Be certain to ensure your scope is adequately narrow enough to focus on distinction points within the examined point and you’ll do even better than you already have I am going to argue that it is always permissible for a woman to have an abortion no matter the circumstances. Abortion has been a worldwide debate for several years now where people generally either take the side of pro-life or pro-choice. The biggest problem about abortion is deciding when a baby becomes a part of the human community or a human being and who makes these decisions.
While there are many different philosophers who have written about their beliefs on this topic, I will use Don Marquis’ article arguing why abortion is immortal and Judith Jarvis Thomson’s article defending abortion. I have always had a very strong opinion on abortion and Judith Jarvis Thomson has only helped solidify my argument. Although Don Marquis presents some very powerful and reasonable arguments against abortion, I will argue that Judith Jarvis Thomson’s defense of abortion is stronger and more reasonable.
In Thomson’s article “A Defence of Abortion”, she states several different arguments which discuss the difference between unjust and not unjust. “The right to life consists not in the right not to be killed, but rather in the right not to be killed unjustly” (Thomson, 1986). Thomson’s view on abortion is that everything focuses on whether or not the fetus has the right to be using a woman’s body. If the fetus does not have the right, then it is not unjust to abort the baby.
Thomson believes that most of the time a fetus does not have the right to use a woman’s body; therefore in this instance it is permissible to have an abortion. Every person has individual responsibilities depending on different aspects of their life. (Responsibilities and knowledge ? ) In order to better relay her argument, Thomson uses several unique examples that have nothing at all to do with abortion, but the examples can be completely interchangeable with her arguments on abortion. Imagine that without any consent, a famous, unconscious violinist is attached to your circulatory system.
It has been decided that you were the only person available who has the same blood type as the violinist and in order to save his life yours has been sacrificed. After nine months he will be able to live on his own, but if he is unplugged before then he will die. If the violinist was replaced with a fetus, how would this example differ? It wouldn’t at all. A fetus stays in a woman’s body for nine months, using most if not all of the woman’s organs to survive. The difference between this example and planned pregnancy is that there was no consent given for the fetus to use the mother’s body.
Therefore, there are no moral obligations to keep the fetus (or person in the violinist example) alive. On the other hand, not sharing a box of chocolates that two brothers had the same rights to is being completely unjust. An example about a burglar is used to explain Thomson’s second major point. You open a window because it is too warm, fully aware that there are burglars around and a burglar climbs in the window. This example compares to voluntarily engaging in sexual intercourse and being fully aware of the possible outcome of becoming pregnant.
Because it is voluntary and the person has complete knowledge of the possible consequences, there is no moral obligation to keep the fetus (or burglar) alive. Just because a woman engaged in sexual intercourse with full knowledge that she could get pregnant (inviting the fetus in) does not give the fetus a right to be using her body, therefore it is unjust. Similar to the burglar example is the “people seeds” example. Imagine there were “people seeds” and if they entered your house, you would become pregnant.
You took all of the precautions by putting special net screens on the windows, but there is always that small chance that a seed could enter the house and it does. Everything is the same in this example as the previous one, except all necessary precautions were taken. Unfortunately consequences resulted in a defect in protection; therefore there is still no moral obligations to keep the fetus (seed) alive. Don Marquis began his article titled “Why Abortion is Immortal” by splitting it into two positions which included Sanctity of Life Position and the Fetus is Not a Person Position.
The Sanctity of Life Position or Pro-Life argues that a fetus is human life and it is naturally wrong to take a human life, therefore abortion is morally wrong. The anti-abortionist will say “It is always prima facie seriously wrong to take a human life” (Marquis, 1989). Marquis claims that this position is way too broad because it mainly focuses on the wrongness of killing which covers too much. On the other hand, the Fetus is Not a Person Position or Pro-Choice argues that a fetus is not a developed person and it lacks psychological characteristics that constitute a person and is not a social or a human being.
The pro-choicer will say, “It is only seriously wrong to take the life of a member of the human community” (Marquis, 1989). Therefore, abortion is not wrong because a fetus is not a person. Marquis claims that this position is too narrow because it concentrates on “finding a moral principle concerning the wrongness of killing”. Marquis believes that in the abortion debate people are focusing on the wrong things. He says that we need to focus more on the morality of life taking and less about personhood. The very first thing he brings up is that every person deserves the same right to life that we have.
This is his first point arguing against abortion because he says that it completely takes away the fetus’s future and its right to life. He believes that abortion is extremely wrong, just as morally wrong as killing a person. He then goes on to discuss the three main reasons why he believes that killing is wrong: (1) killing brutalizes the one who kills because killing is immortal, (2) killing results in others experiencing a great loss, and (3) killing results in the removal of a person from basic society needs. A fetus is completely dependent on its mother or care taker.
If placed in the wild it would most likely die, a fetus does not have the proper physical characteristics or abilities to take care of itself therefore I do not believe that a fetus is a human being. “All humans, whatever their race, gender, religion or age, have the right to life” (Marquis, 1989). I could not agree more with Marquis when he says that all humans have the right to a valuable future like our own.
As Thomson would also agree, but she would argue that a fetus is not a human, as previously stated, consequently this would not apply to abortion through Thomson’s eyes. . M – wrong with killing – (Kant) imperfect duty to ourselves, value of life in general, killing is brutal because it is immortal b. Euthanasia c. Argument: bringing someone into the world that a woman does not want or does not have the resources to take care of child Another debatable point that Thomson brings up is the chance of a mother dying during pregnancy. Thomson states, “…I am not claiming that people have a right to do anything whatever to save their lives. I think, rather, that there are drastic limits to the right of self-defense” (Thomson, 1986).
Killing the mother and letting the mother die are just as equally unjust. In other words watching the mother die and not doing a thing about it is equally immoral as killing her, therefore Although I am pro-choice and fully agree with Thomson and her arguments, it is very common for depression to occur after an abortion is completed. Marquis brings this point up when he discusses his reasons as to why killing is wrong. He states that killing brutalizes the one who kills. In order for me to agree with this statement when talking about abortion I would have to substitute killing and kills for abortion and aborts.
Marquis’s third statement about why killing is wrong is “a killing results in the deprivation of all of another’s experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments that would otherwise have contributed her future” (Marquis, 1989). Abortion does not fit under this category at all because abortion is legal. If a thirty-four year old person was killed, the murderer would obviously go to jail for performing an illegal action and would be deprived of all of his experiences, activities, etc.