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< Back to question Is abortion ethical? Show more Show less

There are debates all over the world about whether or not abortion should be legal, and many people pick which side based on their feelings on the morality of abortion. Frequently, the debate centers around disagreements of the moral status of the fetus, and at what point it has all the rights of an adult. Other ethical debates focus on the rights of the mother or the circumstances of conception.

Abortion is ethical under certain circumstances Show more Show less

If a fetus has not developed enough to be considered a child or if it threatens the life of the mother, then she has the right to choose an abortion. Additionally, if the mother is raped, then it would be ethical for her not to bear the consequences of something over which she had no control.
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Abortion is ethical when the mother is in danger.

If during pregnancy, the mother's life is in danger, it is ethical to abort the child. As an adult who has an established life, it is worse to lose her than the child. Therefore, abortion is moral.
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The Argument

It is generally accepted that some lives are more valuable than others. If we did not accept that, we would not kill living things and eat them. Because of that principle, a mother's life is more valuable than that of the child, and it is morally acceptable to abort a pregnancy if her life is in danger. The mother is fully self-conscious and rational. Furthermore, she has an established life. That means she has a past and a future that she is aware of, and she has relationships with other people. She has a job, friends, family that she knows and has relationships with. She contributes to and has an established place in society. A fetus is not fully self-aware or rational, by many, that alone makes it less valuable than the mother's life. Furthermore, it is not aware of a past or future, and it does not have an established place in society or extensive relationships. Because of that, it would be worse to lose the life of the mother than that of the fetus. Therefore, if the mother's life is in danger, it is morally permissible to abort the fetus.

Counter arguments

With the advances of modern medicine, doctors have sufficient knowledge to save both the mother and child. It is rarely truly necessary to abort the fetus to save the life of the mother. Because of that, it is wrong to take action to kill the fetus to supposedly save the mother. [1]


[P1] An adult is self-conscious. [P2] A fetus or preborn is not fully self-aware. [P3] The loss of a self-conscious life is worse than that of one that is not.

Rejecting the premises



This page was last edited on Wednesday, 12 Aug 2020 at 17:53 UTC

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