Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

RE: Ten Arguments For Abortion and Against Abortion

Posted by Michael Dickens on August 27, 2009

This is a response to the about.com page on abortion. In a somewhat less traditional fashion, I will be responding to ALL arguments, not just the anti-abortion ones.

The Pro-Life arguments come first.

Since life begins at conception, abortion is akin to murder as it is the act of taking human life. Abortion is in direct defiance of the commonly accepted idea of the sanctity of human life
This relies on the unproven assumptions that life begins at conception and that it is murder to kill a living being.

No civilized society permits one human to intentionally harm or take the life of another human without punishment, and abortion is no different.
Ever heard of the death penalty?

This is just an appeal to popularity combined with the assumption that human life is sacred while other forms of life are not.

Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and accomplishes the same result. And with 1.5 million American families wanting to adopt a child, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.
This is not a morally sound argument. Even if adoption is possible, that doesn’t make abortion wrong. Also, if so many families want to adopt, explain why orphanages and foster homes are so crowded.

An abortion can result in medical complications later in life; the risk of ectopic pregnancies doubles, and the chance of a miscarriage and pelvic inflammatory disease also increases.
If a woman takes the risk of potentially harming herself, that’s her choice.

In the instance of rape and incest, proper medical care can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant. Abortion punishes the unborn child who committed no crime; instead, it is the perpetrator who should be punished.
But the child has already been conceived, so this is still “murder” by your stupid ethical standards.

Abortion should not be used as another form of contraception.
I agree. So what?

For women who demand complete control of their body, control should include preventing the risk of unwanted pregnancy through the responsible use of contraception or, if that is not possible, through abstinence.
This is a non-unique argument.

Many Americans who pay taxes are opposed to abortion, therefore it’s morally wrong to use tax dollars to fund abortion.
First, it can be privatized. Second, this is an appeal to popularity. Many Americans believe that we should teach Creationism, but does that really mean we should?

Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterwards.
Well then they should be educated so that they are making an informed decision.

Abortion frequently causes intense psychological pain and stress.
So does childbirth. Let’s make that illegal, too!

Now for the Pro-Choice arguments.

Nearly all abortions take place in the first trimester, when a fetus cannot exist independent of the mother. As it is attached by the placenta and umbilical cord, its health is dependent on her health, and cannot be regarded as a separate entity as it cannot exist outside her womb.
If the fetus experiences pain, the mother does not. The fetus can be considered a separate entity by the standard of suffering, which when it comes to issues like this is the most important standard.

The concept of personhood is different from the concept of human life. Human life occurs at conception, but fertilized eggs used for in vitro fertilization are also human lives and those not implanted are routinely thrown away. Is this murder, and if not, then how is abortion murder?
Good, except that it can be refuted by saying that in vitro fertilization is murder.

Adoption is not an alternative to abortion, because it remains the woman’s choice whether or not to give her child up for adoption. Statistics show that very few women who give birth choose to give up their babies – less than 3% of white unmarried women and less than 2% of black unmarried women.
It is an alternative. See my rebuttal to the corresponding Pro-Life point. This is just a reversed version.

Abortion is a safe medical procedure. The vast majority of women – 88% – who have an abortion do so in their first trimester. Medical abortions have less than 0.5% risk of serious complications and do not affect a woman’s health or future ability to become pregnant or give birth.
True, but that doesn’t make it morally right.

In the case of rape or incest, forcing a woman made pregnant by this violent act would cause further psychological harm to the victim. Often a woman is too afraid to speak up or is unaware she is pregnant, thus the morning after pill is ineffective in these situations.
Eh . . . this point is decent.

Abortion is not used as a form of contraception. Pregnancy can occur even with responsible contraceptive use. Only 8% of women who have abortions do not use any form of birth control, and that is due more to individual carelessness than to the availability of abortion.
This works as a rebuttal, but not as a contention.

The ability of a woman to have control of her body is critical to civil rights. Take away her reproductive choice and you step onto a slippery slope. If the government can force a woman to continue a pregnancy, what about forcing a woman to use contraception or undergo sterilization?
A fetus is not a part of a woman’s body. Also, “slippery slope” is a fallacy for a reason.

Taxpayer dollars are used to enable poor women to access the same medical services as rich women, and abortion is one of these services. Funding abortion is no different from funding a war in the Mideast. For those who are opposed, the place to express outrage is in the voting booth.
Not bad. Not quite the same as my own rebuttal. I like my analogy better.

Teenagers who become mothers have grim prospects for the future. They are much more likely to leave of school; receive inadequate prenatal [sic] care; rely on public assistance to raise a child; develop health problems; or end up divorced.
True, but this still is not a moral argument.

Like any other difficult situation, abortion creates stress. Yet the American Psychological Association found that stress was greatest prior to an abortion, and that there was no evidence of post-abortion syndrome.
This point is fail. I don’t need to say why again.

***

Another slew of abortion arguments, shattered again.

5 Responses to “RE: Ten Arguments For Abortion and Against Abortion”

  1. Sorry, but you lost me in the first five words – a wild assumption – unless you’re God.

    Years ago I posted an article “Is Abortion Fatal” which is still floating around the internet. You might enjoy reading it, but you will not be subjected to a conclusion pro or con.

    That else have you written? Seriously. I don’t want to be discouraging when I admittedly did not read the piece.

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