The Ethical Dilemma Of Abortion Essay
The issue of abortion has almost no equal in possessing the potential to polarize two sides of an issue, often resulting in high-emotion and on rare occasions leading to violent reactions including the bombing of abortion clinics and attacks on the doctors who perform them. The controversial issue was decided in the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which affirmed a woman’s right to have an abortion. However, the issue still remains unresolved in the hearts and minds of many across the country as battle lines are drawn on when life begins. This paper will examine both sides of the abortion debate, and in particular, whether an abortion would be an appropriate response by someone who has become aware that the child they are carrying has Down syndrome.
The ethical dilemma this essay will address involves a woman named Susan who has just been informed by her doctor that the fetus she is carrying has that Down syndrome. Susan is faced with the decision of whether to terminate the pregnancy or to give birth to her child. Susan seeks advice from a professor of evolutionary biology who clearly holding the Utilitarian viewpoint, advises Susan that human beings are responsible for increasing pleasure and decreasing suffering and that it would be immoral to have a baby with Down syndrome. Doing so would subject the child, and Susan as the caregiver, to needless suffering. Making the decision even more difficult is the…