Abortion Essay Research Paper Abortion An infants — страница 2

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the other hand, if abortion is not to be regarded as immoral or unethical, one may defend it as a good to the extent that it is socially beneficial while still opposing it to the extent that it is socially disruptive. In contrast, most opponents of abortion would be of the view that it is never to be condoned, no matter what alleged social benefits may result from specific abortions under specific circumstances, such as the aborting of the babies of mental defectives. Basically, opponents of abortion regard it as murder insofar as it involves what they regard as the willful taking of life. Thus they base their position upon a transcendent moral imperative “thou shall not kill” although it should also be noted that the morality of abortion is questioned by many who do not

subscribe to the extreme of the equation that abortion is murder. Rachel Richardson Smith expresses this latter position when she writes: Call it what you will – - fertilized eggs, embryo, or fetus. What we have here is human life. If it were just a mass of tissue there would be no debate. I agree that abortion ends life. But the anti-abortionists are wrong to call it murder. (Szumski, p. 94) Here of course, we have to realize a balance of perspectives. Nevertheless, advocates of abortion rarely address themselves to the moral issue, but instead, seek to counter the imperative against the taking of human live with another imperative that woman should have complete freedom over her own body. Ms. Richardson is entirely correct when she states that abortion is murder. The

semantics of a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus are just that, and represent a kind of socio-moral smoke screen for many to bury their heads in. What I’m suggesting is that the moral issue of abortion cannot be evaded, but at the same time, that issue is more complex than some supporters of both the Right To Life, as well as pro-abortion position would have us belief. More specifically, it has been argued that abortion represents an intrinsic moral evil, which can be justified only to prevent a greater evil. Of this, I would agree. The most obvious greater evil, in this regard, would be loss of the life of the person already living, but I would consider such evils as the extreme emotional distress of carrying to term a child associated with rape or incest. In other words, it is

possible for liberal or leftist to oppose abortion on philosophical grounds while approving the liberalization of society of which legalized abortion is but a manifestation. However, most opponents of abortion are social conservatives. Thus, the controversy over the legalization of abortion has inevitably assumed overtones, which go beyond the legalistic and philosophical question as to embrace the entire of area of societal liberalization. Given the reluctance of the Supreme Court to overturn precedents (Plessey v. Ferguson was not reversed for 68 years), it is unlikely that the anti-abortion movement will succeed in undoing Roe v. Wade. Given the difficulty of amending the Constitution, legalized abortion would appear to be here to stay. However, the Right To Life Movement, to

the extent that it reflects a backlash against the growing trend towards societal liberalization, may yet have its influence upon American lives and values of the post-Reagan era. Kristin Lucker has written, regarding the liberalization of abortion that: “Barring major changes in the larger social context or on the structure of American public opinion on abortion, the best the pro-life movement can hope for, should one of the current anti-abortion bills pass, is a modern form of the prohibition experience.(Lucker,p. 242) But this the Supreme Court has ruled definitively on the abortion question, the legalization of abortion can be repealed only by the Constitutional Amendment, and it is clear that the amending of the Constitution is sufficiently difficult, if not impossible to

amend. The Right To Life Movement has shown implicit awareness of the situation by not making a concerted effort to utilize the amendment process but has instead sought to rally public opinion in the same manner as the anti-slavery forces following the Dred Scott Decision. Similarly, in terms of society (legalities) abortion has in common with slavery the fact that it is difficult to defend intellectually, but it also has in common with slavery the fact that it may become obsolete through new techniques of family planning with evidence of a new trend towards the acceptance of single mothers. This may have the ironic result of decreasing the incidents of abortion, establishing greater social permissiveness, and thus thinking the symbol of permissiveness obsolete. At the same time,