Egoism is the social theory which assumes that all social evils are as a result of self-interest. It is a doctrine that states that people should do what is of their self-interest and that which makes them happy. The issue of abortion is critical in most countries and religions, with most of the countries having laws that prohibit it. In some religions, the teachings insist that abortion should not be allowed, regardless of the situation. Some political leaders argue that it should be allowed when the mother is not willing to have the child. The issue attracts a lot of antagonisms as the two views struggle to get prevalence. The use of egoism in issues like abortion attracts ethical concerns and if egoism can offer adequate self-interest reasons for the issue is to be made legal. Activists who deal with the human rights and rights of children are of the view that a child should be allowed to grow from the first day of fertilization.
Description of the ethical issue
In some countries like the United States, where there is a high level of freedom and people are free to express their views openly, the debate about abortion is common and the two sides are of the views explained above. However, the ethical concerns are many and each side has its views and ethical concerns that need to be addressed. For example, those who support abortion argue that when the life of the mother is in danger, it is ethical to have an abortion to allow the mother to live. The view is supported by many doctors who state that in some conditions, the mother may die together with the child and that aborting could be the only solution. The issue presents a religions, medical and psychological dilemma. It is possible to create an argument in either of the views and support it with reliable facts. However, it is also possible to argue against the view using views that are contrary to it.
It is hard to come up with a single position and solution to the issue of abortion. Each question and fact raises more questions and sub-questions. The first ethical issue is that it is wrong to kill the fetus because it has life and has chances of living just like the rest of us. The view is that it is immoral to kill the fetus that could have developed into a complete and mature person. Killing a fetus is just like killing a mature human being and the only difference between it and us is the size. It should be allowed to develop into a human being and given a chance to get exposed. If it does not survive the conditions in the world, then natural death can take it away (Kaczor n.p). The contrary views to this one are that just because some cells have joined in the womb, they do not deserve to be called a human being. The fetus is a simple combination of cells and it does not meet the requirements of being called a human being until it is born as a child.
The view that opposes abortion states that a cell that has life feels pain. It is therefore unethical to kill or harm a cell that can feel pain and that can be saved from it. The ethical action is to reduce the chances of harming it. The other ethical issue is that abortion should be allowed to grant women their rights. In this view, the argument is that women may not be in a position to give birth comfortably and this could be related to their body structure or medical conditions (Faundes and Laura 50). The rights of women can be protected by allowing them to have control over their bodies. It is their body and they can choose to carry the pregnancy or to discontinue it. The people who oppose this view state that the mother should be allowed to make that decision all alone because there are two lives involved. The fetus has a right too and should be allowed to choose whether to stay or not. In India and the United States, the rights of women in abortion are applied selectively and this attracts opposition from many activists (Agrawal 284). The rights of women extend to the case of teenagers. When teenagers get pregnant, abortion is one of the best solutions as per some of them to avoid losing their dreams in life. For example, a teenager who is in school may opt to use abortion to secure and retain a scholarship.
The other one is that a child may have disabilities that will affect them for the rest of their lives. When the disability is detected early enough it is advisable to abort to save the child from future challenges. The parents may decide to save the child from the shame and challenges by aborting. In other cases, the woman may have several fetuses and they may not be able to develop comfortably in her womb. The doctors may choose abortion so as to save the life of the mother. In the latest developments, the rights of the father are also considered. It is possible that the father does not want the child who is in the womb and they have a right to choose not to have them. In such a case, abortion can be termed as ethical. However, in all of the above examples, the rights of the fetus are violated. Arguments against abortion have similar and equal arguments that support their views. It is a selfish move to think about the rights and preferences of the women at the expense of the fetus.
Application of the Egoism to abortion
The egoism theory states that it is an ethical duty for people to do things that are of their self-interest. In applying ethical egoism in abortion, the first thing to analyze is if abortion is a form of murder. The term murder has slot of ethical weight and it drags with it the questions of legal and religious requirements. A fetus at the age of two weeks is not capable of doing anything outside the womb and clearing it out of the womb at this stage cannot be termed as murder. It should not be compared to shooting a burglar who is an adult. When abortion is done to save the life of the mother, then it can be assumed to be a case of 'self-defense' to the mother. A mother who procures abortion should not be termed as a murderer and it should be assumed to be a case of ethical egoism whereby she did what was for her self-interest.
The ethical egoism is concerned about the way people make decisions that will have the most benefits to them. It explains the way people are expected to behave and in this case, abortion is ethical if the egoism theory is applied (Kpolovie and Oguwike 99). Women will make decisions to abort or not to abort if the decision will have more positive impacts on their lives. The use of egoism involves less care for what other people want. Even though it does not give a moral guidance on the way people should behave, it affects the decisions that people make. The decisions on abortion should be done by the mother depending on what she wants. If the community and religion shun abortion, it does not necessarily mean that it is immoral to do it. If she is not ready to have the child, then abortion is of her self-interest and should be allowed.
Abortion remains as one of the most contentious ethical issues in the world due to its impact on lives and the involvement of killing. Debates over it have led to the establishment of many controversial laws in many countries. Some countries legalized abortion while others term it as illegal. Most of the religious groups and human rights activists argue against abortion and discourage the use of the theory of egoism to make decisions. The fetus is a living human being who has the potential to grow and should not be killed. However, ethical egoism argues that the decision should be made by the mother depending on whether she is ready to give birth to the child.
Agrawal, Anuja. "Women's human rights and migration: sex-selective abortion laws in the United States and India, by Sital Kalantry." International Feminist Journal of Politics 20.2 (2018): 284-285.
Faundes, Anibal, and Laura Miranda. "Ethics surrounding the provision of abortion care." Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology 43 (2017): 50-57.
Kaczor, Christopher. The ethics of abortion: Women's rights, human life, and the question of justice. Routledge, 2014.
Kpolovie, Peter James, and Amarachi Oguwike. "Female students' attitude towards abortion." International Journal of Humanities Social Sciences and Education (IJHSSE) 4.11 (2017): 98-120.
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