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Three Positions on Abortion - Essay Example

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Abortion: The Moderate Position.
Abortion is one of the most contentious ethical issues in contemporary society. It polarizes public opinion, and there is a tendency for individuals and groups to adhere to rigid stances, which do not admit any compromise…
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Three Positions on Abortion
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Download file to see previous pages The conservative stand rejects abortion at any cost. This position is largely based on religious beliefs regarding the sanctity of life. Conservatives also cite the ‘slippery slope’ argument, where the right to end life could be extended to other situations, such as euthanasia. The liberal position permits abortion unconditionally. Liberals accept various justifications for abortion, including the woman’s right to make decisions over her own body, the quality of life of fetus and mother, and monetary and career considerations. The conservative and liberal positions are both reflections of the uncompromising rigidity which often characterizes any debate on the issue of abortion. On the other hand, the moderate position on abortion recognizes the moral implications it entails, and acknowledges that the rights of the mother and the fetus are in conflict in this situation. Moderates accept the need for abortion, but limit their acceptance to situations entailing deformity in the fetus, health risks to the mother, and cases of rape and incest. I agree with the moderate position on abortion because of its attempt to reconcile two extreme stands.
The moderate position appeals to me as it represents a genuine attempt to reconcile two opposing viewpoints: the conservative and the liberal. ...
From the liberal perspective, the moderate position accepts that several mitigating factors, largely concerned with the well-being of the mother, can justify the overruling of the right-to-life of the fetus. However, it rejects a casual attitude towards the suffering of the fetus. This middle-of-the-road position ensures that the issue of abortion can be taken on a case-by-case basis. After all, each case has its own unique circumstances, and the conservative stand of unilaterally ruling out abortion is unacceptable. For example, if the pregnancy poses a risk to the health of the mother, abortion can be justified. Similarly, moderates do not condone abortion out-of-hand. This sets curbs on the overly permissive liberal position, which could generate a laissez-faire attitude towards casual sex and pregnancy. Abortion without any restrictions would lead to sexual permissiveness and lack of responsibility. The moderate position approaches the issue of abortion without any preconceived ideas of morality, and adopts a non-judgmental stand which particularly appeals to me. Just as the moderate position on abortion is a calculated compromise between two extreme viewpoints, it incorporates several ethical approaches into its deliberately balanced stand, and rejects any rigidity. The moderate position, by nature of its flexibility, and willingness to accept compromise, rejects the Deontological Ethical Approach, because the latter emphasizes rigid moral obligation. Moral obligation, without any consideration of the resulting consequences, is foreign to moderates. Similarly, moderates reject the Intuitive Approach, based on the perception that this approach is often individual morality, or personal prejudices, painted in stubborn ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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