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Should abortion be legal?
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Abortion is a balance of two separate individuals' rights.

The entire issue rests upon when a fetus becomes a person and when they are, the balance of protection they deserve.


Abortion being a highly controversial topic, it is often regarded as a counterweighing of the rights of the different parties involved. In this argument the rights of the mother and the rights of the unborn child are weighed against each other.

The Argument

When considering abortion, the rights of the mother and the becoming child have to be counterweighed. On one hand, the mother has the right to dispose of her body and decides what she does with it. However, when she gets pregnant, the dynamics change. As soon as she carries the foetus that will later turn into a full-grown child, the rights of a second person have to be considered for whether an abortion is ethically justifiable. An unborn child has the right to life, meaning that killing it through abortion would be a breach of this fundamental human right. For this to be a conclusive argument, one has to consider the unborn as a human being and thus a person worthy of life. The controversy and difficulty lays in defining the moment from which on the foetus turn into a human being. The estimates between church officials and scientific research vary considerably between from the beginning or only after 20 weeks. If we consider that the foetus itself is not a human yet, a justification for abortion would sound more feasible. Anyhow, the opposition between the right of the mother to dispose of the body and the right to life of the child should only be decided in favour of the rights of the mother in the extreme situations we discussed prior. In any other circumstances, the right to life should weigh higher. Consequently, abortion should only be allowed in extreme situations like in the case that the child was conceived through rape/incest or that the birth would endanger the life of the mother carrying the child.

Counter arguments

1) If the right of the mother to dispose of her own body weighs higher than the right to life of an unborn child which cannot be considered as a person before it is born. The advocacy for the rights of the mother are associated to the pro-choice movement that wants to grant women the legal right to decide about having an abortion.



Is it more important to respect the right of the mother to dispose of herself or is the right to life more important?


[P1] When two rights are conflicting, it is possible to counterweigh them to decide which one prevails in a given situation.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Two conflicting rights cannot be counter-weighed.


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 1 Sep 2020 at 14:25 UTC

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