In this assignment I am going to look at the moral aspect concerns on abortion during the development of the foetus (unborn), and how this has been perceived and criticized by individuals and philosophers.
Abortion has been defined as the act that a woman performs in voluntarily terminating, or allowing another person to terminate her pregnancy and the legal status that is appropriate for this act (English 1975).
Warren’s (1973) understanding of abortion however is the deliberate removal of a foetus from the womb of a human female, through the agency of the mother, resulting in the death of the foetus. Abortion morals have been criticized; individuals suggest that the foetus has the right to life because it is a potential human being. I advise that the potential human being argument gives the right to life to the unborn from the very earliest stage of development, from the moment the egg is fertilised. Warren (1973) supported this argument and stated under any circumstance abortion is wrong, and believes foetuses are innocent human beings which do not deserve to be murdered.
According to English (1975:123), she stated that a human life begins at conception and therefore abortion is wrong because it is murder. She added, ‘the deliberate killing of viable new-borns is virtually never justified ...because neonates are so very close to being person that to kill them requires a very strong moral justification- as does the killing of other person like creatures .’
Noornan (1968) supports this argument and claimed that foetuses are humans; he states whoever is conceived of human beings is human, and because the unborn have a full genetic code they are full persons. Noornan (1968) also argued that the unborn have the potential for rationality, and whoever wants to take human life has a burden of proof. He stated if a person wants to argue that the unborn are not a person it seems they have a burden of proof. For as long as there is a possibility that the unborn might be full human and therefore abortion is wrong for exactly the same reason murder is wrong.
However in contrast with Warren (1973), English (1975) and Noornan (1968) , it is argued by some philosophers that the unborn are potential human beings and therefore the potential properties are not the same as the actual properties, or that potential rights are the same as actual rights (Thompson 1981). This simply means, according to Thompson (1981) that the new born does not have the right to life, she argues that the abortion and infanticide are both morally permissible because moral persons and the right to life are acquired only sometime after birth.
Thompson (1981) stated, it is not possible to produce a satisfactory defence of a woman’s right to obtain and abortion without showing that a foetus is not a human being, in the morally relevant sense of that term, we ought not to conclude that the difficulties involved in determining whether or not the unborn is human makes it impossible to produce satisfactory solution to the problem of the moral status of abortion. She added that it is possible to say that the unborn is not a person, hence not the sort of entity to which it is proper to ascribe full moral…