The Problem of Abortion: Moral and Legal Issues

Abortion seems to be the most complex and controversial aspect within many communities. The issue of morality and ethics concerning abortion presents very fierce debates across many sectors within the society. People debate and review the different perspectives of arguments. These include the ethics and legal concerns. Whilst the mother is viewed as the sole decision maker on the issue of abortion, the father also holds certain level of responsibility (Cohen-Almagor, 2001). This explains why there seems to be an intricate legal tussle in case not all the parents agree on the issue. Specific individuals support abortion under certain circumstances. For instance, abortion is preferred under strict and empirical medical directives. Particularly, this situation ensues when the mother faces complex and life threatening conditions.

Most legal frameworks emphasize on the need to indulge comprehensive collaborations and consultative approaches in such initiatives. The question as to whether who remains liable and responsible for decision resolution in cases of abortion is still conflicting. Principally, this is eminent in situations where the mother is not yet married (Kass, 2002). In such cases, the parents become the sole principalities in the decision making process These conflicting tendencies vary within different environments or situations Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). It is vital to note that the legal frameworks vary according to the various policies inherent within diverse states. The pharmaceutical companies suffer greater risks due to abortion. Abortion is procured through locally available medicines in several instances. This may cause serious legal implications, particularly, if the abortion accidentally occurs after consumption of certain drugs.

The concept of abortion has been propagated through the principle of beneficence (Kerridge, Lowe & Stewart, 2009). In this approach, abortion is regarded to create constructive results and benefits amongst various personalities. This might be applicable to school going children and the raped female. Apart from this, it also applies to the other persons who might bear unwanted pregnancies. In these conditions, abortion becomes justified through the altruism concept. This is because it is assumed to bring a certain level of comfort to the victims. However, certain ethical beliefs and conditions prevalent in the present world have led to the reduced application of altruism concept (Carroll & Walby, 2012).

Professional association between health officials and persons undertaking abortion is important. Like in other medical cases, the issues of informed consent and confidentiality are critical. Therefore, they require maximum consideration. This must be done before any process of abortion is conducted. Presently, there are several instances of harmful abortions. Indicatively, such cases arise because there are instances where unqualified health professionals procure abortion. Thus, the professional ethics and codes of conduct are also pertinent issues that present ethical and legal challenges in the abortion. It is apparent that all medical professionals, individuals, and institutions qualified to procure abortion must be compliant (Weir, 2003). This appertains to all the health regulations regarding abortion and other consequences. However, persons involved in the process of aborting their babies must also be aware of the legal implications (LAC Lawyers, 2006). Specifically, this is because there are different situations in which abortion is undertaken. Apart from this, abortion is conducted through diverse approaches and mechanisms.

There are extensive debates on abortion. These investigate whether it is morally correct to terminate any pregnancy. Most people and other legal provisions regard abortion to be wrong. Other religious doctrines associate the practice with evil. However, certain, legal and medical provisions justify abortion. Particularly, this relates to situations in which the life of the mother is in danger. In such circumstances, there are ethical dilemmas on whether to terminate the life of the mother or the baby. There are other special circumstances where abortion is tolerable. Notably, ethical concerns regarding abortion entail a persistent scuffle between liberty and life (Bennett & Tomossy, 2006). These usually interface with the legal concerns that may be applicable to issues such as parenthood. Most regulatory concerns champion for the full liberty for women to decide on their body matters. Most societies prohibit abortion. This is due to their ethical norms, doctrines or religious convictions. Therefore, the decision to procure or conduct an abortion is dictated by diverse community and social factors.

Generally, most individuals strive to behave or undertake activities that resonate well with the overall societal norms. Religious convictions also dictate the ethical standards pertinent to the issue of abortion. This trend is observable within most communities (Johnston & Bradbury, 2008). There are several instances where ethical and legal concerns about abortion undergo conflicts. These occurrences portray significant gaps within the general health care systems in a particular society. Therefore, it is important to review and examine the conflicting tendencies. This information is vital in policy formulation and implementation about the concept of abortion. The application of reason may be critical in the definition and address of the outlined legal and ethical issues. For instance, it is reasonable enough for the ill patients to receive effective treatment and medication. The application of reason enables the identification of certain negative outcomes. These are associated with the discrimination of sick disabled persons (Aiken, 2004).

The stakeholders, policy formulators and other relevant agencies need to apply critical reasoning and deductive skills in implementation of equality principles. These relate to medical care of the persons undertaking the abortion process. There are obvious negative consequences associated with the discriminative provision of health services. The application of ethical reasoning is a fundamental practice in the identification and mitigation of these detrimental impacts. It is also appropriate for all health workers to evade the discriminative practice and selective attention that they provide to all different patients. Generally, there must be an active monitoring of partiality and prejudice in the processes of dispensation of these services. Similar indications also apply to the extended families and main caregivers of the disabled persons.

Most governments have initiated equality principles in the dispensation of abortion services. However, it is clear that there are still other eminent gaps rising from these endeavours. These gaps emanate due to a variety of factors. For example, lack of an effective monitoring and evaluation system has contributed to this gap or failure. Apart from this, the public is not adequately informed on the rights of the people ready for abortion services (Weir, 2003). Moreover, most individuals, including health workers are not aware of their basic responsibilities in ensuring the safety of the mothers undergoing abortion. In the past, the society did not enjoy the high level of liberalization presently notable within most communities. Therefore, most individuals did not have the room to champion for their rights.

Personal Reasoned Position on Abortion

Many individuals draw different positions from these controversial issues. Personally, I believe that abortion should be undertaken through an individual’s free will. Different circumstances dictate the need to avoid or undertake an abortion. For instance, a school-going female is more likely to decide to conduct an abortion. Principally, this may be appropriate for those unwanted pregnancies. There are rape cases that lead to pregnancy (Kass, 2002). Therefore, it is logical and ethical to conduct an abortion in such circumstances. Individuals must have their children at a time when they are more comfortable to provide for them. Ideally, proscription into pregnancy or abortion is dangerous. Therefore, abortion on free will is ethically sound and must be legal within all societies.

A Framework/Model for Ethical Decision-Making

The personal decision utilizes the “resolved framework” for the decision process. This is because there is a logical review of the concept of abortion. This is evident in the introductory part. Apart from this, I have weighed the different conflicting matters regarding abortion. Specifically, these relate to the different ethical and legal dynamics. An explanation of these implications indicates that abortion should be conducted in free will (Kerridge, Lowe & Stewart, 2009). In addition, any legal intrusion in the concept must operate to deter any form of proscription or forceful indictment into abortion. There are other obvious positive elements eminent from a liberalized system that allows a justifiable process of abortion.

The persons performing abortion face challenges in equal access to health care. Observably, there is a lack of appropriate physical infrastructure within most health care facilities. The persons with ambition to perform abortion cannot move up to the health service delivery points. These persons have also been neglected to suffer gross neglect (Kerridge, Lowe & Stewart, 2009). They lack caregivers to assist them with referral processes and medication. In case of illness, they suffer without any assistance. The deaf and blind also include some of the potentially disabled persons during the abortion process. There is a lack of specialized services for their care. Consultative initiatives involving medical practices usually assume their presence. This means that they are not engaged in critical processes of diagnostic procedures. These categories of persons also lack proper representation (Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). Most of the medical professionals are not disabled patients. In the developing nations, most health facilities are remotely located. In such contexts, the disabled personalities may not access proper services related to abortion.

Presently, the government has launched several health initiatives. The fundamental objective is to transform the entire health sector. These initiatives also aim to alleviate instances of discrimination of the minority groups. These include the persons with aim to conduct abortion. One of the approaches prevalently applied is the use of policies and guidelines. These emphasize on equality and appropriate ethics required in the medical practice (Somerville, 2003). However, there are still evident challenges arising from lack of proper compliance monitoring processes. Nonetheless, these initiatives are bound to create a strong and vibrant system of addressing the historical prejudices in the medical assistance of all persons procuring abortion. There are also indications that they might also provide excessive rights to these persons. Consequently, this may lead to unrealistic and unethical demands from the same category of persons.

Theoretical Perspectives on Ethics

The moral view provides a fundamental ethical perspective applicable in the decision making process in this scenario. Secondly, relativism also applies in this decision approach or system (Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). It is significant to note that the perspective contributes in the analysis of different contexts in which abortion maybe appropriate. On the other hand, the utilitarianism view relates to the basic ethics that the general society holds to be rational and appropriate in daily life. These two ethical perspectives have played significant roles in the determination of the final personal decision on this controversial matter of abortion. Analytically, both the moral view and utilitarianism are significant. The relativism model also provides an applicable merit in such situations. The condition of the disabled persons is described and ethically comprehended through the utilitarian theoretical model (Aiken, 2004). Therefore, it is useful in the definition of personal ethical position in this context. On the other hand, utilitarianism emphasizes on the significance of undertakings that yield the highly preferred satisfaction. Thus, it is clear that fairness must be observed for the disabled personalities to attain adequate satisfaction in medical care.

It is appropriate to consider the importance of these important factors. Particularly, this relates to enhancing quality performance in the development of positive results. The advantage applies within all situations or conditions prevalent within all situations. The utilitarian and situation perspectives of ethics are critical in the development of a rational decision or position. The complementary medicine has had positive results in most circumstances. This can be approved through the utilitarian principle (Macklin, 2003). Conversely, the situation ethics potentiates the reason why there are individual patients with choice to apply both the two approaches of therapy. All these theoretical perspectives are important in the analysis of these decisions.


Aiken, L. (2004). Morality and Ethics in Theory and Practice. Springfield, Ill: Charles C. Thomas.

Beauchamp, T. L. & Childress, J. F. (2009). Principles of Biomedical Ethics (6th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Bennett, B. & Tomossy, G. (2006). Globalisation and Health Challenges for Health Law and Bioethics. Dordrecht: Springer.

Carroll, K. & Walby, C. (2012). Informed consent and fresh egg donation for stem cell research: Incorporating embodied knowledge into ethical decision-making. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 9(1), 29-39.

Cohen-Almagor, R. (2001). Right to Die with Dignity: An Argument in Ethics, Medicine and Law. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Johnston, C. & Bradbury, P. (2008). 100 Cases in Clinical Ethics and Law. London: Hodder Arnold.

Kass, L. (2002). Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics. San Francisco: Encounter Books.

Kerridge, I., Lowe, M. & Stewart, C. (2009). Ethics and law for the health professions. Annandale, NSW: Federation Press.

LAC Lawyers (2006). What Impact Has Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) Had On Damages and Personal Responsibility? Web.

Macklin, R. (2003). Applying the four principles. Journal of Medical Ethics, 29(5): 275-280.

Somerville, A. (2003). Juggling law, ethics and intuition: practical answers to awkward questions. Journal of Medical Ethics, 29(5): 281-286.

Weir, M. (2003). Complementary Medicine: Ethics and Law. Brisbane: Prometheus Publications.

Removal Request
This The Problem of Abortion: Moral and Legal Issues was created and voluntarily submitted by an actual student. Feel free to use it as a reference source or for further research. If you want to use any part of this work, it’s necessary to include a proper citation.
Content Removal Request

If you hold the intellectual rights for this work and wish for it to be removed from our website, send a request, and we'll review it.

Request Work Removal