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Slp 3 - Essay Example

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Slp 3 Name: Institution: Ethical and Legal Aspects of Abortion Abortion is the process of terminating pregnancy, and it became a debatable topic in American politics, in the 1970s. The first abortion lawsuit to be filed in a renowned American Supreme Court was that between Roe and Wade (Gold, 2005)…
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Download file to see previous pages The court argued that a fetus is not a living human being, but “potential life”. Therefore, it does not have its own constitutional right. However, the court further clarified that the right of a woman to perform abortion depends on pregnancy stage. For example, a woman’s privacy is highly valid during the first trimester and the state cannot regulate abortion for any reason. The state then have the power to regulate abortion during the second trimester to protect the woman’s health, and the court prohibits abortion during the third trimester to protect a fetus’ potential life except when the doctors recommend abortion to protect the woman’s health and life (Basu, 2003). This paper, therefore, primarily aims at describing the ethical and legal issues surrounding abortion, in the United States of America. Though abortion is considered as unethical practice, in most societies, there are certain cases when doctors are forced to go against societal norms and legal issues and perform abortion. These include when the pregnancy is due to rape and incent, when there is severe fetal deformity, when the life of the mother is threatened, and when the mother’s health is not in a good condition. In relation to these issues, doctors have argued that there is no any single occasion in which the intentional killing of un-born baby is justified. They believe in the divine law that life begins at conception, and there are no provisions that support intentional killing of an innocent human being. However, doctors claim that sometimes abortion is recommendable in order to relieve the suffering of both the mother and the un-born child. For example, when the mother’s life is truly threatened, during pregnancy, and the doctors establish that both the mother and the child cannot simultaneously survive, then saving the mother is given more priority than the child. If the pre-born child unintentionally dies in the process of saving the mother’s life, then this is consistent with pro-life ethic and is ethical (Fry et al. 2011). Doctors further argue that most of the medically necessary abortion is not always directed to save the mother’s life. For instance, when the mother suffers a breast cancer and need immediate chemotherapy to survive, and this treatment is likely to kill the un-born child, then the doctor will always recommend a therapeutic abortion. Therefore, doctors usually reconcile their own beliefs with their professional duty in relation to the abortion issue by arguing that if the un-born child dies in the process of treating the mother to save her life, then the death is not intentional and truly not unethical. There are a number of beliefs and considerations when considering the legality of abortion, and these include age of viability at conception, when the fetus has a heartbeat, and at birth (Fry et al. 2011). For example, J. Glover and Peter Singer present different opinions when determining the age viability of a fetus. According to Glover, it is logically impossible to establish a point when to consider a fetus as a person, and attempting to do so is like trying to determine the point at which cake mix turns into a cake (Fry et al. 2011). Singer, on the other hand, suggests that a person is someone who is capable of planning his or her future, and because a fetus is unable to do so, it should not be considered as a person (Fry et al. 2011). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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