Presentation on theme: "Abortion: Pro-Life View The state or the government should intervene in the women’s decision, and should prevent women from having an abortion in many."— Presentation transcript:
Abortion: Pro-Life View The state or the government should intervene in the women’s decision, and should prevent women from having an abortion in many or in all cases. This view focuses on the rights of the fetus. However, only a few people insist on that abortion should be prohibited under all circumstances.
Pro-Choice View The state or the government should not interfere with the women's decision and should allow the women to have an abortion in most or in all cases. This standpoint focuses on the rights of the pregnant woman, and it presupposes that it is the woman’s own moral decision to choose abortion, and woman have right to decide whether to continue or to terminate the pregnancy.
The Modest View It presupposes that the human life begins neither at the moment of conception nor at the moment of birth but in between. People supporting this modest position usually regard themselves as pro-choicers, however the modest position cannot be treated as a clear pro-choice standpoint, because the modest view accepts the prohibition of abortion in a later stage of pregnancy.
Abortion Views and the Beginning of Human Life 1. A zygote is not a human being. 2. A newborn is already a human being. 3. It is impossible to establish a natural borderline before birth and after conception, which borderline can clearly separate the stage of pregnancy when the fetus is not a human being from the stage of pregnancy when the fetus is a human being. - A clear pro-choice view accepts 1-2-3. - A pro-life view accepts only 2-3. - A modest view accepts only 1-2.
An Alternative Pro-Choice Argument There are pro-choicers, who are open to accept that the same moral values and rights can be attributed to the fetus as to an adult. In spite of the fact that the fetus can be regarded as a person, the pregnant woman cannot be legally forced to continue the pregnancy, because no one can be compelled to let his or her organs be used in someone else’s interest. See McFall v Schimp Case (1978)
Organ-donation and Pregnancy (a pro-life counterargument) Except the case of rape a woman, who is pregnant, intentionally contributed to the development of pregnancy (while the development of one’s disease normally has nothing to do with someone else’s intentional acts). It follows that women also have obligations concerning pregnancy, and not only rights.
Abortion and Human Life Human life can be conceived as the simple biological presence of life =>extreme consequences. Human life can be conceived as the simple biological existence of a specific kind of being, namely as the biological existence of any living cell or group of cells containing human DNA. Problem: absurd consequences + theoretical mixing up the different biological levels of human life.
The Potentiality Argument It is not true that zygotes are normal cells. A zygote has the ability to become a person under natural conditions. However, it is very problematic whether we can draw the conclusion from this argument that the zygotes and pre- embryos have the same moral rights as an infant has.
Modest Views (brain birth) When neural tissues from the spinal cord up start functioning, the fetus can be regarded as a living human. It is between the 8th and 11th week of the pregnancy, when the first brain-waves appear and when the brain starts coordinating the different functions of the fetus. Before the 11th week abortion can be permitted.
The problem of the interaction between interests I. We can see the problem of abortion as a problem related to the interaction between the interests of the mother and the interests of the fetus. In principle there exists two types of this interaction: - the mother may wish to terminate the pregnancy against the interest of the fetus - the mother may wish to terminate the pregnancy in the interest of the fetus (serious congenital defects)
The problem of the interaction between interests It is a question whether persons can really have a legitimate interest in not being born as terribly damaged beings. If we attribute an independent moral value to the mere biological presence of human life, then it is always better to be born than not to be born. If we hold that the biological life is only an instrument, a tool for developing some quality of life, then in specific cases we can accept that not being born is better than being born.