from living or dead people who did not "will" such parts to otherswhile they were alive. Whether this is right or wrong, it seems to me tobe inconsistent with requiring a woman who is not responsible for her pregnancy(as in rape) to support its completion with her body organs, even thoughthey are left inside her.

However, one of the factors stopping someone from committing an abortion is the consideration of moral status on the child....


I would think that the greater the (perceived) quality of life in asociety, the fewer abortions there would be, for two reasons: (1) rearingaccidentally conceived children would not be such a difficult (and sometimesalmost impossible) burden because there would be help available, for example,even just day-care facilities at work or school; and (2) one would notbe so likely to feel one is doing the child a favor by not "forcing itto be born" into conditions that no one should have to endure -- conditionsthat might even make the person himself wish he had never been born. RememberI am not necessarily just talking about trying to provide a life with theminimal "basic" necessities of food, shelter, clothing, and medicine, butalso trying to provide all the kinds of things that make human life moreworth living -- love, compassion, understanding, opportunities for mentalor intellectual development, being treated fairly, etc. -- the kinds ofemotional, psychological, "spiritual" necessities of the soul that can evensometimes,though not as a rule, transcend inescapable poor health and/or poverty.

Two Important Arguments from Both 'Sides' of the Gun Debate

However, the genetic bond, particularly for women, seems to be veryimportant psychologically. While thinking about the ideas for this paper,I spoke with two women who seemed to me to have inconsistent views aboutone's (natural or moral) rights concerning their genetic offspring. Thesewomen saw no reason that an unmarried father (or father-to-be) shouldhave any say about whether the fetus is aborted or not, how the pregnantwoman should take care of her own health and well-being, and whether thebaby should be offered for adoption or not. Yet they thought a woman shouldbe able to decide that an embryo she does not want to carry (which couldfeasibly be transplanted into the womb of a woman who wants to rear it)could be terminated instead of transplanted. These women seemed to thinkthat there is some more important relationship, and responsibility andrights, between a mother and child than between a father and child -- evenif the genetic mother is not the one who will carry the embryo in her bodyuntil it is born. Unlike me, they think the physical aspects of pregnancyare not what sometimes creates an earlier emotional attachment not opento fathers, but that something does at a female genetic level or very earlygestation time for a woman. One of these women, an attorney, even saw noreason why a man should have any determination about abortion even if hewere forced, say at gunpoint, to have intercourse with some woman who wantedto have a child. It seems to me this kind of distinction between a geneticmother's rights and a genetic father's rights is unwarranted in a casewhere the genetic mother does not have to be, or is not, the gestationmother.

Essays Related to Abortion: Both Sides

Although the fact of abortion has been examined through it?s scientific and religious side, in this assignment we will try and examine abortion from an ethical point of view....