Introduction to Ethics
April 15th, 2017
The debate surrounding abortion rights presents many ethical dilemmas, and is rarely a black and white issue, which makes it difficult to label all abortions as moral or immoral. Many people who are opposed to abortion are willing to support it in certain situations, such as in the case of rape, incest, or the endangerment of a mother’s life. One of these situations is described in the case study “Conceived in Violence, Born in Hate,” an overview of a rape and assault victim who was forcibly impregnated and decided to carry the child to term. The case raises interesting questions about the morality of abortions in the case of rape, and the autonomy of …show more content…
The factors limiting her choice were religious and legal, and it is important to consider her right to autonomy. These three factors are all present in the ongoing debate about the morality of abortion.
The case study is interesting in the context of the abortion debate because it describes a horrible tragedy that many people would use to justify abortion. Because the child was the product of violent trauma, and a danger to the mental health of the mother, pro-choice people might argue that abortion is a good option in this situation. The alternative is a child raised by parents that hate their child, which is a mentally unhealthy situation for every member of the family. On the other hand, in this situation, the mother’s religion is an important factor. Because of her belief, she did not want to abort the fetus. So, the legality of the abortion is not the only issue, because moral grounds have an equal amount of importance in the case study. For example, the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church opposes abortion in every case, with no exceptions for rape or incest, because they assume a fetus is a person with a right to life …show more content…
Ingalls 3 limitations on the right to life. The example Thomson uses is the right to free speech, another right that is often debated. While we all believe, this right is important, there are limitations, like laws against threats or inciting panic. Even though free speech is a right, it is not absolute. The right to life is the same. In this argument, the limitation placed on the right to life is taking resources from others. One example would be needing an organ transplant. Needing an organ to survive does not entitle you to take it from someone else, and it does not entitle you to certain other resources, like the best hospital or the soonest transplant time. Thomson follows this argument to its logical conclusion. If a fetus has a right to life, but the right to life has limitations on what resources you can take from other people, then the fetus has no right to the body of the woman carrying it. However, Thomson also says that in situations in which a parent has chosen to assume responsibility for a child, it is their obligation to follow through and take care of the child. This is where Thomson draws the line on whether or not abortion is ethical. If the