Essay The Ethics of Contraception

Essay The Ethics of Contraception

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Since their development, contraceptive techniques and their widespread use have caused some controversy between groups with different views on the issue. Contraception is defined as any method that is used to prevent pregnancy and it can come in a few different forms. Barrier methods prevent sperm cells from reaching the ovum so fertilization cannot occur. Other methods that have received more criticism are those that use hormones to prevent implantation of the already fertilized ovum. There is also a post-coital contraceptive pill, more commonly known as the morning after pill or emergency contraception, that can be taken if other methods of birth control have failed or were absent. It works by causing the lining of the uterus to shed, taking the potentially fertilized ovum with it (“contraception” 2005). These two methods are often considered abortion because some individuals view the fertilized egg as a human life that is deserving of the right to life, the most basic of human rights. Utilitarianism does not completely oppose the use of contraception; it weighs the outcomes of every situation individually when determining if the action is ethical or not. This is a more realistic way to view this situation.

The main opposition to the use of contraception comes from the Catholic church. The Natural Law views a fertilized egg to be a tiny human life and states that all human life is created in God’s image and that we are all deserving of the right to live. It also states that no person can choose to take the life of an innocent individual (Leies 2010). However supporters of the use of contraception will take a utilitarian view and focus on the outcomes of all the potential actions and their consequences to determine the best ...


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...there will not be a burden to care for a child so both of the parents will be able to attain more education and get a higher position career. Therefore, a utilitarian would most likely support the use of contraception.


Works Cited

“contraception.” The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia. West Chiltington: Crystal Semantics,

2005. Credo Reference. Web. 22 November 2013

Jarvis Thomson, Judith. "A Defense of Abortion." Applied Ethics. By Peter Singer. Oxford:

Oxford University Press, 1986. 37-56. Print.

Kelleher, J. Paul. "Emergency Contraception and Conscientious Objection." Journal of Applied

Philosophy (2010): 290-304. Print.

Leies, John A. Handbook on Critical Life Issues. Philadelphia: National Catholic Bioethics

Center, 2010. Print.

Singer, Peter. "Taking Life: The Embryo and the Fetus." Practical Ethics. Cambridge:

Cambridge Univ., 1993. 136-51. Print.

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