Is abortion morally wrong? | The Tylt

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is abortion morally wrong?
A festive crown for the winner
#HerBodyHerChoice
#ProtectAllLife

Whether or not you believe abortion should be banned depends on whether or not you think it's morally okay. Pro-choice advocates say just because something has the potential for life, does not mean it is a living being. More importantly, no one has the right to tell a woman what she can and can't do with her body. Pro-life advocates say abortion is immoral because it's the taking of a human life. The potential for life is a sacred thing that must be protected at all costs. What do you think? 

Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Is abortion morally wrong?
#HerBodyHerChoice
#ProtectAllLife

American hold contradictory opinions about abortions. 

imageSupportingMedia
#ProtectAllLife

Pro-life activists argue abortion is immoral because human life, without exceptions, is sacred and should be protected. They argue allowing abortions until fetal viability, like it is currently regulated, is arbitrary because life exists on a continuum. Nothing magically happens at any point in a person's development that makes them a person—they just are. 

This Reddit post lays this concept out really well. TL;DR: We should accept that life begins at conception because there's no single point where a fetus becomes a human. Human life just is. There's no single marker outside of the moment of conception that can reliably demonstrate when life begins. 

#ProtectAllLife

So once we've accepted that an embryo or fetus is a human life, shouldn't that life receive the full rights enjoyed by all people? The pro-life argument rejects that there's an difference between the potential for life and actually living. The two are one and the same. We can make justifications for why abortion is necessary but the goal should always be to protect all life whenever we can. 

“You might be surprised to know that the Catholic Church has never dogmatically defined when life begins,” said Daniel Sulmasy, a Catholic bioethicist and director of the Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago. “Instead, there is a recognition that there is unfolding developmental potential in embryo, from unification between the sperm and egg to birth. There is no defined moment of ensoulment. But we know the potential of human life is there from conception so believe we ought to be cautious and not interfere.” To him, this teaching holds true even if the fetus has no chance of survival. “Our advice would be to let a natural miscarriage happen or carry the fetus to term. And if the fetus is too sick to live on its own, it can be allowed to die.”
So if we think life begins at conception, and the potential for life is just as sacred as life itself, then the moral charge is to preserve that life and give it every chance possible to develop. We are valuable because we exist, not because of any other external factors. 
When people say the unborn is “not a person” or “not a life” they mean that it has not yet grown or gained abilities that arrive later in life. But there’s no agreement about which abilities should be determinative. Pro-choice people don’t even agree with each other. Obviously, law cannot be based on such subjective criteria. If it’s a case where the question is “Can I kill this?” the answer must be based on objective medical and scientific data. And the fact is, an unborn child, from the very first moment, is a new human individual. It has the three essential characteristics that make it “a human life”: It’s alive and growing, it is composed entirely of human cells, and it has unique DNA. It’s a person, just like the rest of us.
imageSupportingMedia
#HerBodyHerChoice

Pro-choice advocates say there's nothing morally wrong with abortion. Society has accepted that people should be able to do what they want with their bodies. That's not a controversial opinion. This applies to women as well. There are a couple of arguments, but the most compelling comes from ethicist Ronald Dworkin. He writes:

‘The most important feature of [Western political culture] is belief in individual human dignity; that people have the moral right – and moral responsibility – to confront the most fundamental questions about the meaning and values of their own lives for themselves, answering to their own consciences and convictions. 

Denying a woman the ability to make decisions about her body and pregnancy because we're privileging the potential life's rights over hers, is wrong. People have the right to make their own choices for their own body. We all have opinions on what's right and wrong about abortion. That's fine. The difference is when we're making collective decisions as a society. Putting up bans and restrictions means we're taking away the fundamental right to choose from women. Do we really want the government to decide what we can and can't do with our bodies? 

Protecting a potential life should not trump the rights of existing lives. The potential for life is just that—potential. It's something to be valued and protected, but not at the expense of the existing life. The woman's moral status is greater than that of a fetus' potential life. They should not be equated to each other.

The fact that a biological entity is potentially a person does not mean that we must treat it as a person – or even consider its moral status as special. We may wish to do this because we may feel something that has the potentiality to be a person has greater worth than something that does not. We may feel that a human embryo has greater moral status than a cat (which for all its conscious abilities and sensory perception can never be a human person), or we may believe that a cat has greater moral claims than an embryo, which is potentially a person but not yet an independent living being. Both of these positions can be presented as consistent, rational, logical arguments.
imageSupportingMedia
#HerBodyHerChoice

Judith Jarvis Thompson presented this hypothetical to prove that abortion is morally acceptable. The pro-life argument is that a fetus is a person from conception, has the full rights of a person, and should be protected until birth. That logically makes sense right? But then she raises this hypothetical:

It sounds plausible. But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you--we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you."
Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says. "Tough luck. I agree. but now you've got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him." I imagine you would regard this as outrageous, which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago.
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is abortion morally wrong?
A festive crown for the winner
#HerBodyHerChoice
#ProtectAllLife