Idea: Preview

Relevance:     Universal
Right to abortion of pregnancy

Abortion of a pregnancy is the right of the pregnancy-carrier––even after the time when the developing organism can reasonably be deemed a person––until the time of birth or delivery. As troubling as this position may be to those who are concerned for the welfare of the unborn baby as a person and want to protect it as a member of our society, we must say that this is not a position we take without difficulty because we also care for the welfare of other persons, including that of an unborn baby, but we find that there are sufficient justifications for holding this position.

1) In cases where the pregnancy is not yet deemed by the pregnancy-carrier as a person due to insufficient neurological development for subjective experience, abortion of the pregnancy is not an ethical issue and has no basis for being criminalized. For those who disagree with the opinion of the pregnancy-carrier on the personhood status, this is an educational matter, not a criminal matter.

2) In cases where the life or health of the pregnancy-carrier is significantly jeopardized by the pregnancy, the preservation of the life of the pregnancy-carrier is our strategic priority.

3) In cases where the child would be born with a medical condition that significantly adversely affects a person's quality of life, we accept the judgement of primarily the mother, as the lover and keeper of life, to determine whether her child will find fulfillment in life and whether to continue with the pregnancy or to abort it.

4) In cases where the pregnancy was imposed onto the pregnancy-carrier through force or deception, i.e rape, the only proper role for society is to assist the victimized person in achieving restitution for the harm done to them and not to increase it any further.

5) In cases where the pregnancy-carrier is driven to abortion due to harsh economic conditions, we recognize that no parent with a healthy mind wants to kill their own child for trivial materialistic reasons, and we hold ourselves as a society responsible for not creating better conditions for our current and future generations.

6) In cases where the pregnancy-carrier is not of a healthy mind, abortion of a pregnancy is not a criminal issue but a medical issue. As such, whether an abortion is an appropriate procedure is a matter to be decided by the pregnancy-carrier and their medical practitioner (if any). Furthermore, to ensure that the pregnancy-carrier makes the best decisions about their pregnancy, all pregnancy-carriers should be entitled to counseling services about their pregnancy at the public expense.

7) In cases where the pregnancy-carrier is not the parent but a surrogate, the right to abortion is shared by the parents and the surrogate. Thus, the matter of abortion should be stipulated contractually and be settled by civil court.

Let us summarize with two points of clarification. First, we recognize that in certain cases an abortion of a pregnancy does in fact result in the killing of an innocent person. However, we also recognize that when dealing in the realm of restricting personal freedoms, we must be extremely cautious to not institutionalize greater harms.
     Second, we recognize the act of killing of an innocent person should typically carry some kind of a penalty to disincentive against it. However, the abortion of a pregnancy provides a unique case in nature, due to the special relationship between each of the parents and the child, where the harmful act is its own sufficient penalty. Thus we do not find it necessary to impose any further penalties upon the perpetrator.
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