Is abortion right or wrong in the following case?A girl walked on the streets and encountered her problem. She got raped; became pregnant(her problem) and also contracted aids. Is abortion the best...

Is abortion right or wrong in the following case?

A girl walked on the streets and encountered her problem. She got raped; became pregnant(her problem) and also contracted aids. Is abortion the best thing to do here since it was not planned?.

Expert Answers
pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no "best thing" to do in this situation, only things are are relatively more or less morally palatable to the young woman.

I question why you tossed AIDS into the mix in this question. Just to be perfectly correct, no one ever "contracts AIDS". You can catch the HIV virus from unprotected sex, but being HIV positive is not at all the same thing as having AIDS. In the nine-month time frame of your question, the mother's health will most likely not be affected by the virus even if she is HIV-positive. A child will, according to UNICEF, contract the HIV virus from its mother in about 15-25% of cases; the longer the mother has carried the virus the more likely she is to pass it to her child, which means in this case her child's odds of being born HIV-free are very good indeed.

In answer to your question, in the US it's the woman's choice whether or not to terminate her pregnancy. If she chooses to, she should be well-informed before making her decision. Either way, she will have to live with her decision. If she carries the child to term, she has other choices to make; whether to keep it and try to raise it (which raises the question of what happens if she gets sick), or whether to give it up for adoption.

If I were counseling this young woman, I would not presume to tell her what to do, I would try to give her the truth about her various options and encourage her to choose the decision she can best live with.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no way to answer this objectively.  It is a completely subjective question.

If you are pro-choice, then the choice is the girl's.  She will have to decide for herself how she feels about the idea of having a child in these circumstances.  She will need to decide whether it is a bad thing to have a child that might be born HIV-positive.  She will need to decide whether she can adequately care for the child or whether she would be willing to bear a child and then give it up for adoption.  These are very personal choices.

If you believe life begins at conception, there is no choice.  You would not kill a person because you do not like the circumstances of his/her conception.  It is not the fetus's fault that it was conceived in this way and it does not deserve to die.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The consequences of keeping the child versus having an abortion are not immediately present.  Ever.  Likewise, no one but the mother can make this decision.

That said, not as a republican nor a pro-life advocate (because I am neither) but as a mother, I will say that everything changes with the birth of a baby.  Preconceived notions of selfishness or self preservation almost completely go away when a life comes out your body.  Again, I believe it is the girls right to choose.  However, if she was my best friend, or my sister, or my daughter, or me, I'd tell her to choose life over abortion.  The emotional trauma of the rape, the pregnancy, and even the disease, can be healed.  But the girl has to be willing to let this happen.


wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
That will depend greatly on the girl's personal beliefs. Some people believe that abortion is murder. They believe that a fetus is a person no matter how that person was created. I think it is a very difficult personal decision. If the girl receives treatment for her HIV or AIDS, she can deliever a healthy baby. Current treatments can prevent a child from contracting HIV or AIDS from the mother. The child's health and the mother's health are not necessarily at risk in this case. Of course, I can understand the woman's desire to terminate a pregnancy after a rape. Again, this is a very personal decision. There are always alternative like adoption to be considered as well.
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I cannot answer whether abortion is right or wrong for another person. For myself, it is wrong in all cases. That is my moral code, and although I wish everyone lived by the same code, they don't, and it would be wrong of me to try to impose it on everyone. The unborn child is always innocient, regardless of the way he or she was conceived or whatever diseases or viruses might be contracted from the mother.  I do feel compassion for the woman, but I would hope she'd find another solution other than abortion.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think this is one of the more acceptable reasons for a girl to get an abortion. I have discussed this scenario in classes before, and usually, even the most girls most strongly opposed to abortion at any time, agree that they would like to get one if this had happened to them. The idea of a child conceived in such a manner, serving as a constant reminder to the rape victim, would be a terrible ordeal for the mother. 

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Right and wrong is a moral issue.  Most diehard right to lifers argue that it does not matter the circumstances.  Life is life.  However there are many who say that in the case of rape, incest or harm to the mother or fetus abortion is acceptable.

In my opinion, she should not have abortion. I like to look at it this way, say you have an abortion. You murdered an innocent baby, who did nothing. It was not his/her fault that he/she was conceived. You would never know whether that baby would have found a cure for cancer, become president, or even saved one persons life...

frizzyperm | Student

There are two ways of looking at this...

1) She should weigh the situation carefully and be free to choose what she thinks is the best thing to do... and so our opinion is not particularly informed or relevant.


2) Republican voters should decide for her.