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The Ethical Issue of Abortion


The paper aims to examine the ethical issue of abortion. It will first have a look at what abortion is, what are its types, how and why it’s done, what people perceive of the issue, and what response would be more appropriate towards the problem. We also consider what circumstances lead to abortion and the aspects that make it an ethical concern. Different arguments related to the subject is discussed in detail. The paper, in the end, consists of my reaction and position on the subject under consideration.


A process or a technique applied in order to finish or end the natural process of pregnancy before a baby is born is known as abortion. The concept of abortion is dissimilar to that of the miscarriage. The notion of miscarriage is the spontaneous or natural abortion in which death of the fetus or embryo takes place inside the mother’s uterus, and is then expelled from the body of the mother. Abortion becomes a health concern when carried out later in the phases of pregnancy. There are two ways to perform an abortion; one, either through the medications and second, by means of surgical operations. Many women in the past had been, and also are wishing to abort their children and end their pregnancies. Many reasons exist behind the decision of abortion. This subject has always been a moral or ethical concern. Different religions, schools of thought, psychologists and philosophers presented their opinions and beliefs on the matter. The matter encompassed all the concerning and serious topics such as life and death, human relationships, right and wrong, and the nature of society. All these aspects make abortion a highly ethical problem. The central concept of all the arguments is that the embryo or the fetus is alive in the mother’s body, and killing an alive thing is seen as murder.

Arguments in favour of abortion

People who favour abortion focus on the rights of the women. According to them, since the mother is the one whose body is being used for the growth and nurturing of the embryo, only she has the right to decide whether to abort it or not. Women must have a moral right to do whatever with their bodies ( It is also important for keeping equality among the genders. Women are allowed to have their full potential. Stopping women to abort their children puts them at threat by urging them to go for illegal abortionists. A woman must be seen as a human, and not as a container for the fetus ( If a woman is forced to continue the pregnancy, the child born may suffer from lack of love and support from the mother since he or she will be an unwanted child.

Children born with a planning enter the world loved, cared for and wanted ( The embryo is not a human being since it cannot stay alive outside the mother’s uterus. Thus, the act of abortion must not be viewed as murder if the embryo cannot sustain and survive on its own, and utilises mother’s body and physical resources to live. “If the fetus were not a separate human being but were only another part of its mother’s body, it would not need a placenta and umbilical cord to separate them” ( The unwanted children make their way into the orphanages or on the streets which is a distressing situation for both the children and the state. Thomas, a philosopher, says that the abortion does not deprive the embryo to live. Only mother’s support is taken away from it which results in its death. She favours performing abortion keeping the mother’s rights in view. Thus, the mother must have absolute right over her body and her psychological health as well.

Arguments against abortion

The first and the main argument that comes forward against the abortion is that it’s a murder. Since the fetus or the embryo is something alive inside the mother’s body and is dependent on the mother for survival, thus removing it from the mother’s body is a planned murder of the embryo. Though it hasn’t fully grown, it is still considered as something living inside the womb of the mother. Apart from this concept or idea, some people do not favour abortion as they believe that it causes harm to the mother, both physically and psychologically. It is considered something against the natural emotions of the mother when a woman expresses her wish to abort the child. The embryo is a to-be baby of the mother, and how can a mother even imagine killing or ending the life of her baby? The nutrition and support an embryo receives from the mother’s body is its right, and depriving anyone of his or her basic right is unlawful and unethical.

And this detachment not only deprives the embryo of the nutrition but straight away takes the embryo’s life, and taking away anyone’s life is called a murder. Don Marquis makes the issue very easy to understand and decide. A rational and a new way of thinking is adopted by him in order to explain the problem. He argues that when an adult human is killed, the killer deprives him of his life, his belongings, dreams and accomplishments, goals and the whole future (Belvedere, 2017). This is why murder is viewed as an immoral deed. Similarly, when a child is aborted the mother deprives the embryo of its life, its nutrition and support, and its future of later becoming a complete human. This deprivation is the same as that explained before. Marquis states, “The future of a standard fetus includes a set of experiences, projects, activities, and such that are identical with the futures of adult human beings and are identical with the futures of young children” (Belvedere, 2017). Hence, abortion must be seen as unethical, immoral and unlawful act.

My ethical Position

Considering both the sides of the problem and examining them deeply, we can agree with Don Marquis on the fact that abortion is thus murder. However, this right must also be given to the mother who’s the owner of the child. If she doesn’t want the baby, then there’s no way anyone can stop her from doing that or creating sentimental emotions in her heart for the child. Moreover, there exist some concerning situations where abortion must not be seen as murder. These situations include pregnancy of a raped woman or a woman who’s in an abusive relationship. Such women feel disgusted in giving birth to the child and wish to get free from it at any cost. In such situations, the woman doesn’t feel any warm or loving emotions for the child. In fact, the time she comes to know about her pregnancy, she wishes to kill herself and the baby. Though it’s murder but murders in such cases can be taken as exceptional cases. If a woman doesn’t want a baby just because she doesn’t want her figure to get disturbed, or any other such reason, in that case, abortion is murder. However, no human must charge the woman for this act as it’s her body and her decision.


(n.d.). Retrieved from

Belvedere, B. (2017, October 06). Abortion Is Wrong Even If the Fetus Is Not a Person. Retrieved from

Ethics – Abortion: Arguments in favour of abortion. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Ten non-religious reasons against abortion. (2018, March 27). Retrieved from



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