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Four Arguments for Allowing Abortion

Abortion is one of the most contentious ethical issues of our times. Both sides of the debate bring many arguments in favor of their positions. In this blog, I want to explain, though not necessarily endorse, four main arguments for permitting abortion.

Argument One: Bodily Autonomy

The main argument for allowing abortion is the argument from bodily autonomy. Simply put, women have the right to control what goes on in their bodies. Since pregnancy happens inside body of a women, she has a right to end her pregnancy. Otherwise we would be forcing women to sustain the fetus and this means violating her bodily autonomy.

Argument Two: Healthcare

One argument for allowing abortion claims that abortion is a part of the general package of healthcare rights. According to this argument, banning abortion basically means banning a type of healthcare practice.

Pregnancy comes with several health risks since it creates several physiological changes. If you have medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, pregnancy might be an extremely hard and risky journey. Some treatments for medical conditions like these not go well with pregnancy. This might mean that ending the pregnancy is the right choice in the given situation. Forcing women to endure health risks by banning abortion is inhumane.

Argument Three: Moral Status of the Fetus

At least during the first trimester, a fetus can’t feel pain and doesn’t have a mental life. This is why in some debates fetuses are said to be “clumps of cells”. Of course a fetus is more than a clump of cells because its cells are more specialized. But still, a fetus doesn’t have thoughts, beliefs, desires, pains and mentality in general. Mentally, it’s not that different from a single celled organism. Therefore, it seems like it shouldn’t enjoy the same moral status we have. If mental life of an organism makes any difference regarding its moral status, a fetus doesn’t have the moral status we have.

Argument Four: Safety Concerns

One of the most frequently stated arguments for allowing abortion is this: Banning abortion force women to seek out less safe options for the operation. If they don’t have legal options, black market for abortion emerges. In black market, there are no health regulations and women can’t be sure whether the person doing the operation is qualified fort he job. These raise a whole bunch of safety concerns with regard to black market abortion. Banning abortion won’t work because women want abortion will go for illegal options anyway. Providing legal access to abortion and regulating it is the only way to ensure these concerns are being adressed.

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