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What's your opinion on abortion?

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The title says it all. What's your opinion on abortion?

We've been discussing that topic on our TOK class for about two months and we can't seem to finish this debate. The thing is, that every time we start this topic, we end up in the wrong field - religion. I know there are religious aspects of this, but I really am interested in your opinion on this topic? I want to finish this debate with someone since none of my colleauges are willing to do so out of the class. :)

Not to get in too many details to soon, just to say that I think that abortion is, well, doable. I'm definitely not against it. My main point is that, when it comes to such an, well, unwanted consequence - the parents should be offered a way out. What's the point of having the baby if they won't love it, or don't know how to handle the baby, or won't give it up for adoption but leave it somewhere on the street to freeze to death? Or sth even worse. Or, what if the baby is sick, and they want to ease her pain? I know this sounds, not humane, but aren't the parents at least a bit able to decide on the behalf of their baby. If the baby is ill, she'll suffer, and by that, the parents will suffer too. None of the parents want to see their children unhappy, or, God forbid, ill. I know that by doing an abortion we are killing a living being, but the baby isn't still 'alive' - isn't aware of anything (the abortion within 28 weeks of the fetus's 'formation', after that not anymore ).

But on the other hand, who are we to decide for another human beeing? Are we, by doing that, playing God?

What's your opinion on this?

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To be honest, I don't think you will finish this discussion anywhere. I'll contribute here anyway.

I don't think it is possible to just say yes or no to abortion. Each case should be looked at carefully and the reasons for the abortion have to be "good" ones. What I think is the most important factor is the future of the child. Will it be able to grow up with the same opportunity and care as a planned child, or will it be neglected, abused or even worse.

Oh, and religion in my opinion (!) has no say in this matter to me personally. Now if your religion forbids abortion and you abide by these rules unconditionally, well then it is clear (for that person). As said before, however, if the child has no decent future then I would chose to ignore the religion.

I hope this topic is handled carefully and not be turned into attacks on other people's beliefs and religions.

Edited by Beni

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I stand behind everything you say!

I hope this topic is handled carefully and not be turned into attacks on other people's beliefs and religions.

I hope so too. I just wanted to hear other people's opinions. We are all entitled to them, so why not express them? :). I repeat, this topic is here just out of my curiosity. I want to know what others think :D

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Why have you spent 2 months on this in TOK? You'll never finish this debate. You're more likely to finish the God debate than abortion in all honesty.

I'd just like to say... in before people start shouting "pro choice is pro death!" "You're like Hitler!" "Murderer!" " religious nutcase god doesn't exist!" etc etc the list goes on.

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I don't knoooow, honestly! We tend to spend hours and hours on TOK on some pointless topics (once we've discussed all the Croatian curse words introduced to other languanges - it even sounds stupid :D), unlike this one - I found this one to be interesting so I grabbed a hold of it :o, but maybe is pointless, as you say.

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I don't knoooow, honestly! We tend to spend hours and hours on TOK on some pointless topics (once we've discussed all the Croatian curse words introduced to other languanges - it even sounds stupid :D), unlike this one - I found this one to be interesting so I grabbed a hold of it :o, but maybe is pointless, as you say.

The reason why it is futile, not necessarily pointless, is because it's extremely difficult to define a person or the stage at which cells become humans i.e they actually have rights because the potential of personhood doesn't quality as having rights. Essentially, you have human rights as soon as you draw breath outside the mothers womb. People will always argue over it whether it be because of religion or something else. I'll refrain from saying my view anyway.

I think your tok teacher needs to move on :P

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Abortion is a basic human right.

There still should be a time after which you would have to carry on with it as the embryo becomes developed enough, but I'm not exactly sure how many months that should be.

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Religion cannot be the only reason why people shouldn't abort. Looking at it in ethical terms also applies. Like what are the moral aspects that people are trying to break while doing this. There are many different reasons why people should or shouldn't.

In my opinion, abortion is not a very good choice. This being because it's dangerous in the long run. Also, an abortion is almost like killing a life. Note that I have typed 'almost' in italics because some people say that there are no nerves for the being growing inside the mother's body to feel anything therefore it does not matter. On the other hand, other people think it's completely wrong and this is where religion is brought in and so is ethics.

Scientifically, it's not wrong at all. It's just an abortion with no harm being caused to anyone.

Ethically, it could be wrong and right; this is through weighing the options and facts and opinions of people all together.

Religiously, it's obviously wrong.

So that's what I think anyway.

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In my opinion, abortion is not a very good choice. This being because it's dangerous in the long run.

Interestingly, abortion is actually less risky than pregnancy (for the mother) in terms of consequences. It's the way they get around the legal loophole of abortion in the UK - abortion is illegal, however it can be done to prevent risk to the mother. Because pregnancy is de facto a risky experience, abortion is legal for everyone. Even in the developed world, there's a chance of the mother dying if the process goes wrong enough, so it's a defence in every single abortion case (by UK law, at least).

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Abortion should be up to the mother (and perhaps, the father should have a say in that too, but that is a whole other discussion).

Sure we are ending a possible life, but so is masturbation, eating meat, and killing flies. There will always be pros and cons, and the individual will have to weigh them against each other to come to a conclusion. Ethically you might be considered immoral for ending a life, but you might as well increase the living standard of another, increasing the standard of life of future children, and save the aborted child from a dire future. Every child should be wanted. Religion should be kept out of this, instead some kind of comittee would have to be used to decide until what point you should be able to an abortion, and "science" such as when fetus is able to feel, should obviously be taken into consideration.

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I am absolutely pro-choice. I believe in a woman's right to have options regarding her reproductive health, including the option of abortion. I do not feel that pro-life arguments hold up to scrutiny. At best they are simply based on faulty information, at worst they are downright misogynistic (the classic canard that women who seek abortions should have "kept their legs closed" comes to mind).

FYI, in the United States, under the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, a woman's right to an abortion is only protected by federal law until the end of the second trimester. At the start of the third trimester, the fetus' brain begins to develop more fully, including the structures that actually perceive and process pain and consciousness. The only abortions that are allowed during the third trimester are ones done to save the mother's life, to remove a fetus that has already died, or terminate a fetus that has a 100% fatal genetic deformity (such as anencephaly).

Pro-life organizations try to get around the Roe v. Wade ruling at the state level by passing laws that do not explicitly ban abortion, but make it more difficult for women (especially poor women) to get abortion. Some of these laws include mandatory "waiting periods", ultrasounds, or visits to Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which are simply misleading dissemination points for pro-life propaganda. There are also groups that try to redefine "personhood" as "existing from conception", thus implicitly legislating abortion to be murder under the law.

I find it noteworthy that so many pro-life people consider personhood to begin at conception, yet they are reluctant to follow this assumption to its logical legal conclusion. If the fetus is a person yet cannot give explicit consent, the state must assume the fetus' interests are not to be killed, and therefore must step in to protect it. This has far-reaching implications for pregnant women, for the state can now essentially control their private lives on the grounds that it might harm an unwilling third party - the fetus. By this logic, if a woman does not want to be pregnant and miscarries, there enough probable cause to investigate her for a crime. If a woman takes a medication that is teratogenic (causes deformities in fetuses), then she can be prosecuted for reckless endangerment at best, assault at worst. Heck, there might even be sufficient grounds to legislate a woman's diet during her pregnancy, because the absence of certain nutrients during pregnancy has the potential of increasing the incidence of certain birth defects like spina bifida.

A person has the right to their own body. It is their property. For example, nobody can force you to donate blood or organs, even if it will save another person's life. By giving the fetus the power to force people into giving up part of their property, the state has essentially granted the unborn fetus more rights than an already-born adult.

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Wow, this is an interesting debate.

Well, my opinion, I think abortion, except in cases of rape and incest where having the baby could endanger the mother's life is NOT okay. Why? Because you're taking another being's life. I completely agree that a person has the right to their own body. That's why I think euthanasia, ordered on them self by a sane, consenting person, is okay. And suicide, while it's sad, is also okay. But abortion is not because it isn't your body. It's another being's body.

And I don't want to start any fights here but I find it HILARIOUS that people say that the fetus is forcing itself upon the woman and the woman should have the right to get rid of it or the fetus has more rights than the woman. Excuse me, but you are the one that had sex. No one forced that baby upon you. And if they did, then that is rape, and that is different. Forgive me for being frank.

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Truthfully, I'm pro-life. I believe that a baby is a baby, no matter how small it is or how many fingers it has. Whatever happens, it'll be my baby. But that's me. Because I want babies. Because I love babies. Because, honestly, I can't wait to be a mom. But not everyone is blessed with this need and this love and this want. And some are just forced into being pregnant. And who am I, biased by all my wants and needs and love, to tell them to love and want their babies? Would I oblige to them telling me not to love my baby? No. Then why would they oblige to anyone telling them to love these babies they consider mere creatures? That's why the right to have an abortion in safe, medically controlled conditions should be granted to any woman. Because women die having abortions underground. They get hurt for ever. And that's what we should prevent, because otherwise, we would only lead to losing more lives.

Edited by Gaby

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Wow, this is an interesting debate.

Well, my opinion, I think abortion, except in cases of rape and incest where having the baby could endanger the mother's life is NOT okay. Why? Because you're taking another being's life. I completely agree that a person has the right to their own body. That's why I think euthanasia, ordered on them self by a sane, consenting person, is okay. And suicide, while it's sad, is also okay. But abortion is not because it isn't your body. It's another being's body.

And I don't want to start any fights here but I find it HILARIOUS that people say that the fetus is forcing itself upon the woman and the woman should have the right to get rid of it or the fetus has more rights than the woman. Excuse me, but you are the one that had sex. No one forced that baby upon you. And if they did, then that is rape, and that is different. Forgive me for being frank.

From your post, I think you are saying that you consider terminating a pregnancy to be an unlawful killing because it is taking a life. However, you make exceptions for those lives conceived by incest and rape. Why? Presuming that unborn children are children, what makes a fetus conceived by incest or rape any less of a "person" than a fetus conceived through another route?

I do not think that fetuses have the mental capacity to have consciousness and/or self-awareness, which is a prerequisite of personhood, until around the beginning of the third trimester. This is how the Supreme Court ruled and it is based on widespread medical consensus. I would welcome anyone to provide an argument that a fetus has the capacity for consciousness and/or self-awareness at an earlier point in its development.

For someone who is so pro-life I find it strange that you are reducing babies to mere consequences of sex, and as a feminist and a woman it personally disturbs me that you are characterizing those who seek abortions as irresponsible (victims of rape and incest notwithstanding, as you said). Humans (and some other animals) have sex for pleasure frequently, not just for procreation. That is why we have invented contraception, which when used properly is very effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies. However, contraception does not have an absolute 100% success rate. It is not unusual for a woman and a man to have consensual sex without the intention of becoming pregnant, followed by the woman becoming pregnant anyway. Consent to sex does not imply consent to pregnancy. That's like saying consent to eating spinach implies consent to E. coli. Consent to sex simply implies consent to sex, nothing more and nothing less.

My argument was not that the fetus was forcing itself upon the woman, but that the woman has no moral obligation to give up her body (her property) for it.

Gaby, you have also brought up an excellent point. I too would like children in the future, but it is not my place, or anyone else's place, to tell others what to do with their most personal decisions.

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Excuse me, but you are the one that had sex. No one forced that baby upon you. And if they did, then that is rape, and that is different. Forgive me for being frank.

But accidents do happen and contraception methods don't always work.

If you do abortion early enough, the 'harm' caused is comparable to all the potential human lives lost as sperm in masturbation.

Edited by Jyrgen
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This is a complicated issue for me.

Personally, I find abortion wrong. This is probably a result of my religious upbringing and being religious myself. I feel that if one chooses to have sex they must take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. If you don't study for a test and receive an F that is your fault. Same with having sex and becoming pregnant. Also, I feel that having abortion so readily available takes away the reluctance to have sex. Teens know that there is always a way out if they do by chance become pregnant.

Despite my personal views I do not want the government dictating a woman's right to choose. I am conservative and I want a small federal government who interferes with citizen's lives as little as possible. So, minimum taxes, private businesses, and yes allowing a woman to do what she pleases with her body. I may strongly disagree with the women who choose to have abortions, but I don't want the government to bear that kind of control over people's personal lives.

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If you don't study for a test and receive an F that is your fault. Same with having sex and becoming pregnant. Also, I feel that having abortion so readily available takes away the reluctance to have sex. Teens know that there is always a way out if they do by chance become pregnant.

Yeah, but if what if you abort before it has developed consciousness? Is that really a human life being taken away?

Why should there be a reluctance to have sex? :D

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This is a complicated issue for me.

Personally, I find abortion wrong. This is probably a result of my religious upbringing and being religious myself. I feel that if one chooses to have sex they must take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. If you don't study for a test and receive an F that is your fault. Same with having sex and becoming pregnant. Also, I feel that having abortion so readily available takes away the reluctance to have sex. Teens know that there is always a way out if they do by chance become pregnant.

Despite my personal views I do not want the government dictating a woman's right to choose. I am conservative and I want a small federal government who interferes with citizen's lives as little as possible. So, minimum taxes, private businesses, and yes allowing a woman to do what she pleases with her body. I may strongly disagree with the women who choose to have abortions, but I don't want the government to bear that kind of control over people's personal lives.

"If one chooses to have sex they must take responsibility for the consequences"

If I had an accident on my motorcycle I sure as hell wouldn't say "NO, NO TREATMENT! IM RESPONSIBLE!". I find it a bit odd to say that one must take responsibility by not doing anything.

"If you don't study for a test and receive an F (F... in the IB..? Really?) that is your fault."

How does one take responsibility for getting an F? Sure as hell by not carrying that F around for the rest of their lives. They learn from the mistake and study more for the next test.

Sorry for making such a direct attack at your statements, I just found them odd.

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Personally, I'm not against abortion, but I don't think there should be a need for it, that's a whole other debate though. I can see how some people disagree with it, but really it's become a necessity these days, otherwise we'd have a lot of other issues branching out from irresponsible parents.

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Even though I personally would not get an abortion because any children I would have, if I decided to have children, would be planned and very much wanted, I firmly disagree with a law that would ban abortion for all women. Just because some people do not want abortions, doesn't mean that everybody must not have one either. A woman's body is hers, and she should have the right to do what she pleases with it. It's very sad that some areas, such as my state, is making it very difficult for a woman to get an abortion such as requiring a waiting period before one can be performed, requiring ultrasounds prior to the abortion "just so the woman can know" (You guys hear about that state that required the invasive ultrasound procedure? Yeah that's my state). Even though some people have abortions just to get rid of the consequence of foolish behavior and they shouldn't, as they should own up to their actions, they should still be allowed to have an abortion if they want it. It's not a government's position to ban it.

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