Abortion, one of the most controversial topics of today’s time. Abortion is the intentional termination of a pregnancy. One can be pro-choice or pro-life in the debate. Some may even argue that you can stager between the two of them depending on the circumstance. Pro-choice is defined as a belief that individuals have unlimited autonomy with respect to their own reproduction systems and are for the legalization of abortion. Pro-life, according to thoughtco.com, is defined as the belief that the government has an obligation to preserve all human life, regardless of intent.
The child goes through several stages of growth throughout the mother’s pregnancy: zygote, embryo, and fetus. To some, the child’s life has not begun until it develops into a fetus. Some may also argue that if the heart beat is not audible or brain waves are not detectable then the child is not yet living. To others, life begins at conception. The medical definition of conception is defined as the process of fertilization which is when the ovum and sperm meet.
Why do women make this choice? There are many different reasons woman make the choice to get abortions. Some families are not socioeconomically stable enough to provide for the child. Some of the woman are single mothers and simply do not want to raise a kid on their own. Another common reason is they are simply done having kids. The woman may be at risk for giving birth due to their age. In some cases, the woman may have been raped or involved in incest.
Of the many ethical theories, utilitarianism is most closely related to the issues with abortion. Utilitarianism is defined as a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Utility is simply defined as happiness or pleasure. This theory was proposed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mills. The two of them believed in two different types of utility. Bentham believed in quantity and Mills believed in both quantity and quality. Bentham and Mills were hedonists; one who analyzes happiness as a balance for pain and pleasure. They indulge over pleasure rather than pain.
There is a process that a utilitarian goes through to calculate utility. It consists of four steps; intensity, duration, fruitfulness, and likelihood. Intensity: the immediate utility created. Duration: the length the utility will last. Fruitfulness: how much utility will occur in the future from the decision. Likelihood: how likely is all of this (the situation) to occur: Example: If a female was raped and was trying to decide what to do, she’d calculate the utility. First, she would decide if aborting the baby would cause immediate happiness and then how long that happiness would last. Then should would try to decide how much happiness there would be in the future from this decision and how likely she is to follow through with it.
A utilitarian has no single view on abortion.