Ethical and Legal Considerations of Abortion
Health experts define abortion as any operation aimed at terminating a pregnancy through the ejection of the embryo of fetus from the womb. There are also certain aspects of fertilization that are critical in the analysis of this paper. In vitro fertilization denotes a type of artificial fertilization, especially where normal conception is not possible due to the fertility of the woman. For a long time, several ethical debates have been going on regarding these pertinent topics in gynecology.
This paper evaluates the ethical as well as legal implications of the concepts.
Most debates about abortion are often focused on political insinuations and the legal aspects of such actions. The most common question that many people ask regarding the issue is whether the practice should be outlawed and regarded as a way of murder while others feel that women should just practice it. However, some fundamental questions are ignored regarding the ethics of such acts, including the idea that morality should never be subjected to legislation. REF however, emphasizes that all good laws must be supported by moral values of the society.
Foremost, an ethical consideration helps in the evaluation of the status of the fetus; whether such is a person has rights. Anti-choice activities believe that the fetus is a person and needs protection as stipulated by the universal human rights. In this case, abortion amounts to an illegality that breaches the ‘do not kill’ clause (Robertson, 2007). From another perspective, the woman is also a person and may experience anatomy problems necessitating an abortion. Ethically, the termination of pregnancy is unethical despite the measures placed to refrain from the act.
Subsequently, the beginning of an abortion emerges from certain elements evolving from the consent to sex and avoidance of contraception. From the first point of view, such a fetus in the womb may be considered by the mothers as a new born in development, which hinders any act of abortion. Personally, many people are often objective to any abortive practices as a result of the intuitive feeling that the fetus is too is a human in development. Democracy and advocacy for idealistic society will often give preference to the bodily autonomy of a woman irrespective of whether such autonomy will harm the fetus.
Therefore, ethics and legal dimensions of abortion greatly revolve around the conflicting aspects of ethics that would force a woman to make intuitive decisions. If for instance, abortion were legalized in a state, the woman would have to carry the fetus till the due time to give birth to a healthy baby. However, such an act would hinder the freedom of the woman as well as the bodily autonomy involved. Robertson (2001) argues that such prevention is not ethical of the state authorities. Nonetheless, most legal documents about abortion point to a state whereby issues related to abortion dwell more on bodily privacy. Many countries like Chile consider abortion as unlawful while in Canada, the act is permitted.
Secondly, the process of in vitro also has a variety of moral issues as well legal dimensions as illustrated below. Robertson (2003) asserts that the use of the spouse’s fertilization elements like the sperm or the ova is ethically acceptable since it fulfill the religious wish of procreation. However, when originating from another donor, such actions are considered to be unethical. Besides, the process of test tube fertilization often implies that eggs are fertilized in large numbers and only one successful one is chosen while the rest are discarded or frozen. If such combinations are discarded, Robertson refers to it as murder and utterly unethical. However, the challenges of what is to be done with such fertilized eggs may come up, especially when the couple wishes not to conceive again. Thus, the embryo that remains of the separate gamete donations becomes the key point of dilemma in ethical considerations.
Other ethical concerns include the impact of the offspring as well as the consent issues therein. Moral aspects may create a problem in embryo mixing and the colossal payments for such activities. In circumstances where the donors are strangers and are not related in any way to the partners, the question of rearing rights may arise as well as the responsibilities of the donors and recipients for the resultant offspring.
Last, other legal and ethical implications of these elements touch on the minimal risk to the baby because of the means of conception. Based on an Australian firm (Robertson, 2003), a huge percentage of IVF, conceived children have the potential of having major birth defects or lower birth weights. In retrospection, the ethical issue in this paper is focused on the assumption of the onset of life. In other words, the main scientific perspectives here evaluates when life truly starts to define an individual. The current scientific evidence on human embryology provides limited data on the validity of the ethical issues regarding the two concepts highlighted above. One is left wondering whether egg cells have a difference either before or after interaction. Besides, some also ask whether a zygote formed after a successful fertilization is regarded as new human being or not. Such questions create ethical challenges, which determine the significance of these concepts in actual medical practice. On the other hand, legality emphasizes more on state procedures and requirements for such practices. For example, the United States believe that IVF is ethical and subsequently lawful.
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Robertson, J. A. (2001). Human embryonic stem cell research: ethical and legal issues. Nature Reviews Genetics, 2(1), 74-78.
Robertson, J. A. (2003). Extending preimplantation genetic diagnosis: the ethical debate Ethical issues in new uses of preimplantation genetic diagnosis.Hum.