Saturday, March 22, 2014

Can abortion ever be justified?

Entrenched as an ubiquitous phenomenon throughout the world, abortion- the premature expulsion of a fetus in the womb is now mounting in our present era. In fact, with modernization, abortion is becoming a culture the new generation is bringing as this therapy is therapeutic to myriad of women. Yet, this medical advancement has generated controversy surrounding the moral and legal status of abortion. Is there any valid reason to expunge a pregnancy willingly? Can this remedy be morally permissible?

Judith Jarvis Thomson a famous American moral philosopher claims that even if the fetus has a right to life; abortion is morally permissible in all cases because a woman has a right to control her own body. Thomson's variant of this argument draws an analogy between forcing a woman to continue an unwanted pregnancy and forcing a person's body to be used as a dialysis machine for another person suffering from kidney failure. It is argued that just as it would be permissible to "unplug" and thereby cause the death of the person who is using one's kidneys, so it is acceptable to abort the fetus (who similarly, it is said, has no right to use one's body against one's will) It is unambiguous that if abortion is not allowed on demand, woman will opt for ‘black street abortion’ which is dangerous as 500 women lose their life daily due to this practice. Nevertheless, the rights to do as we wish to our bodies must be curtailed by the rights of others to be free from harm as the fetus is a living thing thus abortion cannot be justified as it is barbarous murder veiled in the name of technology. Similarly, we cannot legalize abortion just on the grounds that that it will practice on the black market since it is morally wrong. Decriminalizing abortion, on this ground, would be like legalizing drugs trafficking, war or nuclear weapons throughout the world!

Many sociologists claim that abortion can be justified to some extent in many under-developed countries such as Madagascar where poverty and overpopulation are perennial problems. Abortion helps prevent bringing children into a cruel world where they will suffer and face deprivation in all spheres of their life. However, it makes no more sense to kill unborn babies who may born in poverty then to round up the children of poor families, line them up, and shoot them. We do not put abused children to death in this country – we relocate them and help them overcome the abuse. No one’s life is guaranteed to be perfect, or even easy – but no one has the right to make the choice for another individual that their life is not worth living.

Likewise, abortion seems to be a groundless debate as human life is sacred, as is recognizable by the billions of adherents of the main world religions. God creates an individual at conception as and so abortion other than in circumstances like rape, incest or when medically necessary seems a violent, invasive, gruesome procedure. Deuteronomy 22:8 of the Bible clearly indicates that humans should not cause loss of human life. Yet; abortion seems defendable today as the religious views about the infusion of a fetus at conception should not be imposed upon the rest of the society as we are living in an increasingly secular and scientific world as highlighted by Post-Modernists.

Abortion seems justified in our present era as many young girls become pregnant at a tender age due to various reasons like premature sexual intercourse caused by rape or lust. In Mauritius, for example, we have heard myriad of time cases of girls falling pregnant due to rape by own ones or friends. It would be unfair to let the birth of an unwanted baby ruined their future, education and existence of the girl! We cannot put the alleged ‘rights’ of a dividing cluster of cells ahead of such concrete harm to a person. European countries like Spain, Hungary and Sweden have enable to expunge teenage pregnancy so that to give those myriad of girls a new ray of hope to start their life. However, many believe that both parents should deal with the repercussions of their actions whatever they may be. There are now even schools like in USA or in UK specifically for teenage mothers and babies to attend. Similarly, abortion can be substituted by the adoption of the babies born out of unwanted pregnancy.

In conclusion, abortion is morally wrong as it deprives the fetus of an invaluable life. The preventive measures like contraceptives should be compulsorily used to avoid unwanted pregnancies. In case poverty makes rearing a born child difficult, adoption by the well-off parents should be allowed. If these measures are unsuitable, especially when the maternal health is in question or the pregnancy is resulted from rape and incest, then only abortion can be justified otherwise it is an unscrupulous activity.

Author: Raajeev Auchambit
The author is currently an AS Level student at Ebene State Secondary School, Mauritius.


  1. It's backstreet abortion, not black street! Just letting you know so you don't get factual inaccuracy if you're gonna take the exam!

  2. My teacher scolded me for using the bible as example T.T

    1. Why is it so? I believe that facts from the Bible are perfect resources that a student may use in his G.P essays. G.P is like arguing but using facts to support your arguments. The Bible is the best support that exists as the words of God cannot be considered as untrue!

    2. The essay is an excellent one but there's one thing I can't adhere to. It is written in American English. We have to use British English because correction of G.P papers are conducted by British examiners.