Abortion Essay Research Paper Philosophy Essay

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Abortion Essay, Research Paper Philosophy Essay ? Abortion Introduction When does life actually begin? When, if ever, is it right to terminate a pregnancy? These are some of the moral dilemmas that are faced when dealing with the issue of abortion. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. There are many different stands held on the issue of abortion. For those holding a conservative view on abortion, abortion is never acceptable except when necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. In contrast, the liberal view believes that abortion is always ethically acceptable at any point of fetal development, and for any reason. Finally, there are those in the middle, that hold the moderate view. They believe that abortion is ethically acceptable up to a certain point of fetal

development and that some reasons are acceptable. Mary Anne Warren?s Argument for Abortion Mary Anne Warren?s stand on abortion is that of a liberal one. In her article, On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion, she concludes that ??a women?s right to protect her health, happiness, freedom, and even her life, by terminating an unwanted pregnancy, will always override whatever right to life it may be appropriate to ascribe to a fetus, even a fully developed one.? (pg.16, Mappes) Warren believes that abortion is permittable because the fetus is not a fully developed person with moral characteristics; they are human beings that are not yet a person. She contends that in order to be considered a human, we must satisfy five traits. These five traits are: 1 consciousness (of objects

and events external and/or internal to the being), and in particular the capacity to feel pain: 2reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems); 3self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct external control); 4the capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics; 5the presence of self-concepts and self-awareness, wither individual or racial, or both. (pg.12, Mappes) And since a fetus does not possess these five characters, she believes that they are not entitled to have full moral status, and may be terminated during any stage of pregnancy. To support her

conclusion she uses creative stories, such as a story about if we landed on a planet how would we be able to distinguish the aliens as those holding morals such as ourselves, or things in which we could eat. She also uses another story about if we were captured by aliens who wanted to make genetic copies of ourselves, by which we would actually loose our life. She says that no matter how many lives would be made out of us, we should not have to give up our freedom for others. These stories are also the main strengths in her argument because it makes the reader look at the issue of abortion in a different light. By using these stories, the reader is convinced to take a deeper look into his or her opinion. The weaknesses to her argument is that if we were to support her argument,

that pregnancy should be able to be terminated at any stage, then we could fall into a slippery slope. Another weakness to this argument is that abortion could end up being another form of birth control for those who are irresponsible. Instead of it being for those who actually have valid reasons, it becomes available to anyone for any reason, therefore simply becoming another form of birth control. Finally, she fails to mention that abortions can be damaging to a women?s health. She talks about how it is our bodies and that we have a right to do what we want to, to keep them healthy, but fails to bring to our attention that abortions are not healthy for us. Don Marquis? Argument against Abortion In contrast to Marry Anne Warren, Marquis holds a conservative view on abortion. In