4. APPLIED PHILOSOPHY NOTES (1) - AppliedPhilosophy(GS...

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AppliedPhilosophy(GS F312)/dr.AnoopGeorge/BitsPilaniGoa 1 Applied Philosophy notes ABORTION: Definition: Abortion is the premature termination of a pregnancy – that is, termination prior to birth. There are two kinds of Abortions: Spontaneous Abortion: It is same as a miscarriage and Induced abortion : It is caused by the woman herself or by another, usually a medical doctor. In India abortion is legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy under condition such as risk to mother’s life, mental health etc. and risk on the unborn child. THE ABORTION PROBLEM: There are serious issues concerning abortion: first of all on the principle of life itself, the life of the unborn child and also the danger to the mothers own life. Another important concern about abortion is the Principle of Individual freedom. A woman has all rights over her body, and so why should there be rules to dictate what she should do about her body? Yet another concern about abortion is the question of the beginning of human life. When does human life begin, and at what point is it to be valued and protected to the same extent as the lives of human beings who already have been born? Another important concern is the Absolute rights of the conceptus (the developing Human being until birth) . Does a conceputs or the fetus, which is an individual life organism, got any freedom to be alive? This is also an important anti-abortion (pro-life) position. ARGUMENTS AGAINST ABORTION: 1. The Genetic view of the Beginning of human life: Primary question to be asked here is: When Does Human Life Begin? Is Abortion taking of human life? According to this view, human life starts at conception; that is, as soon as the chromosomes from the sperm of the father and the ovum of the mother are united, then a human being exists which must be valued in the same way as if she or he were already born. The basis for this argument is that because a person’s genetic make-up is established, at conception, and because, one established, it “programs” the creation of a unique individual, therefore the human being exists from the point of conception onward and must be valued as a human life. 2. The sanctity or value of life argument: It argues that every unborn, innocent child must be regarded as a human person with all the rights of a human person from the moment of conception onward. This argument states that the fetus not only has a right to life, but also that his or her right is absolute. This means that it overrides all other rights that might come into conflict with it, such as a women’s right to decide between her own life and the life of her fetus is her pregnancy is complicated in some way.
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