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Abortion is ending the pregnancy early. Spontaneous abortion is when pregnancy is ended itself which is also known as miscarriage. Medical abortion is when woman chooses to end the pregnancy by taking the medicine or by surgically. (http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/articles/846.html). Physicians who perform abortions have decreased by 15% between 1980 and 1992
According to MacKinnon, abortion is an early termination of pregnancy. There are different types of abortion. When the pregnancy ends itself is called as spontaneous abortion which is also known as miscarriage. There is another type of abortion which is when the woman chooses to end the pregnancy by either taking the medication or surgically. There are different methods of medically induced abortion. These methods are discussed as below:
According to MacKinnon, Morning - after pill method is when chemical compound prevent blastocytes from embedding the uterine wall. RU486 is the compound that induces the uterine contraction and explusion of the embryo. It has to be used within seven weeks after missed menstrual cycle. During uterine and vacuum aspiration, uterine contents are removed via suction tube. Dilate and curettage procedure dilates the cervix and then the uterus is scraped off with spoon shaped curette. Saline solution is a mixture of water and salt. This saline solution is replaced with amniotic fluid which results in miscarriage. Prostaglandins are used to induce early labor. Dilation and Extraction is when the skull of the fetus is punctured and contents from the cranium are suctioned out and part of the torso has delivered with the use of forceps.
According to MacKinnon, in the first half of the 20th century, abortion was illegal for the most of the states unless pregnancy resulted from the rape or pregnancy was leading threat to the mother. However, women continued to have abortions illegally without help of medical equipments and sterile techniques. However, the woman named Roe appealed for denial of the legal abortion in 1970. In 1973, U.S. Supreme Court made the decision regarding Roe v. Wade case that:
"The Court stated that no state may prohibit abortion before the time of the fetal viability and a fundamental "right to privacy" was grounded in the Constitution, chiefly in the liberty and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. (MacKinnon, 163).This court decision divided the pregnancy into three trimesters and ruled that from the end of the first trimester on, states could make laws to ensure the medical safety of the abortion procedures. Second rule was that before the time of viability, about the end of the second trimester, the abortion decision should be left up to the pregnant woman and her doctor, and third rule was that from the time of the viability on, states could prohibit abortion except in those cases in which the continued pregnancy would endanger the life of the health of the pregnant woman." (MacKinnon, 163).
According to ....., woman has right to autonomy like others including reproductive choices. No one woman should be force to give birth to the fetus if she is not ready for it. Woman has right over her body and to decide for her body. Opponents of abortion believe that life starts at conception while proponents believe that life starts when the fetus becomes viable meaning when fetus is able to breathe and survive by itself. (Mei's - book, Practice issues related to patient self - determination - pg 290).
According to MacKinnon, viability is the ability of the fetus to survive separate from the mother. Lungs are developed at last during the developmental stage of the fetus. Critics of the utilitarian argues that once the fetus reaches viability, then the fetus has right to live. However, Utilitarian would argue that all of us are dependent on each other for something. If one is more independent than the other person, then the person who is more independent doesn't have more value than the other who is more dependent. Jarvis Thompson has discussed a great example of violinist. She gave an example that one morning, when you wake, you find yourself attached to many medical tubings which are connecting you with the violinist whose kidneys are not functioning well. He is told that he can only survive if someone is hooked up with him so other person's kidneys will do job of his own kidneys till his kidneys fully recovered and start working. She had asked a question whether you will be morally permitted to keep yourself connected or unplug yourself even though you are aware that by it may take violinist's life by doing that. She has discussed that person is no obligated to save someone if person did not agree to do so. (MacKinnon, 166).
Utilatirian believes that the effects of pregnancy on mother, child, family and others matter than the moral status of the fetus. The questions to be considered are what would be effect of having the child versus effect of abortion on the mother? What social and financial support will be available to the child if she decides to bring the child in this world? What would be life like for the child? Will child have happy or unhappy life? According to Utilatirian, these are questions to consider. (MacKinnon, 165).
First, the question is to ask what will be the effect of having the child versus having an abortion. This question is important because pregnancy affects the mental and physical health of the woman. Mental health and physical health are affected either way if woman decides to continue with the pregnancy or if she chooses to get the abortion. Women are sensitive to their figure which is affected by pregnancy. It is sometimes difficult to get back to the figure that woman had prior to the pregnancy. Pregnancy also affects the woman's mental health. Post partum depression is commonly seen in the woman who has just given birth to the child because having a child is a major change in woman's life. Woman has to be prepared mentally to take the responsibilities and be able to manage baby's needs especially for first couple months when babies do not have their regular scheduling for their sleep and appetite.
Second important question to ask is what financial, family or social support will be available to the mother and the child. Financial support is important for all mothers to fulfill needs for the child. However, it becomes really difficult if the woman is pregnant who is unmarried and does not have a job. When the child gets older their demands grow and it becomes difficult for mother to meet all their needs. For example, one of my co workers, who was pregnant at 18 years of age, decided to have the child. The child's father left when the child was 5 months of age. So she has been working full time to fulfill his needs. However, now he is 5 years old and is attending pre - school. Now at school, he sees other kids having different toys to play. So when he comes home, and demands for similar toys, which his mother cannot effort because she is a single mother, does not have any support from her family or from the child's father. She is struggling in her life right now to provide him what he wants so he can be happy. She does not have basic television service at home so she can save money so she can afford other expenses. When thinking about her case, if feels that if the child is brought to life when woman is not ready to have the child, it leaves the mother and child unhappy.
Third concern is how it will affect others because when the woman is pregnant. Her family could be affected by it. For example, in my religion, we are not supposed to have intercourse before the marriage and if you do, it is considered as sin. However, one of my cousins, who is unmarried, got pregnant at 22 years of age. She told her mother when she was pregnant. Her mother asked her to abort the child because it would affect our family's reputation as well as it would affect all of us. Because in our culture, when someone becomes pregnant without being married. People in the community find out about it and they start gossiping. So if she had kept her pregnancy, people would have start pretending that rest of our family members are like her and therefore parents from our cast would not allow their son or daughter to marry in our family. Therefore, because of her mistake, all of us would have to struggle. So it is important for pregnant woman to consider and think about others being affected from her action.
According to BBC, critics of Utilatirian theory might argue that everyone has right to live. They believe that moral status of the fetus is important when making decision about abortion. They may argue that fetus is person, and every person has right to live, and therefore, fetus has right to live and abortion is wrong. However, as per Utilatirian's point of view, if mother is aware of her stands, and knows that she will not be able to fulfill the child's needs, then why would she continue the pregnancy if she is not ready. Because if she chooses to have the child, she will bring the child to this world, but neither mother nor the child may live happily. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/abortion/philosophical/selfdefence.shtml).
I strongly agree with Utilatirian's theory of abortion. It is woman's body that is being used therefore woman has right of what to do and what is convenient for her. Women should be given a right to choose if she wants abortion or not. Abortion should be allowed especially if the pregnancy is resulting from rape, threat to the mother, if mother severe medical illnesses or fetus is likely to have physical or mental defect. (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/252560-overview). It is ethical to give a right to women to decide of what to do with their body. I also believe that if woman has the right to decide what she wants to do with her body, then she should not misuse her right such as having sexual intercourse without protection and then often getting abortions??.
As an argument against opponents of abortion, in this world, mentally incapable of adolescent females are being raped. What is these girls or families fault as they are cognitively impaired? Who will take care of the child? How would they able to give a birth to the child since they are incapable of taking care of themselves. These females do not understand responsibilities as the mother. They are incapable of making social judgement of what is right and wrong for them.
I believe that if woman is not ready to have the child then she should not give a birth to the child because nowadays we hear in the news that woman gives births to infants, take them from the hospital and then throw the infant in the garbage can or abandoned infant. It is wrong to give the birth to the child and then throw the infant in the garbage can to die. If woman takes this action, then she is responsible for the child's death. These women should realize that they are lucky to get pregnant and have the child because there are women in the world who is not capable to give birth to the child so they go through so many treatments to get pregnant. There are women who do anything to get the child even to adopt the child.