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The Issue of Abortion, the Society and the Church
Abortion has been a disturbing subject of debate that has elicited different feelings among different people. Some people consider it as a moral injustice to the unborn child, while others consider it as the right of the mother to independently decide what to do with her womb. Others also appear apathetic and undecided over the matter. This paper seeks to examine the issue of abortion with proper attention to the positions of society and the church. This is done alongside one chosen sociological theories to help the readers of this paper to understand it better and make informed decisions when talking about the issue. The main objective of doing so is to equip the audiences here to speak intelligently about the matter upon informed background.
To begin with, abortion is defined medically as an induced termination of pregnancy, which includes both surgical and chemical means. Some of the reasons that have been cited for abortion in the United States include lack of moral support from spouses and partners as well as parents (Miller, 2014). Another reason includes lack of sufficient financial strength that the mother would use to take care of herself and the baby. The government is against abortion, and only allows it when it places the life of the mother at risk or in danger. Those who argue for abortion, such as feminists think that the definition of a healthy person is wide that should not only be confined to physical wellbeing alone. They argue that those who say that it should only be permitted when the life of the mother is in danger do not look at the holistic aspect of a healthy person. For them, abortion should be legalized and be permitted in the society. This means that there is a section of the society that supports it while another rejects it.
Additionally, the proponents of abortion besides using the medical reasoning, they use philosophical approach. As the opponents consider it morally wrong, they think that creating a law against it is equally injustice to the mother (Kaczor, 2014). They argue that the baby does not have absolute rights being in the womb of the mother, but it’s a privilege that should be appreciated and not conditioned. This can be expanded by the example of a violinist, who is seriously sick and can only live when maintained by a life support machine mounted on another individual. The person whom the machine is mounted is expected to stay with the machine on him or her without walking away. Doing so implies that the individual who offers himself or herself to support is derailed from the right of freedom to walk and do other things. But being that he or she does so willingly, and not conditionally, he or she can decide to disengage the machine at will, and if he or she does so and the violinist dies, he or she should not be held morally responsible for killing him. This is the same approach they give to the baby in the womb and the mother. They consider the baby enjoying the privileges given by the mother and not a right that should be demanded.
On the other hand, the church and more so the Catholic Church has for a long time maintained a radical stand concerning abortion. The clergy also uses both medical and biblical reasoning to argue against abortion. For instance, they argue that life begins at conception, and as a result, the moment the baby starts to grow in the womb, the law should start protecting it. They again quote the book of (Genesis 1:27), which states that God created every human being in his own image, which means that every life has the dignity given by God and should never be taken for granted (Miller, 2014). They add that children are gifts from God and should be treated with the treasure they deserve. In this dictum, if staying in the mother’s womb is a privilege that should not be conditioned, then it means that anybody living today was given the same privilege and has the moral duty to give it back in kind. To the church, there is no point justified to legalize abortion, rather than rejecting it.
Symbolic Interactionism and Abortion
Symbolic interactionism provides a frame of reference that informs the society to interact with one another to create a symbolic interaction and dependence. The symbolic world communicated in this theory anticipates the behavior that is tailored to meet the standards of such interactions (Denzin, 2008). In the same manner, the debate about abortion is communicated within the framework of bringing the society through a common understanding and relationship. There are different groups in the society that are concerned with the subject of abortion. They include the church, which is absolutely opposed to abortion. There is the society, which includes those who support it from the feminist worldview that putting conditions on the matter denies women the independence of their sexuality and body. The third group is the members of the society who oppose it on the basis that it affects relationships, more so if it has not consented by the partners or couples. The last group are those who are undecided and are waiting to get informed to define the direction they take on the matter
Importantly, the highlighted members of the society coexist and must reason together to live together. They work like a branch of one tree that must coexist together to make it whole. In this regard, despite the different standpoints, people must reason intelligently in order to not to mislay the ultimate goal of living together for the common good of the society (Denzin, 2008). The most important thing is that despite a different set of people from dissimilar viewpoints, their intelligent engagement with one another is upheld. They must be guided by the understanding that they need one another and should not be divided by taking opposing stands. In fact, diversity is not a heresy and should be handled with decorum and maturity. This is the main spirit of symbolic interactionism theory.
As pointed out in the study, different people advance diverse standpoint concerning the subject of abortion, meaning that a common ground has not been established. This presentation seeks to address the audiences with a proper message so that they communicate intelligently about the matter. Importantly, it should not be a matter that divides the society, but imperatively to put them at the right scope to make the viable decision concerning the same. Therefore, this study is significant in its endeavors to link the issue and the intentions of symbolic interactionism theory.
- Denzin, N. K. (2008). Symbolic interactionism and cultural studies: The politics of interpretation. John Wiley & Sons.
- Kaczor, C. (2014). The ethics of abortion: Women’s rights, human life, and the question of justice. Routledge.
- Miller, P. (2014). Good Catholics: The battle over abortion in the Catholic Church. Univ of California Press.