Essay Writing Help on Decision-making and Philosophy Part II: Philosophy and the Community

Decision-making and Philosophy Part II: Philosophy and the Community


The subject of abortion is a social problem that is hotly contested in different platforms that define the society. This is largely because a discussion into issues related to abortion often divides opinion based on different feelings within the society (Tännsjö, 2013). All the definitions surrounding abortion often allude to the fact that it involves the termination of a fetus’s life before it is able to survive on its own in the external environment. The premature and helpless nature of the fetus often draws arguments from the legal, political, and philosophical platforms. The main objective of this paper is to provide an understanding of abortion as a social issue and the best solutions for the problem.

Irrespective of whether an individual is pro-choice or pro-life in the abortion debate, it is a critical issue for the community due to the need to tackle the dilemma of the issue and the need of elaboration on the members of the community on the risks and advantages of procuring an abortion. Through such an understanding, it will be relatively easier for legal experts to draft laws that are based on mutual understanding and enhanced knowledge. This will reduce the possibility of making uniformed or risky decisions whenever women are expectant and have questions on whether to terminate or keep their pregnancies.

Ross Ramsey, in the article the Policy and the politics of the abortion debate, argues that the debate surrounding abortion has been centered on the pro-choice and pro-life positions. These positions have often attracted different viewpoints considering the relationship between the ability of women to make decisions on matters related to their bodies and the ability of the society to determine the rights of a premature fetus, considering its inability to engage in any form of argument (Ramsey, 2013). Activists and politicians from both sides of the arguments often draw conclusions depending on the prevailing political and economic situations. This article argues that the political approach to abortion is often meant to please supporters of different sides of the argument. It is therefore relatively complicated for the political class to deliberate on socially beneficial laws due to the consideration of the thoughts of their electorate towards the debate (Ramsey, 2013). It is however important for these decision makers to consider the emotional connotations of abortion as this will be a way through which the political class can make ethically inspired decisions. In addition, it will be easier for women and girls to engage in conversations related to parenthood through a discussion on the issue of abortion (Ramsey, 2013). This would include thoughts about the kind of parent that every actual and potential parent would like to become. Abortion, according to this article, requires thoughtful considerations prior to the development of any form of legislation. This would lead to the development of a society inspired by the desire to realize common good at the expense of individual satisfaction (Ramsey, 2013).

Sara Hassan, in the article Abortion rights debate resurfaces across the US, documents the ever changing amendment on bills that concern abortion. Since the 2001 landmark ruling of Roe v. Wade, which led the court into a nationwide legalization of abortion, the debate on abortion has been a determinant of political and ethical decisions in matters related to women’s health (Hassan, 2015). The pro-life decision to restrict of limit the possibilities of procuring abortion does not provide solution to the high prevalence of the social problem but only makes it more difficult and more expensive for the women to procure an abortion. This will not only lead to the rise in the percentage of illegal abortions but it will also intensify unsafe abortion among women and girls (Hassan, 2015). While providing arguments for and against abortion, the paper asserts the intentions by the federal government of the US to allow state governments to make decisions on whether to ban abortion. However, this is considered as a legal approach to the problem without the thought of the philosophical, political and psychological challenges that may arise from such decisions (Hassan, 2015). The approach towards issues of abortion must be understood form different perspectives to allow different sectors to make informed decision on the subject matter.  Both the opposing and supporting sides of the argument must understand the views of each other before making any form of legislation (Hassan, 2015).

The debate on abortion often attracts religious connotations due to its relationship with matters of life and death. Every religious belief is founded on the assumption of the existence of a supreme being who has the responsibility of providing and taking away life. This means that life is largely considered as a sacred entity and this explains why it is sinful for any individual to be part of an activity that leads to termination of another person’s life at any stage in life. Being born and raised in a Christian family that is founded on biblical teachings, there is a common belief that the bible does not provide a distinction between a fetus and a baby but only refers to a fetus as an unborn child. This is an indication that the bible recognizes the sanctity of human life even before birth. Other religious denominations such as Hindu and Islam that form part of the society consider abortion as an activity that involves the killing of a future generation which in itself is a wrongful act. Religious practices do not only enhance and promote individual’s wellbeing they also reject deliberate destruction of life.

The sanctity and the superiority of human life have been considered as the main point of explaining the relationship between abortion and the need to protect human life. Throughout the growth and development period of a human being the main objective is often to ensure that the said individual fulfills his or her purpose in life (Tännsjö, 2013). However, through abortion an individual is often denied a chance to implement his or her purpose in life. This not only destroys the intensions of the Supreme Being but also those demeans the value of human life.  It can also be perceived to be promoting the assumption that human life just like any other object is disposable at will (Tännsjö, 2013). Religious connotations argue that the only way through which those with the intentions of procuring abortions and make effective judgments over the subject is through a consideration of the necessity of matters concerning the protection and wellbeing of human beings (Johnston, 2003). Through these religious teaching and the right to life, the assumption that abortion is a right of women concerned is permission that they should throw away that which their feel is an infringement into their comfort.(Johnstone, 2003)

Utilitarianism provides a teleological approach to the understanding of social problems in relation to their ethical understanding. According to this school of thought, the decision by a woman to procure or fail to procure an abortion is dependent on what would be the best outcome for the greatest number of people (Tännsjö, 2013). This forms the basis of law making in the community. Through rule utilitarianism for instance, the government has attempted to develop and implement abortion laws on the basis of those which would ensure happiness to the highest number of people and the least amount of pain to these people (Tännsjö, 2013). The process of drafting bills and passing them into law makes them applicable to every citizen considering the impending goodness and happiness that practice of the law produces.

In some instances abortion can be considerd as an undesirable action. However, the greatest goodness which protects the life of a woman mother allowed limited access to the act. The development of laws from the utilitarian perspective must also be based on the understanding that these laws can be amended depending on how the society and the ruling government desire to promote the retest good for the highest number of people (Tännsjö, 2013).  Utilitarian approach to abortion is flexible as it allows for alterations of the law depending on the percentage of society that it satisfies.

Political liberalism is a school of thought propounded by among other political theorists John Rawls. According to this school of thought every individual has rights as declared in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (Young, 2002). These rights must be exercised to ensure the protection of the individuals in question. Political liberalism can be considered to arguing from a pro-choice view of abortion. Proponents of this view argue that for the community to ensure equal distribution of rights it must allow women to make decisions on whether to abort or keep the pregnancy (Young, 2002). Women in the view of Rawls must be supported and given the independence of deciding the fate of their pregnancies considering the differences that their physiological makeup.. Men unlike women are not at the risk of pregnancy whenever they engage in sexual intercourse (Young, 2002). By giving women some form of command over their bodies it will be possible to help them in making informed decisions. This is because they will feel accepted and respected as equal members of the society. Political liberalism has however been criticized on the basis of failing to consider the role of women in the society as defined by nature and therefore the risk of pregnancy is a natural course that cannot be replaced by societal challenges (Young, 2002).


            Abortion is considered to be a controversial phenomenon in the contemporary society. This is largely because of the conflicting views emanating from the political, legal, religious, and philosophical platforms. Despite these differences, there are suggestions that the ability of any community to reduce instances of abortion is only realizable through elaborate discussion on the challenges and advantages of abortion. This would help women and the government in the decision making process.


Hassan, S. (2015). Abortion Rights Debate Resurfaces Across the US. Al- Jazeera American

News. Johnston, G. F. (2003). Abortion from the religious and moral perspective: An annotated bibliography. Westport, Conn: Praeger Pub.

Ramsey, R. (2013). The Policy and the Politics of the Abortion Debate. The Texas Tribune.

Tännsjö, T. (2013). Understanding ethics: An introduction to moral theory. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Young, S. P. (2002). Beyond Rawls: An analysis of the concept of political liberalism. Lanham, Md: University Press of America.