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The Abortion Debate: The Conservative and Liberal Arguments Against

The conservative argument against abortion holds that abortion is not permissible, except under certain conditions. According to this perspective, abortion should only be allowed under some circumstances, such as pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. However, the extreme conservative position argues that abortion is not permissible under any circumstances (Sheldon, 2016). The underlying principle or assumption supporting any form of conservative view against abortion is that the moment a fetus is formed at conception, the process of life begins, and it should be classified as a person. In other words, a fetus is considered a living human being the moment it is conceived.

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The liberal argument against abortion claims that women should make the final decision on whether to abort or not without the interference of third parties, such as governments, religiosity, and other related moral and legal aspects. As such, abortion becomes an issue of human rights, and the right of a woman to defend herself against the nonconsensual invasion of her body by an unwelcome fetus takes precedence (Thomson, 2016). This approach is called the feminist liberal view of abortion. The other liberal approach to this issue holds that a fetus is not a person; hence, it cannot enjoy any form of human rights. Therefore, a pregnant woman has the moral grounds to terminate a pregnancy.

The issue of personhood is an important concept in the abortion debate because it validates each side of the argument. Personhood in this debate is the point at which life is deemed to have started. On the one hand, conservatives base their argument against abortion on the premise that personhood starts at conception when the fetus becomes a human being with rights just like any other person. On the other hand, liberals argue that personhood starts at birth, and thus a pregnant mother can abort at any point in the pregnancy because fetuses cannot enjoy human rights. Therefore, the question of when personhood starts is at the center of the abortion debate, hence its importance.

I find the liberal view about abortion most plausible. I believe that becoming pregnant and giving birth are two different issues that should be approached with caution. Conceiving a child occurs in the process of sexual intercourse, which is a part of human pleasures, and it comes with few or no responsibilities. However, giving birth to a child comes with an implied duty that parents should take the responsibility of raising that child. Therefore, pregnant women should be given the option to decide whether to abort or give birth after making careful decisions.


Sheldon, S. (2016). The decriminalization of abortion: An argument for modernization. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 36(2), 334-365.

Thomson, J. (2016). Abortion and same-sex marriage: How are non-sectarian controversial issues discussed in Northern Irish politics? Irish Political Studies, 31(4), 483-501.

Sexual Behavior

The liberal view on sexual behavior comes closest to my own perspective. I consider myself a liberal, hence the belief that all people should be treated with respect, with equality being the guiding principle. Different arguments support my view of this issue. First, I opine that people have the freedom of choice to become what they want in life, and if a person decides to associate with a certain sexual orientation, they should not be judged based on their choices. In addition, looking at the bigger picture, we are all human beings, thus people should be treated as such, and their human rights upheld anywhere.

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Therefore, with the issue of human rights coming into play, people should be allowed to make decisions concerning their sexuality without interference by external forces. This position does not need scientific validation, as it is based on the premise that all human beings are created equal, and thus everyone has the right to choose their sexual orientation.

Second, I believe that sexual behavior is not entirely a question of an individual’s choice. Gender is a complex issue and a factor of the composite interrelationship among the internal sense of female or male, biological sex, and the outward presentation of one’s perception concerning this behavior and presentation. Therefore, gender could be viewed as a biological and social construct. Using twin studies, Sanders et al. (2015) found that some genes influence the development of male sexual orientation. Therefore, based on these findings, I maintain that people should not be judged for becoming sexually oriented in a certain way, yet they have no control such behaviors.

In addition, I think that sexual behavior is a subject to social conditioning, whereby it is nurtured with time. The assumption that human beings choose their sexual behavior is hinged on the claim that the available research does not sufficiently support the biological argument that genes contribute to sexual orientation. However, the lack of sufficient scientific knowledge should not be used as a valid claim against the view that people have no control over their sexual behaviors.

A review of the available biological, psychological, and social sciences literature on the issue of sexual behavior found that the majority of non-heterosexuals (about two to three times) are likely to have been abused sexually as children (Mayer & McHugh, 2016). In the light of these findings and the view that enough scientific research has not been conducted on the issue of sexual behavior, I believe people should be allowed to sexually orient as they desire, hence the liberal view of sexual behavior.


Mayer, L. S., & McHugh, P. R. (2016). Sexuality and gender: Findings from the biological, psychological, and social sciences. The New Atlantis, 50, 1-143.

Sanders, A. R., Martin, E. R., Beecham, G. W., Guo, S., Dawood, K., Rieger, G.,… & Duan, J. (2015). Genome-wide scan demonstrates significant linkage for male sexual orientation. Psychological Medicine, 45(7), 1379-1388.

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