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Paper Example on Abortion Ethical Dilemmas

6 pages
1403 words
University of Richmond
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Ethical dilemmas can be said to be complicated situations where individuals have to opt for alternatives to two conflicting principles. In most cases, the principles encompass both the sense of correctness and wrongness. Globally, either personal, professional, simple or complex ethical dilemmas are experienced, all leading to negative outcomes. Dilemmas pop out suddenly but with some common sense and evaluation, people can overcome them. On the grounds of a Christian perception, an ethical dilemma pertaining abortion will be analyzed and later compared to how a critic might approach the same.

Ethical Dilemma

This abortion case involves various characters, who try to navigate their way through the dilemma they find themselves. Susan, who finally gets pregnant after many years, bears a child with Down syndrome. She opts to find a suitable person to seek advice on what to do after the uncertainty. On finding Richard, a researcher, and professor who seeks to minimize human suffering and further human potential, she is caught in with the option of abortion. Earlier, suggestions from medical personnel also led to a similar option. Abortion can be an emotional experience from most women but even though Susan had the right to make choices by herself, she is partially convinced by both seniors that she could abort the fetus due to the future suffering that both Susan and the baby would undergo. She is left with options of either heeding to the advice of both Richard and the doctor or making a choice to keep the baby until future.

The dilemma is that She could either opt to terminate the pregnancy and try again, a process that took her many years or continue her pregnancy and bear a child with the Down syndrome. The latter choice would leave unanswered questions such as: Would her work-life balance be effective enough as it is? and Will she be trained necessarily regarding the Downs syndrome following her disordered child?. The former option would as well leave out questions such as: Would there be another chance of getting pregnant? and How long again would it take her to be pregnant?. To resolve the dilemma, she could either heed the advice and make an abortion and try again or keep her pregnancy and bear a sick baby.

Core Beliefs

Core beliefs are the options one thinks that are right regardless of other peoples opinions. As long as one possesses positive core beliefs, they can eventually become a component of one's humanity and hence make them create a good decision out of the beliefs. From the Bible, the killing has been prohibited in the sixth commandment and with it being safely practiced at the early stages of pregnancy (Rhoden, 1989), people will always practice it (Alters, 2008). If Susan chooses abortion, she would violate the sixth commandment of God.

The first commandment, stating the practice of having other gods but the living God is also another core belief. With her heeding to the advice by medics and Richard, she would have violated the first commandment. From a Christian perspective, committing murder is not acceptable to all who believe and hence humanity ought to submit every desire and preference in line with the word of God (Grand Canyon University, 2015).

The book of Psalms 139:13-17 states that "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden in the secret place when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! (Bible Gateway, 1993). In line with the context, Susans option of keeping the baby would be a revelation to human that it is within their spirit that their truth lies and that which shines regardless of the brokenness of a body (Russell, 2015).


Abortion can be termed as the act of terminating a pregnancy by killing the fetus (Merriam-Webster, 2015). To many women, abortion may mean aborting a trouble just about to accompany them. To their societies, bearing normal kids is a taboo. However, to medics, abortion, either directly or indirectly is a mere practice to them (Dixon, 2008). From a Christian perspective, abortion is not exempted from the practices listed as taking ones life. In a Christian practice, Susan would not perform the abortion as she would disobey the command given by God and that would farther separate her from God.


Choosing an abortion means a violation of her core beliefs. On the other hand, choosing to keep the baby means a lifelong trouble and an imbalance between taking care of the child and her career. Furthermore, to Susan, it would also mean following the tenth commandment of God where he promises to accept the baby regardless of the syndrome. Choosing to have an abortion may mean a regret in future if she does not have another chance to bear another baby. On the other hand, choosing to keep the baby would bring up issues with her life but on a Christian worldview, it is the best practice for her. Through keeping the baby, Susan would believe that Gods presence through her life would keep her and the baby out of the presumed troubles while she learns more about the syndrome and how to cope up with it.


The ethical dilemma, in this case, could be acceptable to other worldviews but not the Christian one. Critics of the Christian religion have deduced statements that women have the right to make decisions such as choosing abortion. According to Rhoden (1989), although it is not good to practice abortion, it, in turn, is the lesser of two evils which regard forcing a woman to keep their pregnancy that is worse than making her terminate it. The researcher has also claimed that a fetus is not an independent individual that showcases personhood until it reaches the late stages of pregnancy if it is kept by the bearer (Rhoden, 1989).


In this case and similar ones, abortion ethical dilemmas leave women in confusion of whether to keep or terminate pregnancies due to issues with abnormalities of the fetus. In this case, Susan would choose to stay to her core beliefs if she was uncomfortable in performing abortion as requested, and which has the highest odds. The decision left for women regarding abortion seems a difficult one as no one would like pain and suffering on one hand and on the other, no one would prefer going astray their core beliefs.



Alters, S. M. (2008). Abortion around the World: An Eternal Social and Moral Issue. Detroit, MI: Gale. Retrieved October 28, 2015 from Gateway. (1993). Psalm 139:13-17. Retrieved October 27, 2015 from, D. P. (2008). Informed Consent or Institutionalized Eugenics? How the Medical Profession encourages abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome? Issues in Law & Medicine, 24(1).

Grand Canyon University. (2015). The beginning of wisdom: An introduction to Christian thought and life. Phoenix, AZ: Grand Canyon University.

Merriam-Webster. (2015). Abortion. Retrieved October 28, 2015 from, N. K. (1989). A compromise on abortion? The Hastings Center Report,32+. Retrieved October 29, 2015 from, D. (2015). What does the Bible say about Down syndrome? Retrieved October 26, 2015 from

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