Abortion is a topic of considerable debate for years among experts. There are polarize opinions about this issue, some people believe that it is an immoral act to kill a baby before coming into this world, while others believe that it is the fundamental right of a woman what she wants with it. There is a fight between pro-life and pro-choice and the ethical dilemma in this conversation is more complex than it appears. The individual’s opinion about this issue depends on his or her value system. The study in hand will discuss this ongoing issue in two different ethical perspectives as Divine Command Ethics and Egoism. Divine command theory is based on something above the needs and wants of a person. The will of God is the basis of this theory (White, 2018). Ethical egoism allows doing things in our own interests. It allows us to consider an alternate life and have another chance.
The divine command theory claims that what is morally correct is not different than the fact that God commands it. Some people believe that what God says is right is always right in any situation, place, and time. This makes ethics more stable, clear, and universal which can make it attractive. According to this theory, things are considered good because God commands them, and these things are considered bad as God prohibits them (Joyce, 2019). There are some uncomfortable implications of this theory. Because philosophical ethics are based on what God commanded or forbidden. One has to ask God for it and there is some wrong interpretation of the words of God. Religious intuition on moral issues stops the conversation.
Some people believe that it is illegal to kill an unborn child. They consider having a baby a divine gift and abortion a sin to escape from taking responsibility for your actions. In some situations like having a child of a man who raped a woman or a child be born with some abnormality in these conditions, the pro-choice dilemma has high weightage. However, killing a child is still not acceptable to the people who support the Divine Command Theory. They allow a woman to give the baby for abortion, but abortion is murder (Nobis & Grob, 2019). There are many teenage girls who get pregnant because of their carelessness. They go for abortion if abortion is forbidden in this case so they would be more careful. However, in some societies and some religions getting pregnant by rape or having sex with a person other than the husband is a sin and the baby is not accepted in the community. That stigmatizes the character of a woman. The main argument about abortion is that an embryo is a human being and a woman who gets an abortion is killing her baby. According to Christian doctrine abortion rights are against Christianity in a much deeper way. They believe in altruism which refers to the good based on sacrificing your interests to others. Just like Jesus give up his life to save us, a pregnant woman sacrifices her visions to save an unborn baby that she can bear.
The decision regarding abortion doesn’t occur in a vacuum, it has some cultural values and principles, and a person has to make choice between egoism (self-interest) and altruism (self-sacrifice) (Szybowicz, 2017). Those who defend the abortion rights of a woman argue that it can help a woman to escape from the trauma of rape. Because after giving birth to a baby resulting from a rape case might recall that traumatic event. In this case, we conclude that abortion is less severe and a possible solution than an unwanted child from the trauma that must be carried by the victim. It is better to end such a pregnancy which could be terrible suffering for the rest of the life of both mother and child. This terrible suffering can be overcome to some extent through abortion (Ştefan, 2014).
Egoism allows a person to act for his or her own self-interest, it is a normative theory that refers to promoting one’s own good according to morality. It is always ethically correct to promote your own good (Ferri, 2018). However, ethical egoism doesn’t harm the well-being of others. In the case of abortion, ethical egoism must be considered to be considered. Because there is no violation of the rights of others or to harm others, but only the life of a mother is at stake. When we learn about the abnormality of the baby or the risk to the survival of the mother, so abortion could be ethically right. Feminist ethics also allows the autonomy of the woman to select abortion.
In conclusion, abortion is a controversial topic and this controversy will continue to be around for years because we have strong arguments both in favor and against this issue. The divine command theory is used to oppose this act because pregnancy is a gift of God for a woman. While egoism theory provides autonomy to a woman to make her decision. Some women do selective abortion for a reason if the unborn child is a girl and they want a boy, or the fetus is defective so these are ethically wrong. However, pregnancy results from rape that caused trauma for women and could be terrible suffering for both child and mother so it is better to end such pregnancies.
Ferri, C. (2018). The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion, and Childbirth: Exploring Moral Choices in Childbearing. Philosophical Inquiries, 6(2), 4-7.
Ştefan, I. (2014). Arguments for and against abortion in terms of teleological and deontological theories. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 149, 927-935.
Joyce, K. (2019). Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, by Lewis Vaughn. Teaching Philosophy, 42(4), 414-417.
White, A. (2018). Abortion: A Fresh Policy Approach.
Nobis, N., & Grob, K. (2019). Common Arguments About Abortion.
Szybowicz, E. (2017). Shame or Pride? Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion in Novels for Girls in the Polish People’s Republic and Today. Teksty Drugie, (2), 38-56.