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The Ethics of Contraception Essay

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Since their development, contraceptive techniques and their widespread use have caused some controversy between groups with different views on the issue. Contraception is defined as any method that is used to prevent pregnancy and it can come in a few different forms. Barrier methods prevent sperm cells from reaching the ovum so fertilization cannot occur. Other methods that have received more criticism are those that use hormones to prevent implantation of the already fertilized ovum. There is also a post-coital contraceptive pill, more commonly known as the morning after pill or emergency contraception, that can be taken if other methods of birth control have failed or were absent. It works by causing the lining of the uterus to shed,…show more content…
The utilitarian view takes this into account where the Natural Law does not take into consideration the long term effects. I believe that the utilitarian view on this issue is a more plausible and realistic viewpoint in today’s society.

As stated earlier, one of the main reason that the Natural Law does not support the use of contraception is because it may prevent implantation and subsequent development of a fertilized egg, which is unacceptable since this fertilized egg is a human life. But it does not necessarily follow that a microscopic bundle of cells requires the same rights as the fully grown adult whose body it is using. Judith Jarvis Thompson states

“it is said that to draw a line, to choose a point in this development and say ‘before this point the thing is not a person, after this point it is a person’ is to make an arbitrary choice… It is concluded that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception. But this conclusion does not follow. Similar things might be said about the development of an acorn into an oak tree, and it does not follow that acorns are oak trees” (Thompson 1971).

Thompson is saying the Natural Law argues that since there is no way to determine when a fetus should be considered a person, it should automatically be considered a person. This however, is a slippery slope argument because a single-celled organism does not necessarily meet all the requirements to be considered a person. Thompson
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