A Defense Of Abortion By Judith Jarvis Thomson

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The topic of my paper is abortion. In Judith Jarvis Thomson's paper, “A Defense of Abortion,” she presented a typical anti-abortion argument and tried to prove it false. I believe there is good reason to agree that the argument is sound and Thompson's criticisms of it are false.
The typical anti-abortion argument is as follows: 1. Every fetus is a person, 2. Every person has the right to life, 3. Every fetus has the right to life [1,2], 4. Everything that has the right to life may not be killed, 5. Every fetus may not be killed [3,4]. Premise 1 is taken from page 297 in our book when Thompson states, “Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person…” Premise 2 and conclusion 3 are taken from page 298 when Thomson says “Every person has a right to life. So the fetus has a right to life.” Premise 4 is taken from page 298 when Thomson states “So the fetus may not be killed.” She does not explicitly state the premise, "Everything that has the right to life may not be killed," but we can infer this since in the previous premises she stated that every fetus is a person and every person has the right to life. So since that is true then we can substitute fetus for everything that has the right to life, therefore stating everything that has the right to life may not be killed. Conclusion 5 is also not stated directly in Thomson’s paper, but follows directly from the premises that are stated in her paper.
First I will prove premise 1, “Every fetus is a person,” true. The definition of person according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is "a human being." Now surely no one would regard a fetus as anything other than human such as a primate or dog. But some still might say, "Well, it isn't aliv...

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...r (directly killing the baby in the womb or slitting the throat of the violinist). I believe the difference is very clear and therefore refutes Thompson's case of the unconscious violinist. This means that premise 4 still stands true.
In conclusion, Thompson's criticisms of the Standard anti-abortion argument are false. Premise 1 stays true as life begins at conception because that is the point when the fetus starts to grow. Premise 2 stays alive because murder is both illegal and morally wrong. Why? because you are depriving them of their future and causing harm to the people who love the victim. And lastly, premise 4 remains true because there is a difference between not helping someone live and directly killing them, thereby proving the case of the unconscious violinist as not analogous. All in all, the standard anti-abortion argument remains a sound argument.

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