The Dilemma

The debates on abortion have been around for a long time in many places, but still nobody can easily support one side without just ignoring the other side’s argument. The biology of human reproduction and the importance of the both values, ‘life’ and ‘right’, make the unwantedly pregnant mothers to pick one side by compromising the other. Because the possible implications of choosing one value over the other can mean either ‘murder’ or ‘forced birth’, it seems almost impossible to make a perfect decision. In theory, since, no one has the right to take away lives of human beings, we must not allow any abortion. However, since we are not living in utopia, but reality, we have many kinds of situations where women can end up having unwanted or even dangerous pregnancy that could be aborted to not risk the life of the mother, as seen in the essay by Suzanne Edwards (1). For these reasons, to me, the best way seems to be carefully examining each ‘unwanted pregnancy’, case by case, to decide whether abortion can be legally allowed.

¬†Perhaps what we should more worry about is how to prevent such situations. Preventing people from putting themselves in this serious dilemma is probably the best we can do. Increasing the level of educations about contraception and family planning and the punishment for rapists, and promoting people for regular gynecologist visits (even though it can sound ridiculous) could be some of the possible ways of avoiding the ‘bad situation’.

I believe in what is called ‘cultural materialism’ which states that every cultural ritual has or is related to some kind of biological function. Many cultures around the world had been attaching much importance to maintaining virginity before marriage. Maybe one of the major reasons behind this common taboo was to prevent unwanted pregnancy when we did not have condoms, plan B’s, and abortion.


(1) What “health of the mother” means by Suzanne Edwards

3 thoughts on “The Dilemma

  1. I can agree that maintaining virginity before marriage was to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but consider the precursors to the pregnancy. Psychologically speaking men are protective by nature. Various cultures around the world have acknowledge this characteristic, so I feel it is another important consideration in addition to pregnancy.

  2. Humint: your argument is an interesting one. How do see it connecting to the reading you were assigned for class on abortion? I would have liked to see some reference to Simonds argument as well. As for your suggestion of avoiding the need for abortion/birth control by staying a virgin until marriage, I am left wondering what about those women (or men) who may want an abortion (or for men, may want their wives to have access to abortion) when they get pregnant while married? I would ask the same question about birth control. While many? most? people see a baby as a wonderful gift, it is also a very expensive gift that not everyone has the money to support? Sometimes that leads married couples to abortion and/or birth control. And what about women who are married who get pregnant but carrying the baby to term could cause physical harm to the mother (because of illness for example; I posted an article about a mom with cancer carrying a baby to term)? How would these scenarios fit into your plan?

    • I am basically saying that all couples (married or not) should take pregnancy very seriously. Even married couples should avoid pregnancy unless they feel that they are surely ready to raise a child. Relating to your question about mom with cancer, as I mentioned in my post, regular visits to gynecologist or physicians when/before planning on having a child would help prevent dangerous pregnancy. I think the use of birth control in order to prevent unwanted pregnancy should be allowed for everyone..

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