Event Title

Analyzing The Intention Of The Law And How It Is Morally Problematic When Performing Transvaginal Ultrasounds Before Abortions

Location

SU 218

Start Date

19-4-2019 12:00 PM

Department

Philosophy

Session

Session 9

Description

Medical ethics began to evolve in the 1980s allowing patients to express their own individual rights and bodily autonomy. With our new elected judges in the Supreme Court, monumental cases will be decided from a conservative lens. This means that many of our rights to bodily autonomy can potentially be violated, especially for women who wish to receive an abortion. In this paper I will analyze the case of a young woman who has decided to get an abortion, but upon arriving to the doctor’s office, is notified that a transvaginal ultrasound must be performed before she can proceed. I will provide a brief historical analysis of abortion and give a careful reading of the intention of the law to show that this onerous law is morally problematic. The intention of the law is to demean women. The intention becomes morally relevant for Kantian reasons, which are that you need to act out of duty and in accordance with good will. The intention in requiring transvaginal ultrasounds before abortions is being masked and intentions matter for assessing morality, especially because I will be taking my lead from Kant and the good will. I will argue that transvaginal ultrasounds are designed to not only humiliate and violate a woman’s bodily autonomy but also her dignity. I will then argue that legislators require this procedure not because they care for women’s health, but to discourage them from getting an abortion and further enforce anti-choice laws. The examination of this case study will demonstrate how transvaginal ultrasounds are an invasion to women’s privacy, demeaning, and purposely used to discourage abortion. Politicians hide the intent of the law, but through assessing Kant, I will appeal that this is wrong because it violates important conceptions of the categorical imperative. According to Kant, we could not universalize making laws that are said to do one thing but are actually doing another. This discourse will present how even with abortion being legalized, statutes and required procedures can still infringe a woman’s fundamental right to bodily autonomy.

Comments

Daniel Milsky and Tyler Zimmer are the faculty sponsors of this project.

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Apr 19th, 12:00 PM

Analyzing The Intention Of The Law And How It Is Morally Problematic When Performing Transvaginal Ultrasounds Before Abortions

SU 218

Medical ethics began to evolve in the 1980s allowing patients to express their own individual rights and bodily autonomy. With our new elected judges in the Supreme Court, monumental cases will be decided from a conservative lens. This means that many of our rights to bodily autonomy can potentially be violated, especially for women who wish to receive an abortion. In this paper I will analyze the case of a young woman who has decided to get an abortion, but upon arriving to the doctor’s office, is notified that a transvaginal ultrasound must be performed before she can proceed. I will provide a brief historical analysis of abortion and give a careful reading of the intention of the law to show that this onerous law is morally problematic. The intention of the law is to demean women. The intention becomes morally relevant for Kantian reasons, which are that you need to act out of duty and in accordance with good will. The intention in requiring transvaginal ultrasounds before abortions is being masked and intentions matter for assessing morality, especially because I will be taking my lead from Kant and the good will. I will argue that transvaginal ultrasounds are designed to not only humiliate and violate a woman’s bodily autonomy but also her dignity. I will then argue that legislators require this procedure not because they care for women’s health, but to discourage them from getting an abortion and further enforce anti-choice laws. The examination of this case study will demonstrate how transvaginal ultrasounds are an invasion to women’s privacy, demeaning, and purposely used to discourage abortion. Politicians hide the intent of the law, but through assessing Kant, I will appeal that this is wrong because it violates important conceptions of the categorical imperative. According to Kant, we could not universalize making laws that are said to do one thing but are actually doing another. This discourse will present how even with abortion being legalized, statutes and required procedures can still infringe a woman’s fundamental right to bodily autonomy.