Doctor: Abortion comes down to doing what's right vs doing what's best

Published: Friday, September 30, 2022 - 5:05am

Abortion is a highly emotional and divisive issue. For some, it’s very black and white — no exceptions, no matter what. For others, it’s much more complicated and convoluted. 

Dr. David Beyda is the chair of the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism at the University of Arizona.

Beyda calls abortion a “quagmire” because of our biases. But from the ethical perspective of abortion, he says the central issue comes down to doing what is right versus doing what is best.

"Doing what is right is doing what the law mandates," he explained. "Doing what is best is doing what is best for the patient at that time."

And that might be contrary to the law. Making law and ethics like oil and water. 

"Sometimes they don't mix. They just are in conflict with each other," he said. 

Another quagmire are gestational limits, like 15 or 24 week bans.

Katrina Kimport is a professor with ANSIRH Program with the University of California, San Francisco. 

"Drawing a line, even one that claims to have a consensus behind it, invariably is going to miss the experiences, and the often really heartbreaking experiences of some people," she said.

And she says there will be those who experience a serious fetal or maternal health issues, who may struggle with the difficulty or inability to obtain the abortion they want.