Ethical Issues Surrounding Abortion Essay

Good Essays
Another ethical issue surrounding abortion revolves around the rights of the mother versus the rights of the fetus. The idea of choice that a woman has a right to choose what she does with her body comes in here. But is a woman’s right to choose greater than a fetus’s right to life? In the pro-choice view, a common argument is that abortion is legally permissible, regardless of the morality involved. A woman has a basic right to make up her own mind about choices of pregnancy or abortion, and her right to bodily integrity prevails any potential rights that the fetus may or may not have (Baird & Rosenbaum 2001). In terms of personhood, a fetus is not aware of self, does not think, and is dependent on the mother. Therefore, the rights of the fetus cannot morally infringe on the choice that the mother has…show more content…
In the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, the United States Supreme Court ratified the legalization of abortion nationwide and decreed that all women had a right to safe legal abortions on demand without state interference. This meant that, the unborn child was not a person in the eyes of the law and was therefore not entitled to protection guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution until it reached the point of viability. The Roe decision defined viability as occurring between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation (Wood 1980). The case involved an unmarried pregnant woman who was given the pseudonym “Jane Roe” in order to maintain her anonymity, but who has since publicly identified herself as Norma McCorvey. Jane Roe, a resident of Texas, wished to terminate her pregnancy by seeking the services of a competent, licensed physician, under a safe medical environment. However, the existing Texas abortion statute, originally passed in 1857, prevented her from doing so since her life did not appear to be under any form of threat by the continuation of her
Get Access