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Arguments against abortion - Essay Example

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Arguments against abortion

The controversy lies on when and whether abortion should be done and the extent to which it should be denied or encouraged. It is this debate that has caused other countries to legalize abortion, such as the US, while others, such as Brazil, still consider the procedure illegal (Naden, 2008). This paper argues against abortion, based on its conflict with religious and moral standards, and thus supports its illegalization. First, abortion involves taking human life away, hence tantamount to murder. With this argument, it would be critical to understand when life begins. Proponents of abortion argue that an embryo is not a human being. They argue that it is only until such an embryo acquires human characteristics that it shall be recognized as a human (Thomson, 2010). However, these proponents do not draw a clear line from which an embryo becomes human. Therefore, it would be more reasonable to consider an embryo as a full human or a person (Beckwith 1992). According to England (1996), the embryo starts developing immediately an oocyte is fertilized by a sperm, a process that results in the formation of a zygote. A zygote is a large diploid cell and is the beginning of human life. It means that life begins at conception and thus the humanness of an embryo immediately after fertilization. This pro-life argument has been in existence in the history of the world for a long time. For instance, Naden (2008) observes that the Bible refers to the unborn as a child. It therefore recognizes the fact that an embryo already qualifies as a human being. Therefore, life begins at conception. This means that at whatever stage of pregnancy, from the first day to the last day of the ninth month, whatever is borne in the womb is a human being. As such, aborting pregnancy at any stage amounts to murder, and thus immoral. Secondly, having observed that abortion is tantamount to murder, it is against religious principles to decide on the death of a person, in this case the embryo, as only God reserves the sole power to decide when one should die. In basic terms, abortion is killing. No one holds the right to decide on the death or even life of an innocent person. However, Thomson (2010) observes that in situations where the life of the woman is at risk of death, say due to a cardiac condition that could prevent carrying the pregnancy to term, then she has the right to abort. Both the mother and the fetus have the right to life. Carrying out an abortion amounts to killing the fetus while doing nothing does not mean killing the mother, but rather letting her die. Furthermore, killing the fetus would be killing an innocent life that does not aim at killing the mother. Choosing between letting one die and killing an innocent person, the former holds moral expectations. However, if the mother opts for an abortion, it would not be considered as immoral, but rather an act to save her life. The mother’s right of deciding what happens to and in her body outweighs the right of the fetus to life. Finally, there are a myriad of physiological and psychological risks associated with abortion making it impermissible. Abortion remains an elusive area of study for a majority of doctors. Even after the procedure was legalized in the US, a Columbia University Medical Center professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, observes that the situation has not changed significantly with large teaching hospitals and medical schools not treating abortion as an important training area (Naden, 2008). This means that the area lacks adequate qualified personnel to handle the procedure. This leaves the task to physicians at freestanding clinics, exposing the women ...Show more


Generally, human pregnancy has been divided into three trimesters, each lasting three months. Issues such as miscarriage, preterm birth and genetic abnormality and trauma could cause the termination of pregnancy…
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Arguments against abortion essay example
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