The Moral and Legal Status of Abortion

The key question that was raised by Warren was the status of any given fetus and whether it made the latter a person. The idea consisted in the fact that even if the fetus had any rights, it could not overturn the rights of a woman (Warren 44). In the first section of her argument, she tried to convince the reader that the fetus might not have a right to life. That led her to the hypothesis that abortion is permissible.

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At the same time, she also mentioned that one has to deal with the standing of the fetus in terms of ontology to reach a verdict regarding the rightfulness of abortion (Warren 46). In the second section, the author of the article addressed the question of whether a moral community could be defined and a human fetus could become a member of that community. This led Warren to rising two more philosophical questions – what is a human in genetic terms and what is a person in moral terms? Accordingly, to be a person, one should satisfy at least one of these criteria, but fetuses recurrently fail to do so due to understandable reasons (Warren 47).

Warren applied objective measures to this moral dilemma and concluded that a fetus could not be considered a person (47). This led her to two more questions – do probable individuals have a right to life and what one has to do to have a right to life?

Warren hypothesized that a fetus is not a person-like being and the rights of actual people should be above the rights of potential people at all times (49). Within the framework of this paper, this argument will be refuted using several supporting arguments based on the idea that abortion is wrong and cannot be tolerated. The thesis is that no one has the right to end a fetus’ life merely because of their worldviews and willingness to put their interests above all the other rights; instead, these individuals have to take into account the fetus’ deontological nature and protect it from any external or internal influence to make sure that the issue can be resolved using humanitarian decisions that correspond to the idea that there is nothing more important than human life.

To start with, it may be reasonable to turn to the most obvious answer. The effect on the victim of a crime that ends with the loss of the victim’s life (in this context, abortion counts as well) it can be considered primarily wrong when it comes to killing someone. The loss of life is the utmost damage to a living being because it deprives a fetus of future experiences and activities. In order not to mislead the reader, the author of this essay would like to object to the fact that it is not the biological state that makes it wrong to kill a fetus.

It is the willingness to step over the value of the fetus’ future and do whatever is by one’s personal preferences. Even though a fetus cannot realize the value of their future, they still deserve to grow older and understand all the essential virtues. In this context, an abortion can be seen as a direct denial to provide the fetus with a possibility to grow into a person and become a valuable asset to society. Disregarding the future value of a fetus that will grow into a person is what makes abortion wrong.

This idea can be supported by two key points. First, it can contribute to the understanding of why killing someone is one of the foulest crimes. The number of things that one gets deprived of when killed is enormous, and the majority of other illicit activities do not even come close in terms of the limitations that they forcefully impose on a person. Second, individuals with cancer, for example, understand that they will die one day and that is a very bad thing. In this case, the loss of the future due to premature death is a mere comprehension of the fact that there is a natural property that cannot (and should not) be associated with the decision to kill someone.

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Nonetheless, it should also be mentioned right away that having a certain future is not only a human “trait” so the concept of not killing a living being should be extended to take into consideration not only humans but each particular living creature. This approach emphasizes the moral worth of any life and makes it easier to understand why abortion is wrong. This theory strongly opposes pro-abortion views and is focused on disseminating the idea that all potential living beings deserve to encounter their future experiences.

The argument presented by the author of this paper can also be defended by the principle that the process of pain infliction inherently damages the victim and causes adverse outcomes. Therefore, abortion is wrong because it is synonymous with the infliction of pain (even though it may be told that a fetus cannot feel pain, and abortion does not affect them in any physical or psychological way). As a contradictory argument, the idea that abortion is equal to causing damage to the fetus and triggering unexpected outcomes in the parents works perfectly.

This happens because abortion is mainly perceived as a wrongful act that has to be performed only in extreme cases. This leads the author to the conclusion that the soundness of the argument that abortion is wrong can be supported by the claim that the wrongness of abortion has nothing to do with the philosophical view of a person. More to say, the concept of person should not impact the decisions that are related to abortion even in the slightest degree.

In the end, it may be concluded that the moral status of the fetus is not related in any way to the wrongness of abortion and other things that contribute to abortion-associated grievances. A fetus possesses a property (their life) that cannot be disregarded throughout the process of deciding on whether to make an abortion or not. This leads the author to the conclusion that abortion is wrong and the initial argument from Warren’s article has been refuted efficaciously. The author also believes that such a view of the issue of abortion adds to the superiority of anti-abortion outlooks and points out the weaknesses of the pro-abortion attitude.

Overall, it can also be claimed that the concept of morally germane property can be applied to all human beings, including fetuses. The basis of the argument presented by the author is not in line with any subjective theories that may undermine the value of a fetus’ future experiences. At the same time, the argument presented in this paper perfectly reflects the concept of moral permissibility that is inextricably linked to other ethical issues such as euthanasia.

Work Cited

Warren, Mary Anne. “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion.” The Monist, vol. 57, no. 1, 1973, pp. 43-61.

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"The Moral and Legal Status of Abortion." StudyCorgi, 25 Mar. 2021,

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StudyCorgi. "The Moral and Legal Status of Abortion." March 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Moral and Legal Status of Abortion." March 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Moral and Legal Status of Abortion'. 25 March.

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