Medical Procedure or Moral Issue

Abortion is regarded as a controversial topic in many cultures which makes it often to be regarded as a social issue rather than a medical problem. This is because abortions in some cultures are regarded as the killing of an innocent life against the will of god indicating murder. However, in the medical field, abortion is supported to save the life of the mother (Hanschmidt et al. 2016). In this essay, the concept regarding abortion is to be discussed to understand if it indicates the body is human property or not.


Abortion is referred to the deliberate termination of pregnancy mainly in humans that is performed within first 28 weeks of pregnancy (Upadhyay et al. 2015). There are two main nature of abortion one of which is spontaneous that is referred as miscarriage and another is induced abortion in which the family or the mother decides to deliberate the termination through clinical or surgical means (Jones and Jerman, 2017). In 2017, within England and Wales, it is reported that there were 192,900 abortions done by residential women and 197,533 abortions done by non-residential women. This is an increase in 4% of abortion after 2016 and the highest since 2008 (GOV, 2017). In England and Wales, most of the abortions done are funded by the NHS and 70% of them are executed in the independent health sector (GOV, 2017). This indicates that abortions are rising within the UK with progressing years.

The medical field refers abortion to be therapeutic after it is done to save the life of pregnant woman or to prevent harm to the mental or physical health of the woman. It is also considered therapeutic when abortion is done to avoid a child to be born who have high chances of mortality on birth or to terminate health risk for the women by reducing number of foetuses are born (Phillips and Swift, 2016). This consideration indicates that abortion is done under situations to avoid adversities in life as well as protect an individual from harm and avoid increased suffering of the child who is not yet born. It indicates that the body is not human property as abortion is done to avoid adverse situations and not out of the free will of the people as they can execute it. In contrast, the study by Gehring and Galston (2017) informs that abortion means killing an individual with purpose who is not yet born as people consider they can use their body according to their wish. However, this is not true as child who is not yet born are considered legally to be a person (ten Haaf, 2017).

The Abortion Act 1967 indicates that abortions are only permitted when they are executed within 24 weeks of gestation as it is the tenure when the safety of the mother as well as the termination of increased suffering of the baby can be ensured (, 1967). This informs that there is legal support in the UK regarding abortions which are helping women to avoid unwanted pregnancy or avoid watching their child suffer after birth which is mental torture for them. Therefore, when it is legally done under proper medical analysis, abortion does not indicate body being the human property as it is not done because they possess it but to protect suffering for both the mother and child.

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Gehring, V.V. and Galston, W.A., 2017. The Abortion Dilemma. In Philosophical Dimensions of Public Policy. London: Routledge.

Hanschmidt, F., Linde, K., Hilbert, A., Riedel‐Heller, S.G. and Kersting, A., 2016. Abortion stigma: a systematic review. Perspectives on sexual and reproductive health, 48(4), pp.169-177.

Jones, R.K. and Jerman, J., 2017. Abortion incidence and service availability in the United States, 2014. Perspectives on sexual and reproductive health, 49(1), pp.17-27.

Phillips, S. and Swift, S., 2016. Therapeutic abortion counseling and provision: Are Canadian family physicians opting out?. Canadian Family Physician, 62(4), pp.297-298.

ten Haaf, L., 2017. Unborn and Future Children as New Legal Subjects: An Evaluation of Two Subject-Oriented Approaches—The Subject of Rights and the Subject of Interests. German Law Journal, 18(5), pp.1091-1120.

Upadhyay, U.D., Desai, S., Zlidar, V., Weitz, T.A., Grossman, D., Anderson, P. and Taylor, D., 2015. Incidence of emergency department visits and complications after abortion. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 125(1), pp.175-183.

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