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On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion - Essay Example

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Mary-Anne Warren puts forward in her article “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion”, the perspective that abortion is acceptable morally.This paper seeks to delve into her article, especially her arguments and form an objection to her work…
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On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion
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Download file to see previous pages Methods of induction have ranged from utilizing sharpened tools, herbal medicines and physical trauma. Opinions, both culturally and legally differ worldwide, with public debate over legal ramifications and ethics of abortion being a very emotive issue. Abortion and the debate ranging around it have birthed activism, debates and controversy in equal measure. It is in fact a norm for people to refer to themselves as pro-life or pro-choice. Personal beliefs touching on responsibility, morality, government role in public policy and religion all affect ones view on abortion. Mary-Anne Warren, an American philosopher, put forward in her article “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion”, the perspective that abortion is acceptable morally. This paper seeks to delve into her article, especially her arguments and form an objection to her work. Warren begins her argument by debating how permissibility of abortion morally is dependent on whether the subject fetus is indeed a person. She argues that while a satisfactory defense of the right of a woman has to an abortion without proof of a fetus not being a human being is not satisfactorily possible, this difficulty in conclusion of a fetus’s status should not make it impossibility in the production of a solution to the moral status of the abortion problem (Warren 2). Pro-abortionists, due to not coming to grips with issues surrounding abortion, have had most of their arguments fall flat, failing to weaken traditional arguments on antiabortion. Their arguments are of two sorts, they either state that denial of a woman’s right to abortion is a deprivation of her rights to have control over her own body, or that deaths induced by illegal abortions, especially by poor women, is as a consequence of this law. This is obviously flawed since the fact that access restriction to abortion has such tragic side effects is not a pointer to the unjustified restrictions, as murder is still wrong. She cites J. Noonan saying, “The fundamental question in the long history of abortion is; how you determine the humanity of a human being?” (Warren 1). She goes on to argue that once the assumption of a fetus’ moral rights is allowed in full, the question of whether abortion is justifiable becomes a difficult and complex question. Warren seeks to push her abortion agenda via discussion of the five characteristics she believes are central to being a person. Warren tends to view persons as entities who have consciousness, self motivation, reasoning, communication capacity and presence of self awareness and self concepts (Warren 2). The first issue she tackles is the Definition of a human. She argues that “human” has two meanings, distinct but not easily distinguishable. Since killing of innocent humans is wrong and fetuses are an example of humans that are innocent, killing them is wrong. She shoots down this argument by claiming that the usage of human in similar sense in both conclusions, whichever use is meant of the two, one of them begs questions. If used in two senses that are different, then the conclusion is still wrong (Warren 5). She claims that the presence of the human genome in fetuses does not point to it being morally human. Her second characteristic deals with the definition of moral community. She asks if it is indeed possible to establish if moral humanity can be sufficiently defined by genetic humanity. She describes the moral community as all people and only people, rather than all human beings and only human beings. Her argument continues to debate what characteristics enable any entity qualify for consideration as a person. She puts these characteristics down as consciousness and capacity to detect pain, acting out of self motivation, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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