Immanuel Kant is one of the main philosophers of the 18th century. His theory of categorical imperative that is duty- bound makes him to be very familiar to the whole world. Kant has a belief that an act should only be done because it is moral and not because it would produce the desired consequence. Kant evaluates abortion considering his deontological theory or duty bound ethics. He elaborates on the moral issues of abortion and states that, one of the primary reason as to why abortion is termed as an immoral act is the fact that it is an act of killing an undeveloped child.
The perception that an act of abortion terminates life regardless of the life stage of the fetus is simply killing (Denis, 2008). Abortion is termed as a sin because most of the inspirations behind amounts to selfishness. Kant explains the religious doctrine and he says that no one according to the Ten Commandments has a right to kill. Therefore, a woman does not have any right to terminate the fetus in her womb intentionally. However, this does not only apply to the woman but all the other individuals too, including the family and the medical doctor who is going to carry out the act.
According to Kantian analysis of abortion, a teenager should only abort a child for practical reasons only. Nevertheless, Kantian approach views abortion to be morally problematic. However, it is sometimes permissible and sometimes it is even required. The reason as to why abortion is morally problematic is because it is aggressive to a vital subset of morally beneficial emotions that people have self-regarding tasks to protect and cultivate. There is moral code in the society that forbids human being from killing another and especially, if it is deliberately done.
The society regards abortion as an act of murder. This is because both murder and abortion interprets an act of killing or terminating the life of another individual. According to the societal moral laws, it is an immoral act for one to engage in abortion. The moral duty of an individual is to preserve life and therefore abortion is a wrong act. According to Kantian analysis of abortion, if an individual acts in a manner suggesting he or she preserves life, such as not aborting the baby, then she or he is said to be enhancing an act that has a moral value in the society.
Therefore, Kant strongly nullifies the morality of abortion. The utilitarian analysis of abortion was enhanced by Mill. Rationality is emphasized as the key word towards social development. When an individual is rational, it means that he/she is taking steps that are not unfavorable to one’s condition. Mill’s notion of utilitarianism is the greatest contentment obtained by means of all individuals pursuing their own individual happiness (Botod, 2009). He attaches utility with morality.
For instance, actions are precise in proportion as they tend to enhance happiness, wrong as they tend to produce sadness. According to the concept of utilitarianism, exact calculation is just a matter of computation between pain and pleasure. Mill approaches the issue of abortion by examining whether the involved person will be happy aborting the baby and if there is an assumption that no abortion takes place, whether the baby will bring pleasure or pain to the family. Additionally, he also considers if the baby will be happy in future if the parents does not have the capacity of raising the baby.
According to utilitarian analysis, individuals are rational enough to recognize whether an event of aborting will be favorable or unfavorable to their positions. This is mainly justified by the pleasure or pain behind abortion. Abortion is a vehicle to achieve the desired pleasure and therefore it is considered as a moral act. On the other hand, if carrying and bringing up the baby will only result to pain, an individual can consider aborting the baby. This mainly happens when the parents are not able to take care of the baby well (Botod, 2009).
According to Mill, one of the most painful things to do is non-compliance to the role of being a good parent. For instance, if having a baby will place the parents in a disadvantaged position in the course of time, there will be no greatest good if they will not abort the baby. The utilitarian analysis of abortion prescribes the calculation between pleasure and pain. Individuals are given the responsibility to estimate their own pleasures and pain. Therefore, according to the utilitarian analysis abortion is a moral act. The Kantian analysis is better than Utilitarian analysis of abortion.
This is because abortion is a moral problem per se. The act of abortion greatly haunts humanity in the society. Firstly, abortion is a moral problem because it is a moral dilemma in itself. There have been a lot of clashes and struggles as people try to come to consensus about the act of abortion. In politics which is all about allocation of public goods and services, the issue has been a dilemma among the policymakers. This is because they have always found it very hard in enacting a law regarding abortion (Dennis, 2007).
They face a lot of challenges in coming up with what moral duty borrowing from Kant, their citizens are going to obey. The role of the policymakers is to develop an orderly society by coming up with laws that defines how its members will righteously act. However, there has been a problem in implementing the laws because the society is not homogenously constituted. In the current world, morality is in a growing complexity as various institutions view abortion differently. To be factual, abortion is dysfunctional in certain aspects of life.
Although abortion may be essential in the fulfillment of one’s various roles such as career or profession, terminating another’s life, especially if it an intentional one is a depraved act. Therefore Kantian analysis is better because it views abortion as being morally problematic (Denis, 2007). There has been a controversial regarding abortion especially when individuals intentionally terminate the developing human being. According to Kantian perspective, the act is immoral. This is based from the fact that abortion is immoral according to the governing moral laws in the society.
In the light of Utilitarian analysis, abortion is a moral act depending on the degree of pleasure and pain on the part of the specific individuals being involved. However, the issue of abortion is and has always been a moral problem in the society. This is because it has always put one in a dilemma and it also involves frustrations of some morally useful sentiments. Additionally, there has always been a hardship in coming up with a moral code about the issue of abortion especially for heterogeneous cluster of persons.
References Botod, M. (2009). Ethic in abortion. Retrieved on 17th August 2010 from, http://ivythesis. typepad. com/term_paper_topics/2009/05/ethics-in-abortion. html Denis, L. (2007). Abortion and Kant’s Formula of Universal Law. Retrieved on 17th August 2010 from, http://www. canadianjournalofphilosophy. com/PDFs/cjp37-4–547-580–Denis. pdf Denis, L. (2008). Animality and Agency: A Kantian Approach to Abortion. Retrieved on 17th August 2010 from, http://onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/10. 1111/j. 1933-1592. 2007. 00117. x/pdf