On Abortion.

This is more a question to the reader than an opinion, since I find myself unable to come up with a cogent argument for either side.

The two extreme cases are using morning-after pills (the iPill in India, for instance) which is clearly ethical, and infanticide, which is clearly wrong (ethically). In between these two extremes must lie the point where an abortion transforms from a medical operation to a homicide. How that point is to be determined is the question: When does a foetus stop being an organic growth? When does it begin counting as a person?

I’ve read about legalizing abortions reducing crime-rates as a far-reaching non-obvious consequence (Freakonomics); but letting the argument go in that direction will require proving that abortions lie outside the purview of ethics in the first place.

The argument about how it is a woman’s duty to carry her baby etc. is obviously rubbish. But trashing the whole concept of a baby being a different person because it is demeaning to women does not make a whole lot of sense to me – I don’t understand either of the clauses: why it is demeaning in the first place, and why does that invariably lead to the invalidation of the concept itself?

Even if you take Amartya Sen’s idea of justice (quite literally 🙂 ), and discard the notion of a transcendental justice, the question still remains: till what point does abortion stay “more right” than infanticide?

What do you think?

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4 Responses to On Abortion.

  1. Shikha says:

    Till the time its medically feasible and safe. Ethical issues are irrelevant.

  2. Sanjoy says:

    Why are ethical issues irrelevant?

  3. Peeyush Agarwal says:

    Pardon my jumping to conclusions, but I believe Shikha is advocating a pro-choice stance. At the end of the day women carry children and should have the option of aborting them/it, whichever way you choose to look at it.

    Ethical issues would be irrelevant from that standpoint as they creep in when you look at the issue from a pro-life perspective. Shikha, correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. Sanjoy says:

    Pardon my jumping to conclusions

    You don’t have to be so diplomatic, this is not an inter-hall debate. 🙂

    I believe Shikha is advocating a pro-choice stance

    That is pretty obvious.

    At the end of the day women carry children and should have the option of aborting them/it, whichever way you choose to look at it.

    You’re begging the question; which is that does a child’s life belong to his or her mother? If yes, is it ethical for a mother to take her two year old son to have him euthanized? If no, how is this (killing a two year old) fundamentally different from aborting a fetus? Biologically, our birth is a rather arbitrary point in our lives, when a lot of things change at once; much like puberty.

    Ethical issues would be irrelevant from that standpoint as they creep in when you look at the issue from a pro-life perspective. Shikha, correct me if I’m wrong.

    Of course. The question is that whether pro-life perspective makes sense or not.

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