What’s The Ethical Stance On Abortion?


Since Roe vs. Wade, abortion has been one of the most debated, deliberated, and discussed topics in today’s society.

The morality, women’s rights, right vs. wrong, pro-life vs. pro-choice and every other concern has been canvassed.

Most arguments surrounding abortion usually focus on the law aspect of the topic, and whether or not it should be illegal or legal.

Instead of playing volleyball with the two sides, I would like to look at abortion from a strictly ethical viewpoint.

Many debates surrounding abortion focus on one thing: whether or not it is morally right to terminate a pregnancy before the full duration has passed.

Now, to better understand what each side thinks, and to come to a decision and/or conclusion based solely on ethics, let’s examine exactly what it means to be pro-life or pro-choice.

Pro-choice supporters argue that is it a women’s right to decide what is done with her body, as opposed to pro-life enthusiasts, who are of the opinion that it is immoral to end a life simply because it is “your choice” to do so.

There is, however, somewhat of a dispute in regards to what is actually considered to be a living fetus. Pro-life supporters would argue that life beings at conception—point blank.

In comparison, most pro-choice advocates believe that a fetus only becomes human, or alive, at 26 weeks. But, if life doesn’t begin at conception, then there must be a point when these bundles of cells that we call fetus’ become humans.

Pro- choice advocates will even admit that there is a point when fetus’ cease to be (not alive, shall we say?), the question is: when is this point?  This point, many would argue, doesn’t exist.

Humans are constantly changing and rearranging to becoming different (even if it’s a minute change) versions of themselves—during these changes, do they cease to be human?

An article by Quora.com, used an interesting analogy by using the colors red and yellow, it stated that, “This is red. This is yellow. These are, obviously, very different colors. If red is not yellow (it isn’t), then there must be a point where a color actually makes the transition from red to yellow. Where is that point? I’m being ridiculous, of course. We all know the correct answer here: There is no “point” where red becomes yellow. It gradually does.”

This could be used for a developing fetus as well.

There is no “point” in which a fetus is officially a human. It has always been one, it just gradually grows into a complete life form at the end of nine months. But, that does not mean that at one stage along the way that it ceased to be alive.

If a woman has consented to have relations, and has not taken the proper steps to ensure that there is not pregnancy as a result, then that woman knows that being pregnant and having a child might be a result of that action. If a woman then chooses to get an abortion, does that woman not hold some form of ethical obligation to not terminate a living organism?

Now what about the child itself—there is some conflict pertaining to the rights and choice of that child.

If there is an argument that a woman should have the choice over her body, then it follows that there is an argument that she is making that choice not just for her, but also for the growing fetus inside of her.

Whether you believe that a fetus is a human or not, you’re still, making a conscious decision that that life (or potential life) inside of you doesn’t need to exist.

To put it in context, think of it this way: if you are 15, and your mother decides that she doesn’t want to have children anymore, is she ethically right to end your life merely because she decided she doesn’t want you?

If the action is wrong when the child is older, then what makes it acceptable when the child is in utero?

In our society, regardless of your religious, political or social views, we all have an underlying code or principal of what is right and wrong. If we step over the boundaries of that code, and break the morality and ethicality that is interwoven into our society, then we are tearing at the equilibrium and balance that helps keep our society stable.


Sittenfeld offers a female Holden Caulfield and a First Lady satire


photo courtesy of http://www.newsday.com



Staff Writer

Curtis Sittenfeld is quickly rising to the top as an author to be remembered.

Her first novel Prep instantly climbed the bestseller’s list to the number eleven position. For those who’ve ever read J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and wished Holden Caulfield had a female counterpart, Prep is a book worth looking into. 

Inspired by her time spent at boarding school, as well as drawing inspiration from the ‘80s sitcom The Facts of Life, Curtis is able to paint the perfect picture. Prep is not only a page-turner, but it is also a believable and ingenious story about coming of age, without making its theme overtly obvious. 

Sittenfeld notes how Prep was turned down, and then “un-turned down” by one editor, who originally thought the novel was, “too dark and well written to be successfully marketed as chick-lit.” And upon reading Prep, you notice that “chick-lit” doesn’t properly fit, rather, Sittenfeld creates a genre all her own.

In her latest novel, American Wife, Curtis draws inspiration from First Lady Laura Bush. 

“Soon after George W. Bush was elected, I read a few articles about Laura Bush that made her seem different from what I would have expected. I learned that she’s a big reader, and that she would invite people who had political opinions different from her husband’s to events at the governor’s mansion and then events at the White House,” Sittenfeld said in one interview. 

Although drawing from real-life inspired events, Sittenfeld creates fiction, and once again creates a masterpiece. As one critic put it, “The result is a masterful mash-up of highbrow and lowbrow that satisfies as ass-kicking literary fiction and juicy gossip simultaneously.”

American Wife deals with issues such as having an abortion and discovering your grandmother is a lesbian, it also involves a fatal car accident that twists the plot unexpectedly (this incident is factual: Laura Bush was part of a fatal car accident at 16). 

For those desperately seeking good writing, Curtis Sittenfeld is an author that always succeeds in exceeding expectations.