Abortion Rights Vs Ethics
For Mains: Abortion Rights Vs Rights of Unborn
Why in News?
Recently, in a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India allowed abortions up to 24 weeks for all women, including unmarried women.
Why is there a Debate over Abortion Rights and the Ethical Dilemma?
- Issues with Respect to Women’s Right:
- Woman’s Right over her Body:
- A woman's right over her body has been advocated as a premise for freedom.
- One cannot force a woman to bear a child in her womb and give birth to a child if she does not want to do so for various reasons.
- Unwanted pregnancies affect both physical and mental health.
- Gender Equality:
- The right to abortion is vital for gender equality.
- The right to abortion should be part of a portfolio of pregnancy rights that enables women to make a truly free choice whether to end a pregnancy.
- Issues with respect to Feotus:
- Right to Life: Abortion amounts to the murder of a living being.
- Motherly Care: It is a unique unspoken bond shared between two lives, which cannot be questioned or regulated by laws.
- Issues with respect to Society in General:
- Responsibility of State: The State has the responsibility of valuing each life.
- Inclusion of all: Abortion should not become a mechanism of social control for avoiding the appearance of differences or disabilities.
- Giving better life for Existing Children: Many times, parents want abortion to be able to give a good life to existing children instead of dividing their meager resources into more children.
What are the Arguments against Abortion?
- Abortion is not viewed by some as liberating, but rather as a way for society not to cater to women's needs.
- Women don't need free abortion access, but their needs for financial and social survival as mothers are what they need for equality:
- inexpensive, readily available childcare
- a workplace or school that acknowledges the needs of mothers,
- e.g., providing flexible scheduling and maternity leave,
- state support that helps to reintegrate a woman into the workforce
What should be the Ethical approach to Abortion?
- Ethical approaches to abortion frequently invoke four principles.
- Respect for patients’ autonomy
- Nonmaleficence (do no harm)
- Beneficence (beneficial care) and
- The abortion dilemma has overlapping issues from different realms like legal, medical, ethical, philosophical, religious and human rights and it should be analysed from different perspectives.
- There cannot be any hard and fast rule over abortion and it must be discussed and deliberated to evolve a common consensus.