Nursing free essay: Abortion
The contentious issue of abortion is generally resolved by the ordinary acceptance that human dignity is a delicate matter that needs to involve various protection and cautionary measures across the human societies in the globe. However radical the secular interpretation of more delicate society issues such as human dignity may be, it is always put in checks by the basic pillars of social life with little compromise. Such social pillars that the modern society has entrusted its protection to include medicine, religion and law tenets that have established over the years as the custodians of the delicate interpretations.
As such, interpretations of an issue as delicate as abortion have to be separately scrutinized by the social pillars to give direction on the applications or abandonment of its values. Arising from such interpretations therefore are medical, moral, legal and other splinter debates that persist for some time before an issue is completely resolved. However, for the magnitude of human dignity issues cuts deep into the actual existence of the human race, scrutiny and counter critiquing of the general opinion is faced with much resistance across the board. In this discourse, academic proof is consulted on the issues that must be considered before abortion is procured, despite the stiff debate in the public domain on its appropriateness.
Thesis statement: Studies have shown that women typically consider the legality, morality and their emotional strain before they determine to abort an unwanted child.
Abortion can generally be understood to be the cessation of the life of an immature baby while still in the womb of its mother through deliberate human intervention. Traditionally, human dignity was considered as an important issue just as any other human life postulate in the modern world do. With the increase in secularization and cropping up of more liberal ideas that defy most of the traditional approach of human dignity, the topic on when life begins has become a debatable issue. Considerations of the ease with which women should procure abortion must be faced with the traditional interpretations of the same from a human dignity perspective, while the proponents of abortion also raise strong logical arguments in support of the same. According to Ankeny et al (2010), religion is particularly on the forefront to dispel any justification for abortion arising from secular intentions. Despite the strong opposition for abortion by religious principles, there is a level of leniency when the abortion is procured for the sake of the life of the mother who comes first in the pecking order of the saving from the danger during a medical emergency when both are in a grievous danger. There are also other considerations that come into the forefront to keep the secular world from tampering with the human life from its origin. The logic behind medical provisions for or against abortion is perhaps the most admissible from both the secular and conservative wings of the debate due to the acceptance that the mother has the capability to bring forth life hence her protection on medical grounds translates to the protection of life.
Ankeny et al (2010) hold the opinion that religion plays a lot of role in shaping up the moralists’ perspective on the campaign against abortion. Similar positions are held by ethical researchers who include religion as a major source of ethical ground, particularly regarding the issue of abortion (Kornegay, 2011 and Gomberg, 1991). Audi (1997) also reckons that the perspective held by religion regarding its anti-abortion campaign could be proved from a number of arguments that the author highlights with clarity and authority.
In terms of law and its interpretation of abortion within the society, Medoff (2009) postulates that despite the general discord that exists in the public debate for and against abortion, governments have been seen as a tool that fuels the confusion. This is because on one hand, the government appears to prohibit abortion in a protectionist role while also facilitates its procurement through legal facilitation. In the discourse, the author involves the Supreme Court ruling in the USA as a major development that contributed to a change of stance by the government and the American society. Berry and Roh (2008) also contribute to the wavering position held by the government in several respects regarding the abortion topic.
Emotional elements of the abortion topic are likewise represented in the discourse, with impact of emotion being felt as both a cause and a consequence of abortion in the society. Keys (2010), holds the opinion that abortion causes emotional distress that occasions untold suffering to women who procure abortion. Some positions are however raised to the effect that emotional distress is a mythical topic to women who procure an abortion.
Legality Issues on Abortion
In terms of the law as a custodian of human life and its dignity, there are general provisions in which the state abortion laws appear to considerably offer protection of human life with regard to unjustified abortion. There is a general observation that the state is the first object that the society can use to enforce protection against illegal abortions by way of facilitating restrictive laws (Medoff, 2009). According to the author, despite the recent feeling from among prolife campaigners that the state has been lenient with some of its protectionist machinery against abortion, there are deliberate intentions by the several governments to curb abortion. However, the legality abortion is a heated debate that has led to massive reactions from both ends of the debate, for instance in the USA since the legalization of abortion since 1973 by a Supreme Court ruling (Medoff, 2009, p224).
The general interpretation of the Supreme Court’s decision was to protect the American society from rigid legal provisions that fail to keep in touch with the circumstances behind the abortion. However, the precedent set by the ruling restricts abortion with the stage at which the mother has nurtured the abortion, if not on medical grounds. This implies that a trimester assessment of the pregnancy is considered for the legality test to be proved in an abortion case. The legality of the abortion is restricted in the USA as the pregnancy progresses. Due to the illegal arrangements for procurement of abortion in the country, state mechanisms are therefore heightened to reduce the ease with which the facilities and services can be accessed. One of such regulations is the policy on reduction of state funding for the abortion needs of the society to protect the society against illegal abortions (Berry and Roh, 2008).
International laws as generally guided by the principle of human rights enroll member states to follow a certain position of common interest across the member states. With regard to abortion rights for the mother as recognized by prominent international regulations, it is not clearly brought out in form of regulations since there is room for willingness of member states to accommodate their own set of sovereign resolutions on basic principles. Due to the weighty debate that abortion has faced across the states, legal provisions for international human rights agreements veer off the contentious issue altogether (Mehrgan, 2005).
It is clear therefore that the government has been vocal in setting the ground from which women can make decisions regarding the ease with which they can procure an abortion. In light of the general willingness by the government to protect the life of the unborn baby, the legal provisions act as a hindrance for rampant abortions. However, the grounds on the government’s legal provision regarding abortion are usually contentious from a moralist’s and religious perspectives due to the loss of touch with their tenets. Some of the best morality, ethical and religious arguments against abortion include personification and ensoulment as discussed by Audi (1997). Legality of abortion has been overtaken by secular perspectives than the conservative perspective.
Morality Issues on Abortion
Moral lessons that abortion opponents claim from the practice have widely been criticized by the prolife campaigners flanked by moralists and religious believers as well. One of the general documented and accredited sources of such pro-abortion authority is contained in Hursthouse’s Virtue Ethics which dispels any connection of a moral status to the fetus and therefore possible metaphysics (Kornegay, 2011). According to the author’s proposition, the provisions contained in the virtues documentation is not only biased but inaccurate since there are all reasons to accord ontology and metaphysical features to the fetus from development biology. It gets interesting when such academic evidence is brought to light to dispel any position held by either side of the unending debate since only facts can resolve the matter for a mother deliberating on an abortion.
From the academic evidence raised by the author, it is clear that some of the human characteristics that accord human dignity to any human beings are enumerated in a fetus that abortionists could easily permit their position on. It gets clearer that despite the insensitive secular position that many abortionists would qualify all cases of abortion with, there ought to be some level of consideration for healthy moral deliberations and debate to take place regarding abortion (Audi, 1997). The author also motions issues of personhood that prolife campaigners use to justify the protection of the unborn baby due to human features that the unborn baby has.
According to Gomberg (1991), the debate on abortion can be resolved by approaching the morality issue from a nurturance perspective. The author diagnoses the morality debate to be occasioned by the selfish capitalist mindset that places materiality and secularism ahead of any other social force. In light of the position held by the author, it is true to a great extent that moral decadence as facilitated by the capitalist hence materialism mentality only places moral issues further from the reality of the system that it controls. The debate of nature against nurture comes into play when morality becomes seriously offended by an issue such as abortion, yet there is a considerable amount of its support from certain quarters of the society. While natural instincts provide that natural systems be guided by moral standards to protect the natural continuity on the human race, nurture forces dispel such tenets to the effect that human intelligence can prevail by formulation of logical conclusions to curve shortcuts around nature. A woman deliberating how moral an abortion is must follow guidance positions that are devoid of bias particularly from the materialist perspective and stick to legality as well as moral provisions of the debate (Audi, 1997).
Emotional Issues on Abortion
Many women find themselves caught up in the middle of the controversy on whether to procure abortion, considering all the above conflicting perspectives. While it is not admissible to apply violence on the unborn baby for the avoidance of the emotional stress anticipated by the mother, certain unwanted pregnancies are causes of stress and emotional distress (Audi, 1996). Many women would be compelled to procure an abortion to end the source of a major stressor in their lives, usually through illegal procedures. Despite the general presence of debate over the reasons why an abortion should be procured, there is agreement that many women suffer psychological disturbance through certain causes of pregnancies. For instance, a pregnancy occasioned by rape causes trauma in a woman making her chances of coming to terms with the rape ordeal almost unreachable.
General guidance is usually in the form of getting rid of the pregnancy to increase chances of recovery from the trauma. According to Keys (2010), women empowerment to deal with the traumatic experience with both the abuse and the pregnancy is not only appropriate but an unalienable right. However, the author reckons that women who procure an abortion also find themselves caught up in the controversial debate on the legality, morality and religious appropriateness of the procedure, despite the weight of the stressing matter involved.
However, advancements in handling emergencies such as rape make emergency contraception a solution to avoid a pregnancy in the initial stages. It therefore beats logic for procuring an abortion in the late stages of a pregnancy on the account of such an emergency. Emotional distress occasioned by procurement of an abortion is perhaps the most disturbing psychological impact that the procedure can cause on a woman. Despite the academic research on the contrary opinion to the effect that post abortion trauma does not exist, it actually does in several ways than thought (Stotland, 1992). Emotional impact is particularly strong for women who procure illegally abortion as well some who experience miscarriages. There are several ways to deal with such grieve or loss using therapy that handles loss and many cases, the damage may be irreversible if urgent measures are not taken to restore their state.
Debate shall continue on the legality, morality and existence of other emotional factors surrounding abortion. It is therefore important to keenly follow the developments on the public debate regarding abortion, which might offer some relieve on the same. Depending on the arguments on either side of the debate, it is still confusing for any woman to come out clear in support of her experience by taking a side since the debate is still undetermined.
Ankeny, R. A., Jordens, C. F., Kerridge, I. H. & Stephens, M. (2010) “Religious Perspectives on Abortion and a Secular Response,” Journal of Religion and Health, 49(4):513-535
Audi, R. (1997) “Preventing Abortion as a Test Case for the Justifiability of Violence,” The Journal of Ethics, 1(2):141-163
Berry, F. & Roh, J. (2008) “Modeling the Outcomes of State Abortion Funding Referenda: Morality or Redistributive Policy, or Both?” State Politics & Politics Quarterly, 8(1):66-87, 101-102
Gomberg, P. (1991) “Abortion and the Morality of Nurturance,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 21(4):513-524
Keys, J. (2010) “Running the Gauntlet: Women’s Use of Emotional Management Techniques in the Abortion Experience,” Symbolic Interactionism, 33(1):41-70
Kornegay, R. J. (2011) “Hursthouse’s Virtue Ethics and Abortion: Abortion Ethics without Metaphysics?” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 14(1):51-71
Medoff, M. H. (2009) “The Relationship between State Abortion Policies and Abortion Providers,” Gender Issues, 26(3-4):224-237
Mehrgan, A. H. (2005) “Abortion and Human Rights in the Outlook of International Laws,” Medical Journal of Reproduction and Infertility, 6(4):N/A
Stotland, N. L. (1992) “The Myth of the Abortion Trauma Syndrome,” JAMA, 268(15):2078-2079
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