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Throughout the world, abortions and a woman's right to have them remain taboo. Despite abortion being illegal in many countries, women continue to have them, sometimes going to extreme and dangerous lengths to obtain them. Going beyond whether or not terminating a pregnancy is right or wrong, should abortion as a medical procedure be legal?

Positions

Arguments supporting this position

Details

Context

Having a child with severe learning disabilities is a big responsibility. Some parents are not able to undertake the responsibility that would entail. In these cases, they should be able to abort the foetus before the child is born.

The Argument

Nobody can force someone to raise a child with a disability. If a disability is detected, the parents or the mother should be able to terminate the pregnancy. This can save many parents and children the agony of having to deliver a very severely disabled and deformed foetus, only to have to watch it die days, weeks, or months later. Some parents are also simply unable to care for a disabled child. They may have other children and jobs that do not allow them to put in the extra time required in rearing a child with learning difficulties and have limited familial support. They may not have the emotional stamina. Parents should be able to choose whether or not they want a disabled child.

Counter arguments

This effectively amounts to genetic engineering and a thinly veiled attempt to eradicate disabilities from civil life. People with disabilities live fulfilling lives. Many go on to become active participants in society. They are part of the rich and diverse tapestry that makes society beautiful. Providing parents with the ability to terminate a foetus with a disability will rob the population of its diversity and bring us one step closer to a homogenous society. It also makes a significant statement towards the way society views disabled people. Disabled people are entitled to the same human rights as everyone else. By saying to expecting parents they are not allowed to kill a healthy child but can kill a disabled child, you are sending the message that healthy people have a greater right to life than a disabled person.[1]

Premises

[P1] Rearing a disabled child is a big responsibility. [P2] If the parents know they are not up to the responsibility, they should be able to terminate the pregnancy.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] This sends the message that disabled people's lives are not as valuable as able-bodied individuals.

References

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/abortion/philosophical/disability.shtml

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019 at 22:19 UTC