The cornerstone of all human rights for individuals is the right to life that is afforded to us by society because we are human. The right to life has initiated the debate over exactly when life begins which has led to laws and regulations granting latitude to humans regarding reproductive rights. But regardless of the laws granting reproductive rights there a great many others that take issue with them based on their personal moral and ethical codes.
Ethical Conditions Under Which Physicians May Perform Abortions
Ethically physicians may perform indirect abortions if the life or health of the mother is at risk or in danger. Under the principle of double effect physicians in an attempt to remove a pathological condition that
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The use of Medicaid funds for abortions except under extreme circumstances was banned by Congress in 1977. States have passed additional antiabortion laws such as the "physician-only" law where abortion is a crime if it is not performed by a licensed physician and Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws that impose multiple and varied requirements on facilities performing medical and surgical abortions which tend to limit the number of providers and/or clinics offering these services. A partial birth abortion bill was passed in 2003 but in 2004 it was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge due to the lack of a health exception. The FDA has developed regulations for the drug used in early abortions, Mifepristone or RU 486, that include restrictions on distribution of the drug, requirements for physicians and clinics and guidelines that list a protocol ensuring that all patients receive an explanation and have an opportunity to discuss their questions regarding this procedure. States laws identify specific types of disposal and/or examination of fetal tissue following the abortion and require providers to report or keep records of certain information pending state inspections. Finally, many States require providers to report each abortion, both medical and surgical, that are performed.
Applicable Ethical Theories and Principles Pertaining to Abortion