Abortion Essay 50marks

Edexecel Unit 2 Essay

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`'Describe and evaluate a significant moral controversy in medical ethics with reference to a
topic which you have investigated.'' [50 marks; 35 = A01 15 = A02]
I have investigated the moral controversy of abortion; the legal termination of a pregnancy within
the womb before the foetus is viable. This medical issue has brought up immense amounts opinions
due to the issues regarding life and death. Regardless of the negative stigma abortion has had,
approximately 200,000 abortions take place every year in the UK alone. Due to the rapid
development in both the field of technology and medicine, abortion can now be undertaken both
surgically and non-surgically. Surgical methods include vacuum aspiration as well as partial birth
abortion whereas non-surgical methods include the morning after pill as well as the abortion pill
which was introduced in 1991.
The sanctity of life is a pro-life argument which bases its principles around the fact that all life is
sacred and has the right to live as a sentient being; and as humans we all have the moral duty to
protect all forms of life. This view is deontological in regards to abortion whereby it is seen as an
obligation to abide by in all set situations. The sanctity of life argument was derived from the Bible
and was brought up in the story of creation, with mankind being made in the image of God and in
order to save humankind from the evil of sin, Jesus was sacrificed to save all people from the
punishment of death.
Many would argue that this moral controversy can be dealt in the easiest way by keeping the child
and maintain its life as human being; for in the Bible God had instructed us in the book of Genesis to
`be fruitful...and fill the earth' with Gods highest form of creation. In contrast, philosophers such as
Peter Suber argue that the Sanctity of Life is not able to make distinctions of value amongst living
organisms. This suggest that we should value plants, animals and humans the same as we all share life
qua life and the sanctity ascribes us all to live regardless of our zoological or botanical structures. All
forms of life have the right to live including funguses, foetuses and fishes, but certainly it would be
impossible to keep all three of these specimens when the facilities can only help save one life, so
why not choose one above all to survive as surely this would be the best choice to make rather than
allowing none of them to survive. Similarly the choice shall be granted to the owner of these
organisms to decide as it is their responsibility to place value on each living creature; just as a mother
is able to choose to abort her unborn child.
Supporters of the pro-life movement use Revealed theology to overcome moral controversies such
as abortion. Revealed theology is the study of God and faith through Holy Scriptures and the
teachings of God. This absolutist view condemns abortion as human life is sacred and should always
be protected. Many people who are facing moral controversies turn to religion and religious
scriptures for guidance; it is stated in Exodus 20: `thou shall not commit murder'; this is considered as
deontological and absolute as this command from God should not be broken; and therefore abortion
is wrong and unacceptable. Rick Scott commented that throughout the Bible, God referred to the
unborn as `defenceless' and `helpless and unable to protect their own lives'; as believers of God and
the Bible, you should therefore aid the helpless and `love your neighbour as yourself' (Mark). By
undertaking abortion, many Theists would argue that we are playing God, as it is only he who has the
power to give and take life and therefore undergoing abortion is not compatible with Revealed
Theology and religious teachings such as Christianity.
Revealed Theology is supported by many as it holds a very simplistic view which provides us with a
deontological answer whereas many other views give complex suggestions in regards to abortion,

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Revealed Theology is based on holy books and scriptures, there are a variety of
sources that can provide people with many answers. On the other hand, the Bible contains many
contradictions whereby it says in Exodus that it is wrong to kill but in Ecclesiastes it says that there is a
time to kill; this therefore suggests that killing and having abortions is not in fact always wrong.…read more

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P1: A foetus will develop into a potential person
P2: Potential people have the same rights as actual people
P3: It is wrong to kill an actual person
C: Therefore, it is wrong to kill a foetus.
The potentiality argument is seen as a strong argument as it is supported by the new born argument.…read more

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Many scientists would agree with this view as the moment of conception, an embryo is formed, with
the DNA, genetic blue print and the individual fingerprints all of which us humans outside the womb
also have and therefore abortion is a wrongful act. On the other hand, the opposition would argue
that as the embryo is at the lowest stage of development, this would be the best time to kill it, as
doing it once it is born would be worse.…read more

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Many agree with the argument from personhood as brain activity does help determine the end of
someone's life, so it also makes sense to judge the start of someone's life through the same means.
However it has been argued that some people have higher cognitive development than others, for
example those who have mental disabilities, but this does not make them any less of a person.…read more

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