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Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative

Abortion is also immoral and unethical because it inflicts pain on another human being. Utilitarianism, founded by Jeremy Bentham, argues that the 'essential principal of utility is to maximize pleasure and to minimize pain' (Ferm 1950, 269). Certainly, no one could argue that the victim of abortion experiences a maximized pleasure and a minimized pain. No matter how early in a pregnancy the life of the future human being is terminated, it will end in pain. The woman electing to end that life may be in the process of reducing her own future pain, but if she is maximizing pleasure than it is certainly at the cost of pain to the aborted human being. Allowing abortion is to accept that human beings have no moral sense that leads them to empathize with other human beings, in this case the terminated human being.

The interests of the woman who finds herself pregnant and does not wish to continue, much less complete, the pregnancy are regarded, under current law, as superior to those of the fetus. Disagreements as to the exact moment when a fetus gains status and therefore dignity as a human being continue to obscure the moral and ethical issues in the abortion debate. However, such considerations place one life in a position of greater value than another and open up the door to further refinements. What is ultimately to stop an individual or group of individuals from deciding that they also have the right to terminate a life that is considered undesirable? In the case of abortion, manmade laws allow human beings to make this choice, but this does not necessarily mean that laws supporting abortion are morally or ethically right.

Abortion is the taking of human life that shows no respect for the dignity of the fetus and inflicts pain, and is therefore morally and ethically wrong. Human life is possible û and society itself is ordered û only be


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Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:54, September 21, 2017, from
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