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An overview on the matter of pro choice amongst women worldwide

Linkedin In the first installment of this four-part series we examined a number of arguments for abortion rights which can be classified as appeals to pity. In this article I will present and critique more appeals to pity, along with two additional kinds of argument: Of course, not every defender of abortion rights holds to all or any of the arguments presented in this article.

But the truth of the matter is that a vast majority do defend at least some of these arguments. For this reason, the following critique should prove helpful to those interested in providing reasoned answers, rather than inflammatory rhetoric, to the arguments put forth by the abortion rights movement. Although pregnancy as a result of either rape or incest is extremely rare,1 there is no getting around the an overview on the matter of pro choice amongst women worldwide that pregnancy does occur in some instances.

Bioethicist Andrew Varga summarizes the argument from rape and incest in the following way: It is argued that in these tragic cases the great value of the mental health of a woman who becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest can best be safe-guarded by abortion.

It is also said that a pregnancy caused by rape or incest is the result of a grave injustice and that the victim should not be obliged to carry the fetus to viability. This would keep reminding her for nine months of the violence committed against her and would just increase her mental anguish.

It is concluded, then, that abortion is justified in these cases. First, it is not relevant to the case for abortion on demand, the position defended by the popular pro-choice movement. This position states that a woman has a right to have an abortion for any reason she prefers during the entire nine months of pregnancy, whether it be for gender-selection, convenience, or rape. Proving an exception does not establish a general rule.

Second, since conception does not occur immediately following intercourse, pregnancy can be eliminated in all rape cases if the rape victim receives immediate medical treatment by having all the male semen removed from her uterus. It is the rapist who is the aggressor. The unborn entity is just as much an innocent victim as its mother.

Hence, abortion cannot be justified on the basis that the unborn is an aggressor. Fourth, this argument begs the question by assuming that the unborn is not fully human. And homicide of another is never justified to relieve one of emotional distress. Although such a judgment is indeed anguishing, we must not forget that the same innocent unborn entity that the career-oriented woman will abort in order to avoid interference with a job promotion is biologically and morally indistinguishable from the unborn entity that results from an act of rape or incest.

And since abortion for career advancement cannot be justified if the unborn entity is fully human, abortion cannot be justified in the cases of rape and incest. In both cases abortion results in the death of an innocent human life. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On abortion, persistent divides between – and within – the two parties

It is the rapist who has already forced this woman to carry a child, not the pro-lifer. The pro-life advocate merely wants to prevent another innocent human being the unborn entity from being the victim of a violent and morally reprehensible act abortionfor two wrongs do not make a right.

As theologian and ethicist Dr. Michael Bauman has observed: Dealing with the woman pregnant from rape, then, can be an opportunity for us — both as individuals and society — to develop true understanding and charity. Is it not better to try to develop these virtues than to countenance an ethic of destruction as the solution? They believe that unwanted children are indirectly responsible for a great number of family problems, such as child abuse.

First, the argument begs the question, because only by assuming that the unborn are not fully human does this argument work. For if the unborn are fully human, like the abused young children which we readily admit are fully human, then to execute the unborn is the worst sort of child abuse imaginable. Second, it is very difficult to demonstrate that the moral and metaphysical value of a human being is dependent on whether someone wants or cares for that human being. For example, no one disputes that the homeless have value even though they are for the most part unwanted.

The question is not whether the unborn are wanted; the question is whether the unborn are fully human. Third, an unwanted child almost never turns out to be a resented baby.

This seems to be borne out statistically: A lack of caring is a flaw in the one who ought to care, not in the person who ought to be cared for. Hence, whether or not abortion is morally justified depends on whether the unborn are fully human, not on their wantedness. After all, they reason, the abortion rights movement is not forcing pro-life women to have abortions, but the pro-life movement is trying to deny all women the option to make a choice. There are basically five arguments which the abortion rights advocate uses in order to articulate this position.

Argument from Pluralism It is sometimes argued that the question of when protectable human life begins is a personal religious question that one must answer for oneself.

Justice Blackmun writes in Roe v. Such a separation is supposedly necessary to sustain tolerance in a pluralistic society. First, it is self-refuting and question-begging. To claim, as Justices Blackmun and Stevens do, that the Court should not propose one theory of life over another, and that the decision should be left up to each individual pregnant woman as to when protectable human life begins, is to propose a theory of life which hardly has a clear consensus in this country.

Second, the fact that a particular theory of life is consistent with a religious view does not mean that it is exclusively religious or that it is in violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. For example, many pro-life advocates argue for their position by emphasizing that there is nontheological support for their position,19 while many pro-choice advocates, such as Mollenkott,20 argue that their position is theologically grounded in the Bible.

Furthermore, some public policies — such as civil an overview on the matter of pro choice amongst women worldwide legislation and elimination of nuclear testing — which are supported by many clergymen who find these policies in agreement with and supported by their doctrinal beliefs, would have to be abolished simply because they are believed by some to be supported by a particular religious theory of life.

Hence, the pro-life position is a legitimate public policy option and does not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Mollenkott is also demanding that the pro-lifer accept the pro-choice view of what constitutes a just society. I believe that this is asking much too much of the pro-life movement.

Philosopher George Mavrodes drives home this point in the following story: Let us imagine a person who believes that Jews are human persons, and that the extermination of Jews is murder. Many of us will find that exercise fairly easy, because we are people of that sort ourselves. So we may as well take ourselves to be the people in question. We can simply mind our own business, walk quietly past the well-trimmed lawns, and of course pay our taxes.

Can we get some feel for what it would be like to live in that context? Argument from Imposing Morality There is a more popular variation of the above argument. Consequently, they argue that pro-lifers, by attempting to forbid women from having abortions, are trying to force their morality on others. There are at least three problems with this argument. For instance, laws against drunk driving, murder, smoking crack, robbery, and child molestation are all intended to impose a particular moral perspective on the free moral agency of others.

Such laws are instituted because the acts they are intended to prevent often obstruct the free agency of other persons; for example, a person killed by a drunk driver is prevented from exercising his free agency. These laws seek to maintain a just and orderly society by limiting some free moral agency e.

That is to say, if the unborn entity is fully human, forbidding abortions would be perfectly just, since abortion, by killing the unborn human, limits the free agency of another.

About six-in-ten Americans support marijuana legalization

Once again, unless the pro-choice advocate assumes that the unborn are not fully human, his or her argument is not successful. Some people argue that it is not wise to make a public policy decision in one direction when there is wide diversity of opinion within society. This argument can be outlined in the following way: One way to show that this argument is wrong is to show that premise 1 is false.

There are several reasons to believe that it is. First, if premise 1 were true, then the pro-choice advocate would have to admit that the United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Yet no pro-choicer would say that slavery should have remained as an institution. Third, if premise 1 were true, then much of civil rights legislation, about which there was much disagreement, would be unjust.

Fourth, if premise 1 were true, then a favorite pro-choice public policy proposal would also be unjust. Many pro-choicers believe that the federal government should use the tax dollars of the American people to fund the abortions of poor women. There are large numbers of Americans, however some of whom are pro-choicewho do not want their tax dollars used in this way.

And fifth, if premise 1 were true, then laws forbidding pro-life advocates e. One cannot deny that there is widespread disagreement concerning this issue. But these are the very laws which the pro-choicer supports.

Hence, his or her argument is self-refuting. Another way to show that this argument is not successful is to challenge the second premise and show that there is not widespread disagreement on the question of whether abortion on demand should be forbidden.

9.3 Abortion

In other words, they do not agree that abortion should remain legal during the entire nine months of pregnancy for any reason the woman deems fit. In other words, abortions are going to happen anyway, so we ought to make them safe and legal. This argument also is subject to several criticisms. First, it totally begs the question, because it assumes that the unborn are not fully human.

If the unborn are fully human, this argument is tantamount to saying that, since people will murder other people anyway, we ought to make it safe and legal for them to do so. But murder is never justified, even if there are social difficulties in forbidding it. Second, since the vast majority of Americans are law-abiding citizens, they will probably obey the law as they did prior to Roe v. Now if the pro-choice advocate claims that a law cannot stop all abortions, he or she makes a trivial claim, for this is true of all laws which forbid illegal acts.

For example, even though both hiring paid assassins and purchasing child pornography are illegal, some people remain undaunted and pursue them illegally.

Abortion and Rape: Answering the Arguments for Abortion Rights

But there is no doubt that their illegality does hinder a vast number of citizens from obtaining them. Such reasoning is absurd. Although it is not obvious that either the law or sound ethical reasoning supports such a strong view of personal autonomy e.

The conceptus is a genetically distinct entity with its own unique and individual gender, blood type, bone-structure, and genetic code. To say that the unborn entity is part of its mother is to claim that the mother possesses four legs, two heads, two noses, and — with the case of a male conceptus — a penis and two testicles.

Certainly a woman has a right to control her own body, but the unborn entity, though for a time living inside her body, is not part of her body. In this respect this argument also begs the question, because it assumes that the unborn are not fully human. Hence, when the abortion rights advocate judges, ridicules, insults, or slanders the pro-lifer as a person, he or she does not attack the arguments for the pro-life position.