Essay on Abortion is Moral

Essay on Abortion is Moral

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Suppose there exists a country, referred to in this paper as Country X, where women are believed to be the inferior sex. As a result, women are not afforded the rights and freedoms their male counterparts enjoy. For instance, they have no control over the social, political, or economic sectors of their lives and receive a very limited education. A female resident of Country X finds herself pregnant with a healthy female fetus that she intends to abort, her reason being that she does not wish her daughter to have a life marked by such severe oppression. Drawing on the views of Rosalind Hursthouse regarding virtue ethics and abortion, and applying her ideas to the aforementioned scenario, we can assess how virtue theory would deliberate this particular moral problem. Hursthouse's theory, in application to this scenario, should stand up to criticism without weakening its application to morals. Abortion, when considered with the “right attitude” and carried out for good reason given the circumstances, can be the morally right action to take.
Virtue ethics, as defined by Hursthouse, connects the idea of a right action to that of a virtuous agent. An action is right iff a virtuous agent, one who is aware of and practices the virtues, would perform it in that context. She clarifies what is meant by “virtues”, describing them as characteristics one needs in order to live a good, or “flourishing”, life. (249) In reference to abortion specifically, she claims the virtuousness or viciousness of the act in any case must be determined through the asking of three questions. First, what are the influencing facts (of both biological and emotional nature), and does the woman have the “right attitude” towards them? Next, what sort of life is ...


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...le standard of living, and invocation of wisdom and benevolence. Although her action is the morally right one to to take, that is not to say abortion is an act without inequities. Hursthouse refers to this injustice as a “moral failing”. (262) In this case, it would be attributed to the society of Country X, which has allowed for the killing of a human fetus to be morally preferable to its birth.


Works Cited

Hursthouse, Rosalind. “Virtue Theory and Abortion.” Ethical Theory: A Concise Anthology. Ed. Heimir Geirsson and Margaret R. Holmgren. Broadview Press: Mississauga, ON, 2000, pp. 247-267. Print.
Warriner, Jennifer. PHIL 120W: Introduction to Moral Philosophy. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. 18 Nov. 2013. Class lecture.
Warriner, Jennifer. PHIL 120W: Introduction to Moral Philosophy. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. 20 Nov. 2013. Class lecture.

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