Ethical Paper on Abortion

Abortion What is abortion? An abortion is a medical or surgical procedure used to terminate a pregnancy. A medical abortion is an abortion that is brought about by taking medications that will end a pregnancy. (1) A Surgical abortion is an abortion which ends a pregnancy by emptying the uterus (or womb) with special instruments. (1) Some of the reasons for a woman to get an abortion may be that they can’t afford a/another child, health reason of the child’s or her own safety, social reasons such as unwanted child or not ready for having a child, and rape or incest.

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Abortions performed in the seven to nine weeks of the first trimester are medical abortions. (2) All abortions after nine weeks are surgical abortions. Surgical abortions are performed from week six to 21, and any abortion after 21 weeks is very rare; less than ”2% of abortions are provided at 21 weeks or after, and they are extremely rare after 26 weeks of pregnancy. Very few abortions are provided in the third trimester, and they are generally limited to cases of severe fetal abnormalities or situations when the life or health of the pregnant woman is seriously threatened. (3) In this essay I will compare the articles of Leonard Peikoff and Kerby Anderson on the topic of abortion. Leonard Peikoff is Pro-Choice, which is in favor of the women’s right to chose to have an abortion. Kerby Anderson is Pro-Life, which is opposed to the women’s right to chose to have an abortion in favor of the rights of the fetus to live. In Abortion Rights are Pro-Life by Leonard Peikoff, he states throughout his article that an embryo or fetus is not a human and is part of a woman. The mother has the right to decide what she wants to do with her body.

Here are a few sections from his article that help describe his viewpoint upon abortion. “The status of the embryo in the first trimester is the basic issue that cannot be sidestepped. The embryo is clearly pre-human; only the mystical notions of religious dogma treat this clump of cells as constituting a person. ” (4) “We must not confuse potentiality with actuality. An embryo is a potential human being. It can, granted the woman’s choice, develop into an infant. But what it actually is during the first trimester is a mass of relatively undifferentiated cells that exist as a art of a woman’s body. (4) “That tiny growth, that mass of protoplasm, exists as a part of a woman’s body. It is not an independently existing, biologically formed organism, let alone a person. That which lives within the body of another can claim no right against its host. Rights belong only to individuals, not to collectives or to parts of an individual. ” (4) One thing that can help with this point of view is by taking for instance a parasite such as a tapeworm. A rather crude comparison, but it is not a human being although it is dependant to one; it could not live outside a host’s body.

Even though it is not a human being there are medical and surgical procedures to terminate the parasite, but it is up to the choice of the host to ride oneself of them or not. Peikoff uses very clear language and does not use any slang or jargon throughout the article and the sentence structure is well done and does transition well. However, there is a large amount of propaganda such as “Anti-abortionists are not lovers of life–lovers of tissue, maybe. But their stand marks them as haters of real human beings. ” Another example of his propaganda is ” The anti-abortionists’ attitude, however, is: “The actual life of the parents be damned!

Give up your life, liberty, property and the pursuit of your own happiness. “”. Neither of these statements has been made by anti-abortionist, yet he makes the assertion that this is their ideology and motives against abortion. (4) The way he writes this essay he uses a slightly biased, dogmatic, and technical tone. Although he does use good medical and technical terms to describe what an embryo is, he use a dogmatic tone to describe it as though it is not a human being, since it does actually live off its own and is not an independently existing organism.

When it comes to the evidence that he uses in his article mostly came from personal evidence with more opinionated evidence. There is very little actual and proven factual evidence, but of what little there is, I can see none that is unbiased. For example ” If we consider what it is rather than what it might become, we must acknowledge that the embryo under three months is something far more primitive than a frog or a fish. To compare it to an infant is ludicrous. ” (4) This is accurate, yet very biased and I feel that it is not very necessary, but does help with his point of view.

One influence that I believe affects the way he thinks about this topic may be because he is an objectivist, which is a type of philosophy. For instance “”Rights,” in Ayn Rand’s words, “do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. “” (4) Ayn Rand is the creator of Objectivism and was his mentor; it is because of this that I believe that he is Pro-choice. Since the embryo or fetus is technically not a human being, but an embryo or fetus, and the Metaphysics of Objectivism states that Existence Exists, A is A, a human is a human, an embryo is an embryo… ct… and a embryo is not a human. (5) e. What perception of the topic do I think this author has? B. Kerby Anderson author of Arguments Against Abortion. In the article by Kerby Anderson he uses many different points of views and evidence that he uses to argue against abortion. Some of this evidence is through the bible and Old Testament, medical, legal, and philosophical reasons. Throughout his article he uses very clear language with very little complicated or more elaborate than necessary wording and includes no jargon or slang.

The tone that he uses is that of a humanistic and ethical tone with very little biasness. This author is a very good writer and I could not find an instance of vague or coercive language, propaganda, or fallacies. Even though he makes reverences to the bible, he includes the whole passage referenced, leaving no instance of vague language. The only thing that may fall into one of these categories is a fallacy, but that is if one considers the bible to be a fallacy. Anderson uses several sources of evidence throughout his essay.

Many and most of them come from references of the Bible and Old Testament. He has also gathered several very accurate instances of evidence that are medical arguments against abortion, such as “at conception the embryo is genetically distinct from the mother. To say that the developing baby is no different from the mother’s appendix is scientifically inaccurate. A developing embryo is genetically different from the mother. A developing embryo is also genetically different from the sperm and egg that created it.

A human being has 46 chromosomes (sometimes 47 chromosomes). Sperm and egg have 23 chromosomes. A trained geneticist can distinguish between the DNA of an embryo and that of a sperm and egg. But that same geneticist could not distinguish between the DNA of a developing embryo and a full-grown human being”. He also uses lightly bias evidence such as “The point is simple. Medical science leads to a pro-life perspective rather than a pro-choice perspective. If medical science can be used at all to draw a line, the clearest line is at the moment of conception.

Medical arguments provide a strong case against abortion and for life. ” (6). There is not one bit of unnecessary use of evidence and it is all used very sufficiently. The main influence that I believe for his stance on abortion is that he is a very religious Christian and hold the value of a human life (developed or undeveloped) very highly. He is the National Director of PROBE ministries which is a “non-profit corporation whose mission is to reclaim the primacy of Christian thought and values in Western culture through media, education, and literature. ” (6)

In a comparison of both of these authors I have found that they both wrote these articles very clearly, had some biasness, but their tones where entirely different. Leonard uses a more harsh and dogmatic tone, while Kerby uses a softer tone with more of a concern on morals rather than rights. The difference between these two authors is that Kerby uses more factual and referenced evidence than Leonard uses, and Leonard’s article mainly consisted of opinionated referenced evidence. The main difference between these two authors’ influences is that Leonard uses a philosophical influence while Kerby uses religion as his means of influence.

After reviewing each author’s article and comparing them I find that my stance upon abortion is a split between the two. I feel that there should be legal abortions, but only under very strong circumstances. For me the only feasible reason for an abortion should be carried out is for the health of the mother, rape or incest. If the two parties responsible for the pregnancy are sexually active, they should know that even though contraceptives are being used they are not 100% effective, and there is a chance of pregnancy.

In my opinion I believe there is no such thing as an accidental pregnancy (aside from the cases of rape or incest) and an abortion should not be used for an unwanted pregnancy. I was actually lucky enough to where my father said no to the abortion that my mother wanted and raised me. My original stand point behind abortion was against it in all forms, but after the two articled, my mind has changed. Even though I am a Christian and life is very important to me, there are certain points that I agree with and have brought me to the conclusion that abortion should only be legal in cases of health, rape or incest.

Works Cited 1. http://www. prochoice. org/about_abortion/facts/medical_abortion. html. [Online] 2. http://www. americanpregnancy. org/unplannedpregnancy/abortionprocedures. html. [Online] 3. http://www. prochoice. org/about_abortion/facts/after_12_weeks. html. [Online] 4. http://www. abortionisprolife. com/abortion-rights-are-pro-life. htm. [Online] 5. http://www. mondopolitico. com/ideologies/atlantis/whatisobjectivism. htm. [Online] 6. http://www. leaderu. com/orgs/probe/docs/arg-abor. html. [Online]

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