Is Abortion Ethical? #219
The main arguments
Dear friends of Daily Philosophy,
We talked here previously about the abortion debate, but we have never covered the basic arguments of abortion ethics in this newsletter. Since this topic (like most topics nowadays) is often discussed on the basis of beliefs, emotions and outrage rather than actual thought, let us today have a look at the classic arguments in the abortion debate.
But before we jump in, let me give you a two updates on Daily Philosophy: first, we have a new partnership with a philosophy blog from Mexico, Filosofia En La Red (Philosophy on the Net). In the coming weeks and months, we will see translated posts from that site here in our newsletter, and we will also have some of our articles posted there in a Spanish version. I hope that this will be interesting to you and that we will all have an opportunity to learn a little more about philosophy in Latin America in the process!
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And now, let’s go back to today’s topic! If you find this post interesting, please feel free to forward it to others or to share it on social media! Thanks!
The Ethics of Abortion
Is abortion morally right? We look at the main arguments for and against abortion, considering whether abortion can be said to be murder and whether (or why) the mother’s rights might be considered more important than the fetus.
Arguments for abortion
The woman should have the right to choose what she does with her body
Those who are pro-choice believe that a woman should have the right to choose what she does with her body. They argue that the fetus is, at least in the beginning of pregnancy, nothing more than another organ of the mother. Therefore, they believe that it should be up to the woman to decide whether or not to abort the pregnancy.
On the other hand, if we believe that that human life begins at conception, then abortion might be seen as an unlawful killing of a human being. Opponents of abortion argue that the fetus is a human being with a right to life.
We will discuss the problem of when exactly the fetus becomes a human being below; but even if we assume that the fetus is human, we still have to weigh the interests of two humans (the mother and the fetus) against each other.
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