Abortion, Including Rape and Incest: Essay

Total Length: 1381 words ( 5 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 3

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While the human newborn may not have intrinsic properties that can support a moral right to life stronger than that of a fetus, the emergence of the human newborn makes it suitable to treat it like it had a stronger life. However, birth is morally significant since it's the mark of the end of one relationship and the commencement of others.

On the question of the morality of abortions in rape or incest cases, the debates and considerations extend beyond the life of the unborn fetus as an absolute and overriding value. There are several dimensions to consider in determining the morality of the practice based on the various arguments that have been raised by proponents and opponents of such practice. Generally, the mental health of the woman comes into serious consideration when examining the morality of this practice since the tragic cases of rape or incest have serious mental impacts on the woman. Since women are likely to experience trauma from pregnancies emerging from these tragic cases, it's argued that the woman's mental health can be safe-guarded by abortion.

Furthermore, since pregnancy from rape or incest is a product of grave injustice, the woman should not be obliged to carry the fetus to viability or undergo the resultant trauma during the term of the pregnancy. This is primarily because the pregnancy will keep reminding the woman of the sexual assault or abuse she experienced, which will in turn increase her mental anguish. In order to support abortion in cases of rape or incest, it's argued that the value of the mental health of the woman is greater and more significant than the value of the fetus. Moreover, the fetus is also considered as the aggressor against the integrity and personal life of the woman. Therefore, abortion is justified in cases of pregnancies from rape or incest if it's the only way to safe-guard the human and personal values of the woman and a morally defensible way for repelling the aggressor.


Nonetheless, there are several opposing positions that could be considered in order to stop from justifying abortions in cases of rape or incest. The justification of abortion in cases of rape or incest can be regarded as like trying to support the elimination of traffic laws since people are likely to violate some of these traffic rules in rare situations. Therefore, providing an exception to abortion in such cases does not develop and establish a general rule. Secondly, the argument that the fetus is an aggressor is refuted by the fact that the presence of the unborn entity does not endanger the life of the mother (Beckwith par, 6). The rapist or perpetrator of incest is the aggressor whereas the unborn entity is an innocent victim just like its mother.

The other major consideration is on whether the unborn entity is fully human, which necessitates the evaluation of relieving the woman's mental anguish against the right to life of an innocent human. In this case, homicide can never be justified as suitable alternative for relieving the emotional distress of the woman. While various arguments have been made that abortion relieves the mental trauma of a woman, many women have increasingly stated that the practice does not relieve emotional distress but instead makes it severe.

In conclusion, abortion due to pregnancies from rape or incest is an issue that should not be entirely considered based on the life of the unborn entity as the overriding value. There are various factors to consider including the mental health of the woman. The practice is not justifiable because it enhances the woman's mental anguish rather than eliminating it.

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"Abortion Including Rape And Incest ", 22 October 2012, Accessed.24 July. 2021,
https://www.aceyourpaper.com/essays/abortion-including-rape-incest-76082