Abortion: Right or Wrong
According to the WHO definition of abortion (Dutta159), it is the extraction or expulsion of fetus that weighs 500gm or less and is incapable of its independent existence. It may be spontaneous or it may be carried out forcibly. Abortion is a controversial issue in terms of ethics since it should be decided whether abortion can be carried out or should be completely banned. According to some viewpoints, abortion should not be completely banned. The actual circumstances should always be considered before taking any decision. There may be many individuals, groups and communities from different countries and religions who may not agree with this opinion because of their social or religious structure, but their views should be considered valuable as well.
Everyone agrees with the fact that in order to solve any problem, the solution should be based on many criteria, such as country, society, religion, race and culture. Any solution should always have answers to the questions raised by the abovementioned criteria, and, the facts that are going to be presented here definitely fulfill all these criteria. The readers are from all over the world, and undoubtedly they all are educated, civilized and sensible people. After reading the following views, even if they do not agree with them, they will surely get answers to most of questions that are raised in their minds.
When someone thinks of abortion, what picture comes to his/her mind? An unborn innocent child who is being extracted from his/her mother’s body, who is yet to see the world, and who would have been born some day to see this beautiful world. But this is only one side of the coin. If the other side of the same coin is seen, one may imagine a mother-to-be who is undergoing pain in this process, and this pain is not only physical, but it is even an irreparable mental trauma that no woman ever wants to undergo willingly. Thus, there are many issues that are forcing a woman to bear this pain, and after all, losing one’s own child is not that easy. Attention should be paid to certain factors that may be the reasons for the abortion. Just imagine a woman from any underdeveloped country who is extremely poor, has an alcoholic husband, already has many children, and is the only one responsible to carry out all her household work, and take care of her children and husband. So, if this woman gets pregnant, does it seems logical that she must bring another child to this world and increase her already existing burden?
It is widely believed that crime against women has risen to a great extent in most parts of the world. For example, supposing a woman gets raped and, as a result, becomes pregnant. If she decides not to opt for abortion and bring her child to this world, just imagine the following scenario that will take place during her pregnancy and after child birth. The society would not agree to accept such a child, mainly in the developing countries. Unfortunately, that child will face mental trauma along with his/her mother, when he/she grows up. In the worst case, suppose the rape victim is a minor who is going to take care of her and share her responsibilities. The raped woman may be punished unjustly, and she may even feel guilty for the rest of her life. It may have drastic effects on her future life and carrier. So, what should be done in such a situation if the victim is not supposed to undergo abortion?
As it is the 21st century and the science has developed by now, there are many methods of fetal examinations like sonography, blood tests, amniocentesis, by which birth and genetic defects, and anatomical and chromosomal abnormalities( for example, Down’s Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome) of a baby can be determined even before it is born. Now, let us assume that a pregnant woman goes for ultrasound or amniocentesis, and the doctor finds an incurable genetic disease in her unborn baby. Without a doubt, it is a very painful situation, especially if the woman is forbidden from carrying out abortion. Does it seem wise to bring a child to this world who has such a severe disease that will deprive him of leading a normal life ever? This child will be mentally retarded and always dependent on others to carry out his/her day to day activities. And, what about the mother’s pain when she will see her child suffering and she would not be able to do anything? Are these reasons not valid for legalizing abortion under such circumstances?
There are many other situations as well that may be the reason to consider abortion as a valid option. Pregnancy that imposes danger on a woman’s health and even puts her life at risk may be an example of such a situation. Is it not a better option to terminate this pregnancy? Or, is it normal for a mentally challenged woman to take care of herself and her child? After all, bringing a new life at the cost of an already existing life can never be a reason good and valid enough to make abortion completely illegal. It is even a medical ethic practiced in many countries to save the mother’s life first and then consider her child’s life. Many people consider abortion as a homicide, because it leads to the killing of a human life. According to certain religious scriptures, an embryo, or a fetus, is not a living person with a soul until it takes its first breath (Schwartz). Thus, a fetus cannot be considered a living being (Thomson). Now, if under certain unfortunate situations, it is necessary to abort the fetus for the betterment of a mother, it should not be considered a sin or a killing, because the soul has not yet entered the body. In fact, by doing this, one existing life is being saved. So, abortion cannot be considered as killing if it is for the betterment of someone already living, because a living life is more important than a future life. It is the necessity and call of humanity and human race.
Still, abortion cannot be justified if it is done for one’s own profit or out of selfish reasons. If abortion is based on gender selection, then of course, it is wrong. Therefore, before considering abortion to be right or wrong, many factors should be taken into consideration and it should be kept in mind that abortion is being carried out with good intentions and the right purpose to save someone’s life, to protect someone’s dignity or to prevent certain untreatable diseases. If any work is done with a good intention, then it cannot be considered wrong, but even if a good work is done with a wrong intention in mind, then that good work cannot be considered right and it can never be justified. Abortion is a very sensitive issue and it should be handled with great care and sensitivity. After all, it is a question of someone’s life and death. Motherhood is a great experience, so it is very important to consider every aspect of abortion before coming to any conclusion. Abortion should be considered as a last resort if any other option is not available.
Dutta, DurlavC. Perinatology and Contraception. NewYork: NewCentral Book Agency (P) Limited, 2004. Print.
Schwartz, David J. When Life Begins According to Scripture. n.d. Web. 21 Sept 2013.
Thomson, Judith J. A Defence of Abortion. n.d. Web. 21 Sep 2013.