THE ETHICS OF ABORTION: ANALYSING THE MORAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE RIGHT TO ABORT A PREGNANCY
Abortion has witnessed considerable political debate in recent years; particularly after anti-abortion statutes were passed in the United States in May, 2019. In terms of legal ethics, the discourse around it has largely focused on the personhood premise; with anti-abortionists arguing that a foetus is a person under the law, and pro-abortions denying the same. This has restricted the debate considerably, and left other avenues of evaluating the ethical sanctity of the practice untouched. This paper attempts to fill that lacuna in abortion scholarship, by constructing a defence of abortion which functions independently of the personhood premise; and one which would make it moral for a mother to pursue an abortion even if the personhood of the foetus was to conceded. It considers a breadth of ethical literature, focusing on human dignity and how it interacts with the subject. The analysis contained herein is primarily jurisprudential, but contains contextual analyses of normative and inferential aspects of various leading international judgments pertaining to the matter as well.