The growing concerns of scholars regarding the morality of abortion and the introduction of varying conditions at different levels have contributed to the impossibility of coordinating efforts during the ongoing pandemic promptly. The previous research confirmed the failure to protect new life, stemming from the emphasized significance of women’s rights while neglecting the ethical aspects. With the lack of alignment between federal and state plans, the threat is becoming serious, whereas the discussion of the issue should be guided by Biblical considerations. In this paper, the data from studies on the subject were used to analyze constitutionality, ethics, long-term implications, and economic consequences of the competing perspectives. This information allowed concluding on the requirement to prioritize uniform measures based on credible evidence and religious notions in order to address the challenge. It also proved the necessity for readjusting current state plans to federal initiatives and legislation concerning abortion to guarantee the universal nature of interventions.
One of the main threats to new life is improper abortion policies, and their consideration is especially critical during the pandemic, which places a greater burden on healthcare facilities. The accompanying risks are supposed to be promptly mitigated; however, in reality, the conflicting perspectives of the authorities and state activists do not allow introducing a uniform approach to addressing the challenge. In order to fully understand it, one should pay attention to the history of the problem and its dynamics while also referring to the constitutional, ethical, and economic aspects of the matter. In addition, despite the fact that both types of legal interventions are crucial for regulating the access to abortion services and their safety, these areas seem to be over-generalized while neglecting morality (Abu-Baker and Mrayyan 2020). Therefore, this paper aims to examine the trends in this field by analyzing the above considerations through the lens of their ethics and applicability to the current environment to determine an optimal solution.
Policy Issue Background
In order to support the necessity to discuss abortion policies implemented on different levels, it is crucial to review background information on the subject. Thus, according to Gaj et al. (2021), the past tendencies are described as a conflict between restrictive measures and methods facilitating access to services introduced by the authorities. They can be seen both in uniform laws and single state initiatives, whereas all solutions developed by activists are compensated for by the opposition’s actions. For example, the emphasis either on reducing abortion rates or promoting this procedure was accompanied by respective requirements for timing and other conditions (Gaj et al. 2021). By doing so, the involved individuals and entities were coordinating the efforts; however, the situation appears to be hectic due to the lack of agreement complemented by present-day threats.
The beginning of the pandemic marked the start of a new stage in the development of the conflict concerning different abortion policies and their feasibility with respect to external circumstances. As follows from the article written by Jones et al. (2020), the situation became critical due to the alleged violation of fundamental human rights in restricting unjustified access to these services caused by the pandemic. The absence of resources within medical institutions did not stop women in their intention to get abortions, and the adoption of limitations were met with concerns (Jones et al. 2020). From this standpoint, it is vital to conduct an analysis of all circumstances in order to develop a solution and determine when this measure is required.
Constitutionality of Abortion Policies and Regulatory Measures
One of the most important conditions, which determines the possibility of introducing different types of decisions with regard to abortion services, is their overall constitutionality. This provision is critical for providing the common ground for discussion of the challenge by activists at different levels. Moreover, it is required for guiding their actions in order to establish the balance between varying needs, which they emphasize, and, hence, should be approached with caution.
The first consideration in this respect is the introduction of legislation concerning abortion on the federal level, which should comply with the Constitution in order to be claimed legal and suitable for managing healthcare services. As per the study conducted by Brown et al. (2020), the restrictions elaborated by the governments and approved by the courts are viewed as violating women’s rights around the world. Meanwhile, this standpoint does not seem to address the need for protecting new life, which is a priority of any government (Brown et al. 2020). In this way, unconditional access to abortion services positively correlates with the harm to new generations and is equally unconstitutional in many regions (Brown et al. 2020). Moreover, this generalized approach to the problem is detrimental to public health as it seems to contradict the concept of wellbeing.
To support this stance, it is important to note that a positive attitude towards abortion, in general, does not contribute to achieving any substantial goals. For instance, according to Undurraga (2019), increasing abortion rates do not correlate with imposed restrictions on the governmental level while having an adverse influence on safety. This condition means that exercising control over women’s access to these services is optimal for respecting the Constitution, and limits as per health conditions and justifications should be established (Undurraga 2019). Consequently, general policies developed by federal authorities for the benefit of the affected population group should be organized with regard to the need for protecting new life in the first place.
The second aspect crucial for the creation of appropriate programs for coordinating the activity of authorities and healthcare facilities in the case of abortion is regulations developed by states. They are usually intended for either eliminating the gaps in the current legislation or mitigating the effects of the general political course in order to support the activity opposed to it (Brown et al. 2020). The constitutionality of these decisions appears to be dubious compared to the solutions elaborated by the federal government, as they are not monitored by any entity or controlled in any other way (Jones et al. 2020). Moreover, this statement is underpinned by the possible violation of the principle of protecting new life caused by the lack of unity.
In the case of contradicting regulatory measures, their unconstitutionality can also be viewed through the lens of ongoing criminalization of abortion. This phenomenon is explained by the necessity to lower abortion rates by setting priorities, whereas the absence of such solutions is detrimental to the health status of mothers-to-be and their children (Undurraga 2019). Nevertheless, since these actions are typically not aligned with the countries’ policies in this regard, they cannot be deemed constitutional (Brown et al. 2020). From this perspective, the only optimal solution is to guarantee the compliance of all initiatives concerning abortion with Christian morality and the accompanying provisions at the legislative level and not only in practice.
Ethical Considerations and Long-Term Implications
The analyzed constitutionality of measures for or against abortion implemented either by the government or separate states should also be underpinned by the considerations of ethics. This requirement is conditional upon the necessity to ensure that new life’s protection is guaranteed when there is no threat to women’s safety. It is essential for aligning ethical considerations supporting this provision with the legal prescriptions for effectively supporting new generations, whose wellbeing depends on the selection of a suitable framework.
The focus of policymakers on morality is basically determined by their culture and particular views on life and death. This idea is supported by Abu-Baker and Mrayyan (2020), who write that the introduction of restrictions or regulations in terms of the safety of women and the fetus is based on these factors. It means that the context is essential for tracing the origin of one or another approach to the problem, and it should not be omitted when examining abortion policies and other regulations. Nevertheless, this idea does not contribute to the development of a universal solution for addressing the respective population needs, and risks should be carefully analyzed in each individual case.
In the situation when federal policies are considered, the focus on their uniform morality is preferable. It can be explained by the fact that a complex evidence-based approach is used to underpin the initiatives, including the data from international organizations (Lavelanet et al. 2020). Hence, the control over this type of medical care can be deemed ethical when it is organized in alignment with the requirements for safety and wellbeing elaborated by the entities accountable for this field. In turn, when examining state regulations, one should view the inherent ethics as the main factor which is not subject to doubts. For instance, religions, such as Catholicism, might be used as guidance in the matter since they provide an effective framework for justifying the need for saving new life, thereby imposing necessary limitations (Hasselbacher et al. 2020). From this point of view, morality, which should be respected by the corresponding healthcare organizations, is guaranteed in a proper way only when applicable federal regulations are elaborated.
The long-term implications of ethics incorporated in the currently existing abortion policies and state regulations should be taken into account when designing the initiatives. In this case, the main guidance should be the orientation on individual circumstances, complementing the focus on developing a generalized approach (Abu-Baker and Mrayyan 2020). In other words, the consequences of these decisions can be positive when abortion is accessed only by women with health issues or similar obstacles to giving birth. In addition, the predictive capability of policymakers can be improved when relying on federal initiatives, which are claimed to have similar outcomes regardless of the environment and its cultural characteristics (Brown et al. 2020). In this way, it is feasible to suggest that uniform measures are both ethical and suitable for making prognoses about the future.
In general, the impacts of abortion policies and regulatory measures, in the long run, can be summarized as the outcomes of appropriately determining the scope and other conditions of provided services alongside safety. Therefore, in the best scenario, the balance between the involved persons’ needs and the wellbeing of future generations is maintained. Meanwhile, any issues related to the ethical aspect alongside legal provisions can result in the failure to guarantee high quality of life. From this perspective, the consequences can be viewed as either positive or negative while developing barriers to essential interventions, and the application of only feasible measures in the absence of bias are crucial (Hasselbacher et al. 2020; Lavelanet et al. 2020). In other words, a complete analysis of one’s health problems and the need for protecting new life are to be used as guidance for ensuring the wellbeing of women and their children in the future.
Costs and Benefits of Competing Perspectives
The morality of abortion policies implemented at different levels and their constitutionality are underpinned by economic factors, which should also be included in the examination of these services. According to Coast et al. (2019), this challenge is connected to the fact that the specified initiatives are significant for individuals, entities, and the country as a whole. This statement implies that one cannot ignore the complexity of the effects of regulations on economies, which are to be taken into account to support the planning process of legal interventions.
Costs and Benefits of Uniform Abortion Policies
The development of uniform abortion policies at the federal level is accompanied by specific benefits, which are crucial for the efficiency of corresponding programs. As follows from the overview of previous studies performed by Coast et al. (2019), they include the possibility of managing the activity of the population in terms of employment and corresponding benefits. In other words, governments can rely on this method for guaranteeing sufficient numbers of workers in all areas by restricting abortions. Moreover, the orientation on the long-term development of the countries can be advantageous for the future generations and their security as citizens.
However, these pluses are complemented by significant costs, which are related to the need to promote active participation in societal life among individuals. This provision is basically dependent on one’s access to various services in different areas, such as education, which allows people to become more productive and helpful for their communities. In this situation, the management of abortion should be performed alongside the creation of governmental programs for supporting new generations (Coast et al. 2019). It means that the governments need not only to protect new life but also create favorable conditions for their wellbeing while investing in children.
Costs and Benefits of Regulatory Measures
The regulatory measures, which either support or contradict the official government’s abortion policies, are also reported to have both benefits and drawbacks, determining their applicability to the current conditions. For instance, the former includes the possibility of establishing clear guidelines with respect to the timings of interventions and the opportunity to make the operations aligned with the requirements of a local environment (Gaj et al. 2021). These advantages are important for guaranteeing the quality of services within the determined scope allowed for implementation by the healthcare facilities. They also contribute to the confidence of patients in the wellbeing of their children while relying on available options.
In turn, the costs of these solutions applied in the opposition of the official governmental course complement the benefits discussed above. First, the affected women who are rejected in abortion might have household struggles, and this circumstance means that protecting new life also requires supporting the families (Coast et al. 2019). Second, the financial burden caused by the need to travel to other states for this purpose is critical (Coast et al. 2019). However, its positive effects are related to the time women might take to make an informed decision and lean towards the intention to protect new life. Third, the fact that the specified state-based regulations have negative consequences primarily for minorities alongside low-income families increases their reported vulnerability (Spitzer and Ellmann 2021). In the context of Christian morality, the assistance should be guaranteed to these population groups as new generations are a priority. In order to avoid any damage, policymakers should also consider the need for transparency of possible outcomes (Erdman and Johnson 2018). By using this provision alongside the described governmental programs, countries will be capable of promoting the wellbeing of women and their offspring.
Application of Biblical Principles to Competing Perspectives
The examined abortion policies and regulatory measures in different states are subject to biblical principles since these prescriptions reflect the need for respecting both a mother’s health and her children’s needs. According to Genesis 1:27, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them,” and this part implies due respect for God (Bible Study Tools, n.d.a). It means that respecting the needs of new generations are the way for manifesting the care for his work, which is the priority when approaching this subject. Meanwhile, it is critical to remember that “a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” is the main enemy, establishing unconditional access to abortions (Bible Study Tools, n.d.b). This idea reflects the actions of policymakers, who deliberately distort the data to support their personal perceptions instead of protecting new life (Jones et al. 2020). Taking into account these quotes and their suitability for the analysis of the problem, one can conclude on the need for using uniform laws and aligning state initiatives with legal provisions.
Summary of Research Findings
Two opposing points of view have developed around such a complex and delicate topic in the literature. On the one hand, abortion is a private issue in which no one should ever interfere. It is one of the medical surgeries, and, as in the case of any surgical intervention, only the doctor and the patient are endowed with a right to make a decision. To briefly express this point of view, it can be stated that abortion is a medical problem.
The second point of view is the opposite because it presumes neglecting the moral sense; therefore, an ethical problem arises here, which is be farf the most difficult one. After all, before coming to the doctor, a woman solves a moral issue: the life or death of a human (Bible Study Tools, n.d.b). First of all, opponents of this procedure insist that abortion is a synonym for murder. As you know, murder, according to believers, belongs to one of the most serious mortal sins. Taking another person’s life is contrary to all the rules of morality. After all, life begins from the moment of conception, and, consequently, by 4.5 months, it is already a formed embryo (Bible Study Tools, n.d.b). Hence, the ethical considerations are strong in terms of this topic.
Numerous governmental organizations also support this view since the major goal of the state is to sustain population growth. In case abortions are allowed, there is a risk of population reduction. From the point of view of demography, it is necessary to fight abortion as gently as possible. First of all, attention should be paid to family planning, the introduction of contraception, material support for motherhood and childhood (Jones et al. 2020). Only these measures can bring the desired results. Legislation prohibiting abortions is likely to transfer them to an illegal position (Jones et al. 2020). Additionally, from this perspective, the possibility of infertility in a woman in the future also speaks against abortion. The desired pregnancy may become impossible, which means that the growth of the country’s population is under great question.
On the other hand, the official ban on legal abortions leads to an increase in the number of clandestine abortions, which is already fraught with many deaths and complications. Women who do not want to have a baby will get rid of it anyway. As a result, it is better to do it in a sterile operating room under the supervision of a professional surgeon.
The main argument of abortion supporters is the autonomy of a woman as a moral subject, her right to make a reproductive choice. If abortions are prohibited, then a woman is thus deprived of the fullness of her rights as a person and citizen; she has no freedom of choice whether to be a mother or not. Therefore, by prohibiting abortions and considering them morally unacceptable, we are introducing gender discrimination against women into modern society, depriving them of some of the rights and freedoms that men have. The restriction of a woman’s basic right to dispose of her body is a violation of her constitutional rights under the legislation of many countries of the world.
While refuting the argument against the abortion, the ethical and constitutional perspectives were taken into consideration. The primary criterion for the argumentation was viewing the issue from two standpoints because it is vital to identify the main conflict. The next canon was supporting the evidence with credible sources such as articles or Biblical texts. In general, the argument refutation demands restatement, proof, the opposing opinion, and the final conclusion.
The policy issue under examination was assessed with regard to several categories to demonstrate the benefits and drawbacks of varying approaches to its resolution. From the constitutional perspective, federal programs and legislation were confirmed to be appropriate to the task, whereas state plans were reported to violate the fundamental human rights of new generations. Centralized abortion policies appeared to be more ethical than regulatory measures due to their attention to protecting life, which are underpinned by specific doctrines and religions. In terms of consequences, the former solutions were proved to be favorable for predicting outcomes, whereas the latter was detrimental to the awareness of female patients and communities concerning the appropriateness of medical care. As for the costs and benefits analysis, it showed that the introduction of federal programs is more advantageous than those of states in terms of societal participation, clarity, people’s financial wellbeing, and public health in the long run.
In conclusion, the research established that federal measures in restricting abortion are more favorable than single state initiatives, but they should be developed with respect to credible data and appropriate evidence. This stance is conditional upon the constitutionality of their development for the purpose of maintaining a proper balance between the needs of women and the protection of new life. In the past, the failure to provide uniform guidance for states resulted in the impossibility of distinguish between the cases which required interventions and those in which it was unadvisable. In addition, the ethical considerations were ignored when generalizations allowed individuals to make uninformed decisions and bring harm to their children. The long-term implications of this suggestion are also supported by expected positive effects on the activity of the populations, while state programs can be used solely as a complement to these decisions.
Abu-Baker, Rasha, and Majd T. Mrayyan. 2020. “Investigation on Abortion: Legal and Ethical Argumentations.” Eurasian Journal of Biosciences 14, no. 2: 4513-4517. EBSCOhost.
Bible Study Tools. n.d.a “Genesis 1:27.”
Bible Study Tools. n.d.b “Proverbs 6:16-19.”
Brown, Benjamin P., Luciana E. Hebert, Melissa Gilliam, and Robert Kaestner. 2020. “Association of Highly Restrictive State Abortion Policies with Abortion Rates, 2000-2014.” JAMA Network Open 3, no. 11: e2024610-e2024610.
Coast, Ernestina, Samantha R. Lattof, Yana van der Meulen Rodgers, and Brittany Moore. 2019. “Economics of Abortion: A Scoping Review Protocol.” BMJ Open 9, no. 7: e029939.
Erdman, Joanna N., and Brooke Ronald Johnson Jr. 2018. “Access to Knowledge and The Global Abortion Policies Database.” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 142, no. 1: 120-124.
Gaj, Eoin B., Jessica N. Sanders, and Phillip M. Singer. 2021. “State Legislation Related to Abortion Services, January 2017 to November 2020.” JAMA Internal Medicine 181, no. 5: 711-713.
Hasselbacher, Lee A., Luciana E. Hebert, Yuan Liu, and Debra B. Stulberg. 2020. “My Hands are Tied”: Abortion Restrictions and Providers’ Experiences in Religious and Nonreligious Health Care Systems.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 52, no. 2: 107-115.
Jones, Rachel K., Laura Lindberg, and Elizabeth Witwer. 2020. “COVID-19 Abortion Bans and Their Implications for Public Health.” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 52, no. 2: 65-68.
Lavelanet, Antonella F., Brooke Ronald Johnson Jr, and Bela Ganatra. 2020. “Global Abortion Policies Database: A Descriptive Analysis of the Regulatory and Policy Environment Related to Abortion.” Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology 62: 25-35.
Spitzer, Elyssa, and Nora Ellmann. 2021. “State Abortion Legislation in 2021: A Review of Positive and Negative Actions.” Center for American Progress. Web.
Undurraga, Verónica. 2019. “Criminalisation Under Scrutiny: How Constitutional Courts are Changing Their Narrative by Using Public Health Evidence in Abortion Cases.” Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters 27, no. 1: 41-51.