Utilitarian View On Abortion

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An ethical dilemma today in society is that of abortion, which one would define as a deliberate end to a pregnancy. Various arguments exist questioning if an abortion is morally justifiable. Some say the state should decide on the legality of an abortion, some politicians say the federal government should decide, and many believe it should be up to the women since it pertains to their body. In this paper, I will analyze what a utilitarian’s perspective on abortion would be. First, let’s get a clear understanding of utilitarianism. In this ethical theory, the philosopher John Stuart Mill focuses on the principle of utility which is also called the greatest happiness principle which states that our actions are based on the effects of actions…show more content…
For instance, let’s say the mother goes through the nine months of being pregnant with the child and has the child. Of course, if the mother does not want the child for any reasons a woman would not want a child, it is understandable that the pregnancy may not completely be enjoyable for the mother due the trials it takes on to the human body. There is still a way that more happiness can come from the mother having the child. If the mother was to give up the child for adoption after having the baby, the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number could occur, which is the entire goal of the Utilitarian thought process. So, the mother gives up the child for adoption and then a couple who possibly could not have a child could become parents. The birth mother of the child is happy because she does not have the burden of raising a child that she did not wish for and a couple, and their immediate family, receive happiness from a child that has now entered their life. In this scenario, questions like “what if no one ever adopt the child?” arises. It could be so, but a child can still have the potential of happiness in life through a life they were granted by the mother going through with the pregnancy. In this view, an abortion is not morally permissible because by not getting one it…show more content…
It seems difficult to count every individual that could possibly be affected by an abortion. It could be few or many depending on the size of the family. It seems like not having an abortion, the greatest happiness for the greatest number occurs. Putting utilitarian thought aside, killing seems inarguably wrong and that is what an abortion is. It could not be possible for killing an innocent child to be right. Of course, in extremely unfortunate occurrences that occur in impregnation from rape, it seems like an abortion could be the right action. However, you can argue for adoption, which will then lead to happiness for more people. In this debate, the question of quality versus quantity rises. It seems that a Utilitarian would argue that the quantity only matters, but in this case, should we not consider the quality of the happiness in the people in these
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