Abortion is subject widely discussed in Australia. While freedom of speech is a freedom that all Australians have, there is a wide chasm between the Pro-Life and the Pro-Choice lobbies.
With the global decline in Christian values, the average Australian derives the following arguements for Abortion. Putting aside feminist views or political agendas, intelligent albiet uneducated arguements remain.

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Woman’s right to choose

An essentially ‘feminist’ argument, namely that the mother has total sovereign rights over the use, abuse or action of her body, including whether the child of her womb may live or die.

The child is unwanted

The child was not planned or desired, is not ‘wanted’ by the mother, and will not be loved.

The child is handicapped

An argument from eugenics; that if the child is deemed ‘imperfect’ or defective in some way by the parents, it may be killed.

Psychological/financial inadequacies of the mother/parents

Again, the child is an added burden to a mother in difficulty and should be killed to ease this.

Desire to control/space births in a family

The timing of the pregnancy is not agreeable to the parents, who may be otherwise married and/or stable.

The world is overpopulated

And hence reduction methods such as abortion should be encouraged. An ‘altruistic’ argument purporting to be considering the common good of all humanity.

The unborn child or pre-born child is not truly or yet a person

And hence has no rights and its death is not murder. An attempt to argue for the legality of abortion from some modern philosophical thinkers, such as Professor Peter Singer, who give novel arguments for the definition of ‘person’. Singer argues many animals have more of a right to life than humans in the early stages of development.

Abortion is covered under state laws

Which vary significantly. The Crimes Act in states such as NSW and QLD, abortion is unlawful in certain circumstances. In states such as Victoria where there has been specific legislation, abortion is essentially legal, demanding only a few easily fulfilled requirements.

The child is an ‘unjust aggressor’ and may be legitimately killed

As it is not innocent! A curious claim often made in cases of unwanted pregnancy through rape.

All the arguments favouring abortion are essentially humanist and whose principles redefine established terms such as person, rights, and “common good” along humanist lines. The great danger in applying these principles to society is that the terms and hence laws, are open to constant reinterpretation based on no certain principle which can successfully safeguard the human rights of all members of society. That all human persons are equal in nature and hence in legal and moral rights, is surely the only secure foundation on which to build a safe and just society. Adding exceptions to the basic right of all to life has proven dangerous in many societies: the Nazi’s exempted numerous groups from their list of persons, and these persons lost all legal standing. Other acknowledged tyrannies have done the same. One of the exemptions in our society currently is the pre-born, whose rights are now conditional. Gulags and concentration camps are and were full of people who have been declared by the state to be ‘non-persons’.

The denial of true rights to even one member of society threatens the right of all persons in that society, as there are no inviolable rights for anyone. Abortion, for no matter what the reason, is always a violation of the most basic of human rights – that is, the right to life. If a mother has difficulties, a civilised society must offer assistance which respects the rights of all concerned. Providing stronger deterrents and punishments for rape would be one thing worth considering.

Not one of the arguments favouring abortion, no matter how reasonable they may sound, affirms the existence of the basic and universal right to life for all based on a common human nature. Hence, we cannot proceed from their principles to create just law. The so-called ‘hard’ cases, where the mother’s life may be endangered by the continued pregnancy, are also no true argument for granting an exception, as both lives must be protected, not only the mothers: “Hard cases make bad laws.”

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