Thus, though the definition of personhood is pivotal to the discourse of abortion ethics, it remains unresolved.
Feminists consider personhood a social category, not an isolated state.
The manner in which this concept is defined influences the way in which the conflict between the rights of the woman and of the foetus are seen in the context of abortion.
The key questions to define the ‘personhood’ status of the foetus are: ‘what is a person? ’ The literature indicates that there is no consensus on criteria defining personhood; they are as difficult and controversial as abortion itself is.
The failure to acknowledge gender injustice in the family permits it to be perpetuated and extended.
Feminist bioethics also differs from other bioethics frameworks in its methodological approach (9).The controversies surrounding any discussion of abortion ethics are long-standing and with no prospect of resolution in the near future.For one, they refer to the competing goals, rights and responsibilities of more than one entity/individual.This is particularly important when one is engaged in advocacy in the community.Thus I felt the need to examine whether various seemingly contradictory positions could be resolved and sustained on ethical grounds.It takes into account the systemic whole, whether analysing a single phenomenon or a general issue.The case-based approach, contextual analysis, a moral and political stance against social justice, and attention to disadvantaged groups in terms of power relationships- all these characterise the methodologies of feminist approaches to uses differential analytical categories such as gender, age, sexual orientation, disability status, socio-economic status, race, culture, and ethnicity.This paper examines three core ethical issues around abortion:the moral standing of the foetus which is closely linked with the concept of ‘personhood’; the conflict of ‘rights’ between the woman and her foetus; and finally whether the h.”rm, to a woman, of carrying an unwanted pregnancy to full term outweighs the harm of undergoing an abortion.It touches upon ethical issues involved in sex-selective abortions and abortions sought following medical diagnosis predicting mental or physical disabilities.In the years that I have been engaged in abortion research – and advocacy for women’s right to safe abortions — I have faced difficult questions about my stand on the subject.I have been challenged on my views supporting abortion in general.