Essay on A Defense Of Abortion By Judith Jarvis Thomson

Essay on A Defense Of Abortion By Judith Jarvis Thomson

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In the Judith Jarvis Thomson’s paper, “A Defense of Abortion”, the author argues that even though the fetus has a right to life, there are morally permissible reasons to have an abortion. Of course there are impermissible reasons to have an abortion, but she points out her reasoning why an abortion would be morally permissible. She believes that a woman should have control of her body and what is inside of her body. A person and a fetus’ right to life have a strong role in whether an abortion would be okay. Thomson continuously uses the story of a violinist to get the reader to understand her point of view.
Thomson starts off her paper by explaining the general premises that a fetus is a person at conception and all persons have the right to life. One of the main premises that Thomson focuses on is the idea that a fetus’ right to life is greater than the mother’s use of her body. Although she believes these premises are arguable, she allows the premises to further her explanation of why abortion could be morally permissible. Thomson then describes the idea of the violinist. She illustrates a scenario about waking up with an unconscious violinist attached to you that needs to survive off of your kidneys. A society kidnapped you and hooked up the cords without your consent or acknowledgment. The violinist would be attached to you for nine months of your life and if you unplug him, then you would be letting him die. She then poses the question if you should be responsible for the life of the violinist. Even though the violinist is a person and has a right to life, your own life would be affected greatly. She believes people would be more understanding of unplugging the violinist because you did not choose to support the violinist a...


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... violinist that you do not know attached to you. Also, it would not look natural for you and the violinist to be attached back to back. A fetus grows inside the uterus of a woman and has a natural look. This also allows the mother to still be able to do normal, everyday activities. Thomson makes it out to sound like a pregnant woman is not allowed or capable to do anything during the nine months of pregnancy. Thomson says in the story that while you are attached to the violinist, you are to be bed-ridden. This is not the case for most pregnancies. Majority of pregnant women are allowed to still go about their lives. In the cases of pregnant women being bed-ridden, it is usually in the third trimester of their pregnancy.
Thomson’s explanation of whether the right of a fetus of a raped victim and a fetus of a woman who consented to intercourse is the same has faults.

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