Abortion 08

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Abortion 08

  1. 1. Abortion Moral Issues
  2. 2. Morality of, and access to, abortion <ul><li>There are two main questions concerning abortion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether abortion is a moral decision for a woman, given her specific situation. This might include consideration of her religious beliefs, age, marital status, health, economic status, available support systems, genetic makeup, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If, after a woman has consulted with her physician and perhaps her spiritual advisor and has decided to seek an abortion, whether the government should veto her decision. </li></ul></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  3. 3. First, consider <ul><li>Various groups define pregnancy and abortion-related terms differently. This can make dialogue and even elementary communication very difficult. Most pro-life and conservative Christian groups follow one set of meanings. </li></ul><ul><li>Physicians, medical researchers, and most pro-choice groups and mainline or liberal religious groups often define words differently. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  4. 4. Consider <ul><li>Human life: This is &quot;any living cell or collection of living cells that contains DNA from the species homo sapiens .&quot; 1 This includes an ovum, a spermatozoon, zygote, embryo, fetus, newborn. It also includes an infant, child, adult, elder. It also includes a breast cancer cell, a living hair follicle, and a recent skin scraping. Some forms of human life, like an individual ovum or spermatozoon, are rarely considered to be of value, except by couples having difficulty conceiving. Other forms of human life, like a newborn or infant, are priceless; medical professionals go to great lengths to preserve their life. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  5. 5. Consider <ul><li>Human person: A human life that is granted civil rights, including the right to live. People have different opinions about the point at which human life becomes a human person. There is a societal consensus that a newborn is a human person. However, people disagree about whether a zygote, embryo, or fetus is also a human person. This is the main point of disagreement that causes conflicts over abortion access. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  6. 6. Consider <ul><li>Start of pregnancy: Pro-lifers typically define pregnancy as starting at conception. Pro-choicers and the medical profession usually define it as starting when the zygote is fully implanted in the wall of the uterus. We use the medical definition in this section. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  7. 7. Consider <ul><li>Abortion: We define abortion as the &quot;purposeful termination of pregnancy with intention other than to produce a live born infant or to remove a dead fetus.&quot; 3 This is one of many conflicting definitions in common use. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  8. 8. Defintions <ul><li>Definions of Abortion </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  9. 9. A great number of factors <ul><li>Two basic principles come into conflict in relation to abortion: the Value of Life principle and the Principle of Individual Freedom. </li></ul><ul><li>Another basic question is, When does human life begin, and at what point is it to be valued and protected? </li></ul><ul><li>Abortion also includes two conflicting “absolutes.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>According to the pro-life position, the conceptus has the right to life. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>According to the pro-choice position, a woman has absolute right over her body and life. </li></ul></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  10. 10. Antiabortion (pro-life) arguments <ul><li>The pro-life group believes in the genetic view of the beginning of human life- that human life begins at conception. </li></ul><ul><li>One pro-life argument is based on the sanctity or value of life. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The right to life is absolute, especially the right of innocent, unborn life. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Every unborn “child” must be regarded as a human person with all the rights of a person from the moment of conception onward. </li></ul></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  11. 11. Pro-life arguments con’t <ul><li>The domino argument applies to this issue much as it does to others. One proof of its validity cited by the pro-life group is that Hitler started his history of atrocities by legalizing abortion. </li></ul><ul><li>Abortion is both medically and psychologically harmful to women. </li></ul><ul><li>The danger of pregnancy to a mother’s life is almost nonexistent because of medical and technological advances. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  12. 12. Pro-life arguments con’t <ul><li>There are viable alternatives to abortion. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unwanted babies can be put up for adoption. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are institutions and agencies to care for unwanted/or deformed children. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Economics cannot be a consideration when human life is concerned. </li></ul><ul><li>Women must accept full responsibility for their sexual activities, and when these activities result in pregnancy, innocent life cannot be sacrificed because of women’s carelessness or indiscretion. </li></ul><ul><li>Rape or incest usually don’t present problems because contraceptives often can be used in time; when they can’t , however, even such means of conception do not justify the taking of innocent lives. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  13. 13. Abortion-on-request (pro-choice) arguments <ul><li>Women have absolute rights over their bodies, and the conceptus is part of a woman’s body until birth. </li></ul><ul><li>A conceptus cannot be considered a human life until birth. </li></ul><ul><li>Unwanted or deformed children should not be brought into the world. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is more responsible to have an abortion than to burden society with an unwanted or deformed child. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adoption is not always a solution </li></ul></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  14. 14. Abortion-on-request (pro-choice) arguments <ul><li>Abortion is a no-risk medical procedure. Medical and psychological problems are much greater for women who go through pregnancies than for those who have abortions. </li></ul><ul><li>The domino argument used by pro-life groups is not supported by hard evidence. Hitler’s over-all motives for women who go through pregnancies then for those who have abortions. </li></ul><ul><li>Pregnancies resulting from rape and incest should never have to be gone through by any woman because of the horror of the circumstances of conception. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  15. 15. Abortion-on-request (pro-choice) arguments <ul><li>Women do not have responsibilities for their sexual activities, and having abortions when necessary is a part of these responsibilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Abortion is and must be totally a matter of the woman’s choice- no one else should be able to interfere. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  16. 16. The more moderate position <ul><li>The strong pro-life and pro-choice positions present an unresovlable conflict of absolutes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is not absolute right to life, even though the Value of life Principle is important. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is also no absolute right over one’s body and life, even though it is a strong right. </li></ul></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  17. 17. The more moderate position <ul><li>The problem of when life begins may be considered through a synthesis. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The pro-life position draws the line (for when life begins) too early. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The pro-choice position draws it too late. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The moderate favors the developmental view of when life begins, which states that life does indeed begin at conception, but gains value as it develops through the gestation period. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  18. 18. Persepctives <ul><li>Those promoting a pro-life position say that the government should override a woman's decision to have an abortion in some, many, or all cases, and require her to continue her pregnancy to childbirth. Most pro-lifers base their stance on the belief that human life, in the form of an ovum and spermatozoon, becomes a human person at the time of conception. Thus, a human pre-embryo, embryo and fetus are all persons entitled to fundamental human rights, including the most basic right : to be allowed to live. The lives of two humans are being considered here: that of the woman and her embryo or fetus. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  19. 19. Perspectives <ul><li>Those promoting a pro-choice position say that the government should not interfere with the woman's decision, or should do so only under rare circumstances. She should be able to have an abortion in most or all cases. Most pro-choicers base their stance on the belief that human life becomes a human person at some time after conception -- perhaps when the embryo's heart starts beating, or when the fetus first looks human, or it becomes sentient, or it has half emerged from its mother's body, or is born, or is severed from its mother and is functioning independently. They feel that a woman should not be forced to go through a pregnancy and childbirth if she does not choose to do so. She should be allowed to have an abortion if it is done before her embryo or fetus attains personhood. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  20. 20. <ul><li>One commonly held view discussed in the chapter is that a fetus gains the moral status of a human being at viability, the point at which it can survive outside the mother's womb. However, the stage of development at which this point occurs varies depending upon where the mother lives, and what sort of financial resources she has. For a mother living in an industrialized nation, with great financial and medical resources at her disposal, a fetus will be able to survive outside her womb relatively early; the reverse is the case for a mother in a developing country, with very few resources available to her. So, a fetus that has the moral status of a human in Boston might not have that status in Kabul. Given these facts, what basic moral principle suggests that viability is not a morally acceptable criterion of whether a fetus has the rights of a human individual? </li></ul><ul><li>The Principle of Goodness  </li></ul><ul><li>The Value of Life Principle  </li></ul><ul><li>The Principle of Justice  </li></ul><ul><li>The Golden Rule </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
  21. 21. <ul><li>Consider Case 1 on pages 280-81: a young teenager has discovered that she is two months pregnant, and has been counseled by her father, whose primary concern is the effect a pregnancy carried to term would have on her schooling and career; by her mother and priest, who tell her that abortion would be a mortal sin; and by the staff of a clinic that offers abortions. Which of the views discussed in this chapter about when a conceptus gains the rights of a human would her mother be most likely to favor? </li></ul><ul><li>  A fetus gains rights at the time of &quot;quickening.&quot;  </li></ul><ul><li>A conceptus gains a right to life when its genetic code is determined  </li></ul><ul><li>The developmental view.  </li></ul><ul><li>A fetus gains the moral status of a human when it becomes viable. </li></ul>11/30/09 Free template from www.brainybetty.com
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