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Ethics - Essay Example

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So far in legal as well as philosophical circles, the debate has centered on whether the fetus is a human being, a person with the right…
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Ethics

The corollary to this is, of course, that if a woman chooses to deny her fetus the sustenance it needs to thrive, then she has a right to deny it that, and therefore a right to decide on an abortion.
Markowitz wishes to divert from these issues, not because of the strength or weakness of their positions, but because as a true feminist the issue should relate to the woman as woman. It will be noted that the personality of the fetus and the right of a person over her (or his) own body is not related in anyway to a woman’s gender. This is not, therefore, a feminist issue but a morality issue like any other. The way Markowitz sees it, women are, as a class, systematically oppressed by the male-dominated society (this is known as the “feminist proviso’), a cornerstone principle of all feminist stands. Together with this, Markowitz espouses another principle, that of impermissible sacrifice. She said that it is the right of an oppressed or dominated class to refuse to sacrifice itself for the sake of the dominant class. The reason for this is that this practice tends to propagate the oppression and causes greater injustice to the oppressed class. A quotation from the selection “A Feminist Defense of Abortion” by Sally Markowitz explicitly expresses the impermissible sacrifice principle as follows:
“When one social group in a society is systematically oppressed by another, it is impermissible to require the oppressed group to make sacrifices that will exacerbate or perpetuate this oppression.”
Taking this one step further, Markowitz views conception and childbirth as a sacrifice by women in order to serve the purposes of men – to produce him heirs or issue, to give him children to carry on his name and fill his household. In the Western cultural context, women are seen as being forced by men to bear the latter children. To Markowitz, this is an impermissible ... Read More
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