Is abortion murder?

by frederickg on Septembre 12, 2016 - 3:10pm

The article ‘‘Accessibility and Availability of Abortion in Six European Countries’’ published by the European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care journal discusses the accessibility of abortion services in the Netherlands, France, Great Britain, Slovenia, Hungary and Turkey. It was found that abortion laws in European nations range from complete forbiddance to complete permissibility. Some countries require women to go through a lengthy  process of pre-abortion counselling and doctor approval before having the procedure done while some countries do not have mandatory requirements. However, some nations require pre-abortion counselling for minors only. Generally, abortion is accessible after only a week prior to scheduling an appointment. In most countries, abortion fees are covered by either government insurance or health insurance plans, thus giving women more accessibility to the procedure. Generally, abortion is fairly accessible in terms of laws and regulations. There are differences in terms of accessibility, fee coverage, waiting period and permitted pregnancy duration to have the procedure done. Despite abortion’s general acceptance, it remains to this day a source of endless debates. 


Abortion is a very controversial topic because the life of an actual human being is ended. There are two clear sides facing one another, the ProChoice and the ProLife positions. People in favour of abortion will defend that it is the woman’s choice to decide whether she wishes to pursue her pregnancy since it is her body. The values of freedom of choice, autonomy, and independence defend abortion on several levels. Nearly all of abortions are done during the first semester, where the foetus’ life depends entirely on the mother thus making it not ‘‘fully human’’ yet, according to some people. This is where it is hard to draw the line between foetus and human.  If a woman’s child is the result of a rape, keeping the child could cause further psychological harm. A woman’s power to have total control over her own body constitutes basic civil rights.


On the other side, abortion could be seen as a type of murder for some people. Since life begins at conception, the procedure of taking this life away somehow constitutes a murder. Abortion goes in contradiction with the value of sanctity of life and the right to live. Some will argue that abortion isn’t an option when the 1.5 million American couples who can not conceive could be ready to adopt the child, which demonstrates the value of helping others or generosity. In the instance of rape, abortion punishes the child while the perpetrator should be the one to be punished. Religious values also go against abortion since most of them completely regard abortion as a sin, an abomination. The value of responsibility is also used to debate against abortion since some argue that it is one’s responsibility to keep the child and take care of them. 


Personally, I believe women should have the power of deciding whether they desire to pursue their pregnancy, regardless of the circumstances. I strongly defend that abortion should be covered by health insurances in cases of rape and incest or whenever the procedure is crucially required for the mother’s own health. However, in the instance where the child is simply unwanted by the mother, I believe it shouldn’t be covered for the simple reason that the mother’s physical and mental health is not compromised. I do not believe that abortion is morally wrong because women should have control over their own body. This is a very sensitive topic, however when does the foetus actually become a human being? Clearly, a glob of cells is not a human being provided with a nervous system. But as the foetus evolves, is there a specific moment where it begins to feel pain? I understand all of the ProLife arguments. Actually, I believe late term abortion methods such as the ‘‘dilation and evacuation’’ are unethical because the baby is almost fully developed. It must then feel pain when its limbs are pulled apart one by one. 


Even though the line is hard to draw when it comes to defining when the foetus is to be considered human, my stance is that women should have control over their pregnancy and be able to end it at all times, preferably during early stages. Ending a life is technically murder, but can we consider abortion murder as well?