Since beginning to look seriously at morality, I’ve found that abortion is the most difficult issue to address. It forces us to ask basic questions about moral status, the value of life, personal interests, etc. It also forces us to acknowledge and confront our emotional reactions, which are usually very strong in this area (try keeping a cool head while reading about a recent argument in support of after-birth abortion).
Consequently, I think any university course in ethics should require students to formulate a thorough argument for, or against, abortion. In fact, they should be required to do so more than once, in order to see how their views change over time.
Recently, my thoughts on abortion have prompted me to restructure my entire moral system, an effort I hope to complete in the coming weeks. I’ve also started reading Peter Singer’s controversial “Practical Ethics“, and I think I can see how his argument for abortion is going to unfold. I’ll post a little more about this as my reading continues.