The problem of legalization or ban of abortions is topical for many people who support one of the positions concerning this issue depending on their political, religious, or personal beliefs. In fact, a constant lack of consensus means that this problem cannot be resolved by rational argumentation because the discussion mostly exceeds the limits of rational discourse as supporters of each of the positions often appeal to points interpreted by each side differently. The difference in interpretations of the same terms contradicts the law of identity, thus causing the logical mistake that reduces all arguments of both sides to absurdity. Hence, it seems that the allegiance to one of the sides in this discussion should be based on the closeness of the interpretation of the same terms rather than on the evaluation of the validity and soundness of some side’s argumentation. In other words, while both sides of the discussion may provide arguments that are equally valid and sound through the prism of the different interpretation of the key concepts accepted by these sides, there would be no consensus at all because interpretations of the concepts are not discussed and the mentioned logical mistake remains unfixed. It seems that the discussion between proponents and opponents of the legalization of abortions is based on different interpretations of the concept of fetus: while proponents of abortions consider that it is a part of the female’s body, opponents of abortions claim that the fetus should be treated as a human being with human rights. I support the claim that females have the right to commit abortion, while the government should not be allowed to limit this right because I agree that fetus is a part of the female body and suppose that abortion is a completely private issue of each particular female.
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Position of Proponents of Abortions
Females have an inalienable right to commit abortions if they want. Furthermore, it is logical to assume that abortion is a completely private issue and neither the public nor the government should have a say about it. As Peters claims, humane social policy on abortion must reflect respect for women and recognition of their capacity to make essential decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures (138). The governmental ban of abortions is the violation of the female’s right for personal freedom. I agree with Joanna N. Erdman who claims that coerced birth is a profound infringement of human rights the freedom to decide ones life course (35). Thus, the argument presented herein is that the government has no right to ban or limit the females right for abortions because, otherwise, the female’s personal freedom would be violated. The first premise of this argument is that the government should protect humans safety and prevent any violations of human rights. The second premise is that the fetus is a part of the female body and should not be considered as a human being before it is born. Hence, the conclusion is that the government should not treat fetuses as possessors of human rights, which is why there are no legal reasons for the governmental ban of abortions. Therefore, the argument defended in this paper is primarily based on the consideration that the fetus is not a human being and, therefore, the rights of pregnant females who are obviously humans seem to be much more important than those of fetuses.
Position of Opponents of Abortions
The main argument provided by opponents of the legalization of abortions is that abortion is a murder of a human being, which is why the government should protect unborn humans with the help of relevant laws. The first premise of this argument claims that murder of a human being is a crime and the government should prevent it or punish those who commit it. The second premise is that the fetus is a human being. Therefore, the conclusion is that abortion is a murder that cannot be legalized and should be punished by the government. Proponents of this position appeal to common morality in order to justify their argument: in such a case the argument may take the following form: abortion is ethically unjust because it kills an innocent human being (Common Abortion Fallacies). Such an appeal to the aborted fetus innocence is just a modification of the initial argument because it has a different audience: while the appeal to a fetus human right is oriented on the legislator’s duties to protect human lives, the appeal to innocence is oriented on personal feelings of those females who want to commit abortion in a state where it is a legalized practice. In the same way, McCurdy appeals to justice when claiming that calls for reproductive justice and compassion apply only to the woman with an unintended pregnancy and not to the human life she temporarily shelters (22). While all the mentioned variations of the argumentation target different audiences, it is clear that the main point of opponents of the legalization of abortions is that the fetus is a human being and, thus, it should possess human rights and be treated as a person in accordance with the principle of justice.
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Evaluation of the Arguments Provided
Both arguments provided seem to be valid and sound because they have correct structures and their conclusions follow from the premises. The argument proposed in support of the legalization of abortions is based on modus ponens: if fetuses are parts of pregnant females bodies (A), the government should legalize abortions to protect females rights (B); fetuses are parts of females bodies (A); therefore, the government should legalize abortions (B). The argument proposed in support of the ban of abortions is also based on modus ponens: if fetuses are humans (A), the government should protect their rights for life (B); the fetuses are humans (A); the government should protect fetuses rights for life (B). Both arguments are sound, but only through the specific perspective of the interpretation of the fetus nature shared by proponents and opponents of the legalization of abortions. Furthermore, it is clear that the only one difference between these arguments is based on this difference of interpretation: thus, while for proponents of the legalization of abortions the fetus is just a part of the female body, for opponents of the legalization of abortions the fetus is an independent human being that needs governmental or public protection. It seems that it is impossible to prove or deny one of the interpretations mentioned above on the logical grounds because they both are non-rational and are based only on personal beliefs of each individual who has a position concerning the problem. This conclusion is asserted by the fact that both arguments are valid and sound within the separate systems of coordinates.
Through the analysis of the arguments, it is clear that both arguments are valid and sound, but their validity and soundness depend on the interpretation of the term fetus that is present in both premises of both arguments and, thus, determines conclusions in both cases. The example of this contradictory situation demonstrates how some disputable questions can exceed the limits of rational discussion that falls into the absurdity because of such logical mistake as the violation of the law of identity, which leads to the inability of disputants to find some common ground for reaching a possible consensus. Thus, I consider that my position is right because I support the interpretation of the fetus as a part of the female body: in my opinion, the right of a female is indisputable, while the rights of a fetus (who is not a person even if it can be considered as a human being) are not so clear and cannot justify the public or governmental violation of the female’s rights to possess her body and determine her course of life.