Abortion continues to be one of society’s most contentious moral questions. A part of the population believes that women should be granted the freedom to choose, while others believe that life should be preserved under all situations, resulting in the polar opposite. Every nation has its legal system and religious and cultural values that affect the decision to abort or not abort. The ethical standards that direct people’s views on abortion differ from one society to the next, depending on the ethical philosophy that is more generally accepted. The United Kingdom and the United States are two of the most heatedly discussed countries in the pro-choice and pro-life campaigns. While most developed countries have legalized abortion, underdeveloped are yet to legalize it, and tend to have no control over the approach that medical personnel give the issue.
Utilitarian Perspective
There is no single view that can be taken by utilitarianism in the expression of the best moral code on the issue of abortion. All the views are guided by the unique understanding of the manner that they support the principle of utility. However, there are standard principles on this approach that guide the course of action. Utilitarianism holds that there should be no absolute value to be placed on human life and that the consequences of an action should be used to judge whether it is good or not (Hutchinson, 1982). Besides, the benefits of an action should be evaluated in terms of the number of people benefiting.
From this ethical theory, women have the absolute rights over their bodies. Abortion being a personal issue makes the Bentham’s Act utilitarianism to be the most relevant theory looking at the consequences of abortion to determine the choices to be made. The idea of having choices make women have the control over the decisions to be made. If the pregnancy was from of rape, incest among other undesired events, they might choose to terminate the pregnancy to avoid living with the consequences of the action. The time when life begins is an important aspect that has not been agreed upon in philosophy, theology, and even medicine. It is not clear about the right fetal development stage to be associated with the start of life. Utilitarianism seems to avoid defining the right development stage where a fetus should be considered as a person (English, 1975). It is difficult from this theory, to determine where the dividing line is between killing a fetus and a normal body.
Different cases of abortion call for a unique view in the moral judgments. In weighing the situation of the 14-year-old victim of rape, the decision to be made ought to be informed by the hedonic calculus that weighs the pleasure and the pain of the available moral options. The 14 years old victim of rape can carry out an abortion because of the many challenges she is likely to go through as a young teenage mother. In this case, the negatives outdo the positives, and hence termination of pregnancy is the best option. A wealthy childless society matron might decide to otherwise after weighing the outcomes using the hedonic calculus and opt to keep the pregnancy. A young married working woman also has the same options to choose from especially when considering that another variable of work has been brought into consideration.
Deontological Ethics
From a deontological perspective, women do not have absolute rights over their bodies. Abortion is considered wrong on two grounds: the duty of the parents to take of the child instead of aborting it, and the need to treat everyone as an end instead of a means to achieve the end. If a woman is pregnant, it is her duty to ensure that the child protected and cared for. Abortion implies negligence of duty and failing to show care. From a classic deontological perspective, life begins at conception. The unborn is thereafter considered to have human life, which is wrong to take it away (Pojman & Vaughn, 2009). Taking this ethical viewpoint to inform the policies on abortion would mean that all women conducting abortion should be held accountable for the violation of human rights, in this case, infringing on the right to life.
The great emphasis on the need to take up the duty of caring for the child rules out the possibility of taking a different moral stand on the abortion issue. Whether it is a young girl who is pregnant out of rape of a wealthy woman capable of securing an abortion, both cases should not be used to justify the taking away of an innocent life. Regardless of the extremities, women are urged to view pregnancy an end rather than a means to the end. The concept implies that happiness or avoiding future embracement should not be used to guide the cause of action. Abortion, therefore, turns out as being wrong and should be always avoided regardless of the cost implications.
Care Ethics
Care ethics scrutinizes the moral significance of the fundamental elements that guide the dependencies and the relationships in human life. The philosophical theory further contextualize and aim at promoting the general well-being of both the caregivers and the care receivers particularly in the social relations (Gatens-Robinson, 1992). Care ethics is firmly anchored on virtue and the best ways to meet the needs of others. In care ethics, women have rights over their bodies although those rights cannot be considered as absolute. Whenever women feel like abortion is the best solution to fulfill their needs, which surpass those of unborn child, there should be no objections.
Care ethics will embrace the provisions of the human rights protection of life after a baby is born. From this fact, it is clear that proponents of this philosophical theory would imply that life begins after birth. Care ethics can be important in the formulation of laws although it might cause an uproar from the pro-life activists who believe that civil rights should be applicable even before birth takes place. The philosophical standpoint is more emphasized by feminists who believe that women have the control over what goes on in their bodies. An application of this total control on the choices would make abortion to be permissible to a 14 years victim of rape or any other person who consider giving birth as a potentially problematic issue in life.
Natural Law Theory
The natural law theory emphasizes on following the dictates of nature by doing actions that are morally right. The doctrine of double effect is an integral concept in determining whether an action taken is morally right. Performing good actions even if it has bad effects is acceptable while performing bad actions to achieve good effects is considered impermissible (Shaw, 2002). Under the natural law theory, women do not have absolute control over their bodies, especially when weighing the moral status of the fetus which is in this case considered as having full moral rights. The decision to protect the unborn child is further reinforced by the idea of always protecting the innocent persons. The intentional termination of the fetal life to save the mother is also wrong according to the theory. However, miscarriages resulting from chemotherapy treatment would not be considered as wrong because it was not the intended action. Civil rights, therefore, become applicable after conception. It therefore paramount for pregnancy to kept even if it is as a result rape of an underage woman.
Conclusively, the idea of legalizing abortion will continue to be a hot issue for debate depending on the school of thought that one subscribes to. The legalization of aborting in the U.S and the U.K does not, therefore, mean that it is the best approach to be taken because of the many factors that have to be considered. Despite the diverging views on abortion, the modern world seems to embrace the idea of terminating an abortion when the life of a woman is in danger.

English, J. (1975). Abortion and the Concept of a Person. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 5(2), 233-243.
Gatens‐Robinson, E. (1992). A defense of women’s choice: abortion and the ethics of care. The Southern journal of philosophy, 30(3), 39-66.
Hutchinson, D. S. (1982). Utilitarianism and Children. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 12(1), 61-73.
Pojman, L. P., & Vaughn, L. (2009). The Moral Life. Oxford University Press.
Shaw, A. B. (2002). Two challenges to the double effect doctrine: euthanasia and abortion. Journal of medical ethics, 28(2), 102-104.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 10%
Total Price:
$10.99 $35.97
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price