Abortion One Moral Issue Essay Research Paper

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Abortion: One Moral Issue Essay, Research Paper Some have argued abortion is morally wrong because a fetus has a right to life. Yet, some of these people would make an exception in the case of rape. This stance is contradictory if there is a strict deontological position on “right to life” if it assumes that a fetus is a living person. It is unreasonable to change this criterion in cases of rape if we are to live by a strict interpretation of right to life, assuming the fetus is living. But why does rape cause some to change their position on right to life? It is because they have perhaps now excused abortion with powerful consequential arguments as a result of having a baby who was born out of rape. There are also concerns of the rights of a woman. It may not be in the

best interest of society, or the individuals involved to have a baby who was born out of rape. Although it may seem more beneficial to society to abort a fetus because of rape, it is contradictory to abort a pregnancy if we are to live by a right to life mantra. Thus, one must argue from one moral position. If it is argued from society?s point of view, or the consequences of an abortion, the act could be excused for rape and possibly many other reasons. If the argument is a matter of principle, however, and clearly states that abortion is wrong because of the rights given to life, consequential or utilitarian arguments should be moot, if there is an assumption that the fetus is living. First the status of the fetus should be examined. If the fetus has a right to life, there is a

tactic assumption that it is in fact living. Some, such a philosopher Mary Anne Warren believe that because the fetus has not reached personhood therefore not guaranteed the right to life. Warren and others would argue that a person must have the capacity for rational thought to be considered a person. Clearly a fetus is not a rational thinker. However, this definition of personhood may not be clear. For example, individuals that are mentally handicap or in a comma may not have the capacity for rational thought, however, they are still considered a person with legal rights that are guaranteed. They may not be able to think rationally, give proper consent or depend on others for their existence; they are still given the same legal right regardless. They may not be given personhood

in some philosophic reasons, but their existence as humans is unquestionable. Viability is an another argument against the personhood of a fetus, and thus its right to life. The fetus is not viable, that is, it cannot be removed from the mother?s womb and live apart from her. To that extent, the life of the fetus is absolutely dependent on the life of the mother. This dependence is made the basis of denying the recognition to it s humanity and its “right to life”. However, how could one make this analysis? Although it is true that a fetus is absolutely dependent on someone?s care in order to continue existence, one could argue that a child of one or three or even five years of age is absolutely dependent on another?s care for existence. Thus, the viability argument is a

distinction that makes no difference, unless we are to take away right to life for small children. The line between independence and dependence does not create personhood as a young child who is a person is totally dependant on another and guaranteed the right to life. How can a fetus be argued different in this situation. Therefore, a fetus?s moral status, by extension, cannot be characterized by its status as a rational person but certaintly can be considered a human, with the same rights as other humans. Noonan, for example argues that since human parents conceive a fetus, then it must be human, as an individual genetic code is evident by fact. A fetus may not be a person, but is a human with the potentiality of personhood (see Noonan). It is noted that all human beings are