In her essay, “A Defense of Abortion,” Judith Jarvis Thompson outlines the most common arguments that people defend, and explains her views regarding each of these. She shares numerous examples and situations that she believes will support her views. One of her most prominent arguments is that of whether or not a fetus has moral standing as a “person.” She highlights the so called “battle” between an innocent life, the fetus, and the bodily rights of the mother. Within this argument, Judith outlines for us several situations which can provide people with a different outlook regarding abortion. Throughout Judith’s essay, she does not truly give a clear stance, but rather allows her readers to choose for themselves.
Pro-Choice: Analysis of Thompson's Article, A Defense of Abortion
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In Judith Jarvis Thompson’s article “A Defense of Abortion” she explores the different arguments against abortion presented by Pro –Life activists, and then attempts to refute these notions using different analogies or made up “for instances” to help argue her point that women do have the right to get an abortion. She explains why abortion is morally permissible using different circumstances of becoming pregnant, such as rape or unplanned pregnancy.
Thomson’s main idea is to show why Pro-Life Activists are wrong in their beliefs. She also wants to show that even if the fetus inside a women’s body had the right to life (as argued by Pro – Lifers), this right does not entail the fetus to have whatever it needs to survive – including usage of the woman’s body to stay alive.
To help argue her point, Thomson first begins with an analogy comparing an acorn of an oak tree to the fetus in a woman’s body.
Many are inclined to believe that the fetus has become a human being even right before birth and being brought into the world. A controversial topic around that surrounds the world, is the act of abortion permissible? Philosophers have seen this idea and tried to understand when in face is abortion permissible. Philosopher, Judith Jarvis Thompson, in her piece, “A Defense Against Abortion” explores the premise is abortion permissible in all cases. Throughout Thompson’s piece she draws multiple analogies to make her argument be seen through a different perspective. Thompson makes the claim that abortion is permissible even when in fact when a woman intentionally engages in sex and knowing what she is doing can have a high risk of pregnancy.
...e right to use the mother’s body has not been extended to the fetus, abortion does not violate the fetuses right to life. Abortion is permissible in many cases, but this does not mean that we have the right to secure the death of the fetus. I agree with Thomson’s view that the death of a fetus is a necessary side-effect of abortion, but is not the goal. Were it possible to remove a fetus without killing it, then it must not be killed. The potential harm or life depreciation of the mother outweighs the fetuses’ potential right to life, whether it may have a future or not. Killing in self-defense is permissible and the possible death or harm that comes from having a baby is enough right for a mother to have an abortion. I support Thomson’s view on abortion and believe that the mother should have a choice whether to abort her baby or not at an early stage of pregnancy.
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.
The ethics of abortion is a topic that establishes arguments that attempt to argue if abortion is morally justified or not. Philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson wrote a pro- choice piece called “A Defense of Abortion.” In this paper, she presents various arguments that attempt to defend abortion by relating it to the woman carrying the fetus and her right in controlling her body. On the other side of the spectrum, philosopher Don Marquis wrote a pro- life paper called “Why Abortion Is Immoral.” Ultimately, Marquis argues that abortion is immoral with rare exceptions because it is resulting in the deprivation of the fetus’s valuable future. He supports his paper by creating the future-like-ours argument that compares the future of a fetus to the
'A Defense of Abortion' by Judith Jarvis Thomson
In the article 'A Defense of Abortion' Judith Jarvis Thomson argues that abortion is morally permissible even if the fetus is considered a person. In this paper I will give a fairly detailed description of Thomson main arguments for abortion. In particular I will take a close look at her famous 'violinist' argument. Following will be objections to the argumentative story focused on the reasoning that one person's right to life outweighs another person's right to autonomy.
Within the “Defense of Abortion,” Thompson insinuates an underlying principle, in which she highly values the principle of autonomy, as seen in her essay conversing the illegality of drug use. The implication of the principle of autonomy is an exercise of the belief that an adult is entitled to and has complete control over their body. Thompson’s argument begins with the willingness to take on the initial claim that nothing can be done to end a fetus’ life, insinuating that an abortion is impermissible even to save the mother. The response to this claim stated, “Doesn’t anyone have the right to defend themselves in the face of impending death?”
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.”
Response to Judith Jarvis Thomson's A Defense for Abortion
Judith Jarvis Thomson, in "A Defense of Abortion", argues that even if we grant that fetuses have a fundamental right to life, in many cases the rights of the mother override the rights of a fetus. For the sake of argument, Thomson grants the initial contention that the fetus has a right to life at the moment of conception. However, Thomson explains, it is not self-evident that the fetus's right to life will always outweigh the mother's right to determine what goes on in her body. Thomson also contends that just because a woman voluntarily had intercourse, it does not follow that the fetus acquires special rights against the mother.