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Krieg (2007) defines abortion as the termination of pregnancy through the expulsion or removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus prior to viability. Abortion can be intentional, and in some cases, it can take place spontaneously (Krieg, 2007). This term most commonly represents the intentional termination of human pregnancy, which happens because of various reasons. In many countries, abortion is not a legal birth control method, but the government should only legalize it when an expectant mother experiences medical problems, such that pregnancy could endanger the life of the mother (Krieg, 2007). Human beings may resort to doing abortion as a birth control method in the situation of incest sex or rape. It is a debatable topic on whether or not governments should legalize abortion in the situation of rape.
Some areas of philosophy such as consequentialism, deontology, libertarianism, and utilitarianism are extremely useful in discussing the issue of whether or not to legalize abortion in case of rape. Consequentialism holds that the consequences of an individual’s conduct are the critical basis for a judgment regarding the rightness of the conduct (Darwall, 1998). The consequences of abortion include mourning, loss of self-esteem, insomnia, physical aggression, impotence, just to mention a few (Krieg, 2007). Therefore, it is not advisable to do abortion even in the case of rape because of many unhealthy consequences that accompany it. The victim of rape should just prepare in advance on how to bring up the child after delivery (Krieg, 2007). Utilitarianism refers to an ethical theory that holds that the course of an action depends on whether the action maximizes overall happiness (Darwall, 1998). Therefore, utilitarianism has a close relationship with consequentialism.
Deontology refers to as the normative, ethical stance that judges the morality of doing an action based on the adherence of the action to rules (Darwall, 1998). This is contrary to consequentialism in which the action depends on its consequences. Most nations consider abortion as murder; thus, they do not allow citizens to opt for abortion even in case of rape or incest (Krieg, 2007). Therefore, whether or not to do abortion depends on rules and not the consequences of the action. The theory of Emmanuel Kant is deontological because he argues that individual must act from duty if they are to act in the morally right manner (Darwall, 1998). According to Kant, the consequence of an action does not govern the rightness or wrongness but the motives of the individual who executes the action (Darwall, 1998). A person should not do abortion even in case of rape because it is not a morally right action (Krieg, 2007).
Libertarianism refers to the political philosophy in which the individual liberty is the primary moral principle of a society (Darwall, 1998). Therefore, individuals have a right to do what they feel is better for their lives. A woman can do abortion in case of rape or incest because of the anticipation that she may lack resources for raising a child (Krieg, 2007). In most cases, the rapists disappear after the act of abortion so that the corrections department cannot trace them. The victim has the right to terminate the pregnancy and the government should not take any step towards those individuals who have done abortion (Krieg, 2007). This is according to liberationists’ view.
Therefore, the issue of whether or not to do abortion in case of rape depends on entirely on philosophical ethics. It depends on how people can argue from different perspectives. In some countries, abortion in case of rape or incest is legal, but in other countries it not (Krieg, 2007). Consequentialism, deontology, libertarianism, and utilitarianism are extremely significant in discussing the issue of whether or not to legalize abortion in case of rape (Darwall, 1998).