Many women find themselves pregnant with an unwanted potential newborn. After a woman has discussed her options with her physician or counsellor, and decides to have an abortion, should the law override her decision and prevent her from having an abortion? In the United States, women choose to end approximately 25% of their pregnancies through abortion. This is similar to the Canadian figure of 21%. Opposing sides on the issue have the same objective to reduce the number of abortions, and to make any needed abortions safe. However, they have very contrasting views on when an abortion is justifiable and different methods of consummating their goals. Somewhere during the nine months between the ovum-spermatozoa stage and the newborn baby, human personhood begins. When human life begins, an abortion should not be allowed, except under very unusual circumstances.
Many different points of view can be presented advocating both sides of this moral issue. The debate over legalized abortion is a good example of the conflict between public and private morality. Public morality is the appropriated criterion or standard of ethical behaviour codified in law. Private morality deals with our personal set of attitudes and values, un-obstructed
Some would also allow an abortion in cases of rape or incest. A small minority of abortions are sought for medical reasons. The recognition of certain new facts and realities are challenging, sabotaging and transforming traditional ethics. She may be a rape or incest survivor and does not wish to bear a child that was conceived in violence. The question that remains is whether this should apply to abortion. It cannot tell us if a fetus has a soul, does a zygote have a full set of human rights and is abortion murder These are questions with, religious, ethical and political aspects. Terminating life is a form of murder that many people believe can only be justified to prevent the death of the mother, or to prevent extremely serious injury. Decisions are left up to the women, their doctors and medical associations. Section 287 takes away this personal decision and gives it to a committee. A woman"tms decision to end a pregnancy is included in those things protected under the right to liberty in section 7 of the Criminal Code. Liberty in a free and democratic society means that the state should respect this nature of decision and not coerce approval. Science can tell us, with increasing detail, the processes that start with a sperm and ovum and end up with a newborn baby. When presenting a position based upon private moral conviction, one can draw up tradition, religion, expediency or social justice.