The Debate Of The Permissibility Of Abortion Essay

The Debate Of The Permissibility Of Abortion Essay

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The permissibility of abortion has been a crucial topic for debates for many years. People have yet to agree upon a stance on whether abortion is morally just. This country is divided into two groups, believers in a woman’s choice to have an abortion and those who stand for the fetus’s right to live. More commonly these stances are labeled as pro-choice and pro-life. The traditional argument for each side is based upon whether a fetus has a right to life. Complications occur because the qualifications of what gives something a right to life is not agreed upon. The pro-choice argument asserts that only people, not fetuses, have a right to life. The pro-life argument claims that fetuses are human beings and therefore they have a right to life. Philosopher, Judith Jarvis Thomson, rejects this traditional reasoning because the right of the mother is not brought into consideration. Thomson prepares two theses to explain her reasoning for being pro-choice; “A right to life does not entail the right to use your body to stay alive” and “In the majority of cases it is not morally required that you carry a fetus to term.”
Thompson’s theses are strengthened by both hypothetical and real life examples. She begins by granting that fetuses become people from the moment of conception and therefore have rights. Thompson employs this strategy to disparage the traditional argument so that we can cultivate a deeper analysis on the permissibility of abortion. The first analogy Thomson applies is one where you are drugged; a famous violinist is attached to you and he must use your kidneys for nine months in order to live. This situation cultivates the question of whether or not you are allowed to unplug from the violinist. If a person were to acce...


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... Although, the media and the government often try to convince women otherwise, the only person who has a right to your body is yourself, not a baby nor a man. Pro-life advocates use guilt to convince women that a fetus, which is nothing more than a lump of cells, takes precedent and has a greater right to your body than you do. Thompson’s many examples throughout her paper provide strong evidence towards proving her stance and have convinced me to have an elevated understanding of a woman’s right to her body.
Thompson uses analogies to provide evidence that a fetus does not have a right to a women’s body. Just as one would not require a women to let a famous violinist use her body to live, one should expect the same treatment for a fetus. Having a baby is a huge sacrifice for a women and it should not be a moral requirement to have to take on such a responsibility.

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