Ethics and norms basically depend on the human perception of what is right or wrong. Virtue ethics mainly focus on the moral or character of a human being as compared to deontology and consequentialism which depend on the duties and rules, and the consequences of actions respectively. In this regard, virtue ethics has various sub-branches and the main focus of this essay will be on agent-based virtue ethics. So, why shouldn’t women be granted the right to allow abortion yet it is their decision to make considering it is their body, it is part of childbearing, freedom, and equality, and simply because it affects the women disproportionately.
For Slote, the rightness or wrongness of an action depends on the motivation of the agent (Roskoski, 2017)Furthermore, the goodness of an action, the justice of law and other social institutions and the normativity of practical rationality determine the motivational and dispositional qualities of agents. On the other hand, Zagzebski defines good or wrong based on the emotions, motives, and disposition of virtuous and vicious agents.As the case of abortion, the character and motive of the mother is the principal determinant of the rightness or wrong of the action.
Many reasons have been thrust forth in support of the right to abort. Some of these reasons include equality, choice, gender biases among others and as per virtue ethics, the mother is the sole determinant of whether it is good or wrong. If the motive of the mother is virtuous, then it is right but if it is vicious, she and the action is morally wrong (Hursthouse, 1991). This might be regarded by some as confusing but it is observed from the point of action.
On the critic’s view, the theory has been described as relative to any community or group of people. Virtues and moralities differ from one region to another and hence it is relative. As in the case of abortion, some religions and cultures view this as amoral wrong while other cultures see no wrong in the act of abortion. It is therefore important to construct virtue ethics on the community where morals are generated.
Conclusively, the mother is the determinant of the path of the act. The mother might have appropriate reasons for aborting in which case she is virtuous or might not have proper reasons ion which she might be vicious. Therefore, women need to have the right to abort because it is moral decision and choice.
Hursthouse, R. (1991). Virtue Theory and Abortion. Philosophy & Public Affairs.
Roskoski, J. (2017, July 05). Character-Based Ethics. Retrieved from career trend: