Discussion of Abortion’s Morals

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Any termination of pregnancy is called an abortion; the main ethical issues are associated with induced abortion. Pregnancy is a natural physiological process; at the same time, it is the biological formation of a new person. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the difference between spontaneous and procured abortion, some contraceptives, abortion methods, the lawsuit Roe Vs. Wade and alternatives to abortion. Such aspects are discussed from the perspective of Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

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There are procured and spontaneous abortions; the latter occurs naturally. It is the loss of pregnancy before the fetus reaches viability. Spontaneous abortions can happen at a gestation period of up to 12 weeks; it is also called miscarriage (Dickens, 2019). Procured abortion is the deliberate termination of pregnancy for medical or social reasons. It is provided in a medical institution; the reasons are the woman’s unwillingness to have a child and medical suggestions. Society is divided into two perspectives: pro-life and pro-choice (Tatalovich, 2019). The first position is that abortion cannot have a moral justification, viewed as outright premeditated murder; the second one is that a woman has the right to decide whether she wants a child (Tatalovich, 2019). Overall, the ethical issues concern mainly not spontaneous but procured abortion.

The contraceptive pill, the IUD and the “morning-after” medication also can be considered abortifacients as they affect the conception process. When a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg, it is already the moment when a new life begins. Therefore, such measures potentially impact fetal development, preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus (Manninen & Mulder, 2018). In the case of fertilization, the intrauterine device (IUD) facilitates the process when the fertilized egg dies in the fallopian tube without reaching the uterine cavity (Manninen & Mulder, 2018). Therefore, these measures have an abortive effect; that is, it destroys the embryo in the uterus.

Abortion methods depend on the trimester; a medical abortion and vacuum aspiration are used in the first trimester. A special thin catheter is inserted into the uterine cavity; a fetus is removed through the cervix (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). For the second trimester, the methods are dilation and evacuation (D&E), dilation and extraction (D&X) and dilation and curettage (D&C). D&E procedure begins with dilatation of the cervix; after that, electric vacuum aspiration is used to remove the fetus (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). D&X is performed by narrow forceps; a tube is inserted, and a vacuum machine gently completes the evacuation (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). D&C involves the cervix widening and surgical removal of part of the lining and contents of the uterus by scraping (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). There is a risk that after such an abortion, women will not be able to have children.

Jane Roe is the pseudonym for Norma McCorvey; in the late 1960s, she failed to achieve the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy because Texas law at that time allowed abortion only in cases of rape and incest. She could not prove the fact of rape; a lawsuit was filed on her behalf in the Texas District Federal Court. The Supreme Court admitted that the constitutional right to privacy includes the woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy of her own free will (Manninen & Mulder, 2018). At the time of this decision, almost all states in the United States had laws making abortion a criminal offense; however, illegal abortion was common (Manninen & Mulder, 2018). Thus, the Supreme Court legalized abortion during pregnancy until fetus viability.

Some types of contraception can be considered as an alternative to abortion, but their non-abortion effect must be taken into account. These include natural family planning methods and abstinence before marriage. It is necessary to create social and economic conditions to reduce the number of abortions. It is suggested to give the child to another family member for adoption (Manninen & Mulder, 2018). If a woman is already pregnant, needing psychological, moral or material assistance, there should be public organizations, shelters for these women, along with other institutions that are engaged in similar activities.

Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services outline the principal points of abortion, which is prohibited and considered intrinsically immoral. Catholic health care institutions should not provide abortion services; however, support in terms of physical, psychological, moral, and spiritual care should be lent (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2018). Women with severe pathological conditions can take treatments and medications if they cannot be postponed until fetal viability. Abortion is not authorized in extrauterine pregnancy; labor may be induced after the fetus is viable. Prenatal diagnosis may be performed if there is no intention to terminate the pregnancy. Therapeutic experiments and medical research are permitted with parental consent, but nontherapeutic ones are forbidden in any case. Thus, human tissue from direct abortions should not be used for therapeutic and research purposes.

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To sum up, there are procured and spontaneous abortions, while induced one is considered immoral. Some preventative pregnancy measures can also be recognized as abortifacients to prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. There are several abortion methods, such as medical abortion, vacuum aspiration, D&E, D&X, and D&C. The Roe Vs. Wade became the landmark event in the legalization of abortion. Alternatives of abortion are natural family planning methods, abstinence before marriage, social and economic development, adoption, support for pregnant women. Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services prohibit procured abortion.


Dickens, B. M. (2019). Post‐abortion care: Ethical and legal duties. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 147(2), 273-278. Web.

Manninen, B. A., & Mulder Jr, J. (2018). Civil Dialogue on Abortion. Routledge.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). The safety and quality of abortion care in the United States. National Academies Press.

Tatalovich, R. (2019). Abortion: Prochoice Versus Prolife. In R. Tatalovich, B. W. Daynes & T. J. Lowi (Eds.), Social Regulatory Policy (pp. 177-209). Routledge.

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United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (2018). Ethical and religious directives for Catholic health care services (6th ed.). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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NursingBird. (2022, July 3). Discussion of Abortion’s Morals. Retrieved from https://nursingbird.com/discussion-of-abortions-morals/


NursingBird. (2022, July 3). Discussion of Abortion’s Morals. https://nursingbird.com/discussion-of-abortions-morals/

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"Discussion of Abortion’s Morals." NursingBird, 3 July 2022, nursingbird.com/discussion-of-abortions-morals/.


NursingBird. (2022) 'Discussion of Abortion’s Morals'. 3 July.


NursingBird. 2022. "Discussion of Abortion’s Morals." July 3, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/discussion-of-abortions-morals/.

1. NursingBird. "Discussion of Abortion’s Morals." July 3, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/discussion-of-abortions-morals/.


NursingBird. "Discussion of Abortion’s Morals." July 3, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/discussion-of-abortions-morals/.