Abortion Rights and Wrongs: Back to the Uncertainty Principle

I recognize that the Uncertainty principle can be used against me. I argued that Russell’s uncertainty principle, that it is wrong to inflict a certain harm to achieve a dubious good means that neither the doctor nor the mother should be prosecuted for choosing abortion.  That is because, I said, it is uncertain whether or not the mother or the doctor or both are committing a serious moral mistake. Some say yes others say no. There is room for reasonable people to disagree.


However,  does this same principle not mean neither the mother nor doctor should participate in an abortion, because as I have argued, it is uncertain whether or not that is justified. Since it is uncertain the mother and doctor should not inflict certain and serious harm—namely death of the foetus—because they might be wrong. The uncertainty principle works both ways!


That is true, but that is why I argued for adopting both a pro-life and pro-choice position. The mother and doctor should have the right to choose abortion. The choice should be theirs. But—at the same time—although I hope they choose life, they should be allowed to choose abortion! Because of that uncertainty! They should decide, not the rest of us. In case of uncertainty, the mother and her medical advisor should decide what is right and what is wrong in the circumstances. If we could be certain we as the public could have the right to decide just as we do in case of murder. We say murder is certainly wrong and if someone commits murder they should be punished by the law. Few disagree with this.  I think this is a consistent position. What do you think?


Leave a Reply