The long debate about the moral objectivity of abortion divides the society in terms of opinion. Some individuals believe that abortion is permissible on several grounds depending on the consequences ahead of the situation. This is among the arguments presented by modern philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson in her article “ A Defense of Abortion” (ed. Munson, p. 69-80). However, the majority of the society are against the idea of abortion particularly for the christian community because of moral considerations. There are other arguments exploring the moral theories of abortion and further analysis through case example have to be done in order to understand the issue.
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An unmarried girl of 17 years old got pregnant, despite using birth control pills. Her parents are not aware of the situation and she is hesitant in telling her family about her situation because of her family’s disapproval of pre-marital sex and conservative nature. However, her boyfriend is prepared to take the responsibility and decided to marry her. But the situation came to worse when the girl’s boyfriend died in a car crash during her four and half term of pregnancy. The girl decided to have an abortion because of what happened, despite her friend’s disagreement, but her decision was well respected by her friend and drove her to an abortion clinic. The girl understands how far the baby has developed inside her. However, the girl’s hope of finishing college and getting a career would be hindered by her pregnancy and not to mention the amount of shame she will have when her community found out about her situation being unmarried and having a child at the same time. Another factor affecting the girl’s decision is the fact that being young, unmarried and pregnant in her community is a ticket to poverty which she is struggling to escape from.
First of all, pregnancy is a result of a decision made by the girl and her boyfriend to have sex at an early age. Taking contraceptives may prevent pregnancy at a certain point, but it has limitations particularly when not taken at precisely as instructed. They should have anticipated the consequences of their action before they decided to have sex in the first place and whatever the consequences may be should hold them responsible for it. Such responsibility includes owning the situation, involve both of their parents to help them make better decisions and plan their future including the baby as their priority.
With regard to the decision to abort the baby, this is something that people should not do. It is against the laws of the people and the church. The late Pope John Paul II addressed all women in the world in his Evangelium Vitae that they should be the defender of everyone’s life and be committed to accepting their own child (Paul II, #99). The lack of maturity is among the reasons why the girl made such drastic decision. She never consulted her parents in any way and she put the faith of the baby in her own hands. The fact that she is 17 years old makes her subjected to her parents consent, her capability to decide for bigger things is not nearly enough to get herself on the right track. In relation to what Pope John Paul II said in his letter that women has to accept life, it means that regardless of what people say about the girl’s situation the life of the baby should outweigh any objections whether from the mother itself or from the community. The girl doesn’t want to disowned by the people around her, but killing the baby inside her doesn’t make her any better as a person of that community.
The girl’s reason for abortion that it would hinder her future plans to become successful is not a valid ground to justify reason for ending a life that comes from her own. If she does have future plans of finishing her studies and to have a career, she shouldn’t have decided to engage into pre-marital sex in the first place. If she does understand the consequences of that decision with or without contraception she would not be having sex at a young age at all. However, she gave consent to that idea of having sex and now facing the consequences of her action she would just escape from it even if it causes losing the life of an innocent. At the age of her pregnancy the baby inside her already has a beating heart. A beating heart is a sign of life and putting a stop to that beating is the same as depriving the baby of his right to live. The girl is clearly an irresponsible person and no matter what her future plans would be, the fact that she made a terrible mistake of aborting her baby would bring her a lifelong agony of pain and guilt.
The girl wouldn’t be successful in any aspect of her life because she never showed any during the time that she got pregnant. She’s a coward in such a way that she cannot face the truth and cannot stand by the results of her decisions. The girl could not even defend the life of an innocent child in front of other people. Therefore, that lack of courage would affect her future life decisions and making herself weaker in the face of life’s challenges. Abortion is not the answer to any woman’s problem. The reason that girls get pregnant at a young age is because life is trying to teach them a lesson, a lesson of responsibility and morality. That the lack of judgment would lead them astray and unable to make better decisions.
No matter what the reason for abortion maybe it cannot be enough as a justification against the reason to live. Life is absolute, the very reason why we all breath the air in our lungs and experience what we are having right now is that we were given the right to live. Women in general that are bestowed with the gift of bearing that life inside them is a privilege, but it doesn’t give them the right to kill an innocent life inside them. They were given that privilege by their mothers to live and they should do the same to their own child. There is nothing to be ashamed for when it comes to carrying a baby, no matter what the people say in the community, it should be taken as a challenge to change the reality that most young mothers are getting into. The girl could have set a good example in her community that even if she made a mistake she makes it right and that means taking care of her child while continuing her dreams. The baby could have been her inspiration to be successful, but she killed that inspiration and committed a bigger mistake that would scar her for life.
Paul II, Pope John. ” Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life): .” Catholic Planet. catholicplanet. com, n. d. Web. 27 June 2012.
Thomson, Judith Jarvis . ” A Defense of Abortion.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 1. 1 (1971): 69-80. Print.