Abortion: Person versus Human

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Abortion has long been a controversial debate affecting most societies, religion, and especially women. Anti-abortionists and pro-abortionists both propose many arguments against and for abortion. However, the most prominent argument comes from anti-abortionists who believe that “a fetus is a human being, and therefore abortion is murder.” However I agree with both Mary Anne Warren and Judith Jarvis Thompson in that women should have the choice of whether they wish to keep the baby or not. Although the traditional anti-abortion argument is strong, the arguments that both Thompson and Warren provide in their texts have convinced me that abortion is not murder. Despite that anti-abortionists believe that that a fetus is human, Marry Anne Warren makes a very good distinction between being human and being a person. Not all humans are people and not all people are humans and only people can be considered members of the moral community. Thus if only people can be considered members of the moral community then only people can be ascribed full moral rights. A human according to John Noonan is someone who has full genetic code and the potential capacity for rational thought. Warren defines a person as someone who has the following traits, consciousness, capacity to feel pain, ability to reason, communicate, can perform self-motivated activity, and has the presence of self-concepts/self-awareness. A fetus has none of the above traits so it cannot be considered a person rather it is a potential person. Therefore a fetus is a human being, which is not yet a person and thus cannot be granted full moral rights that a person is entitled to. Another issue that arises is the potential personhood of the fetus. Many would argue that its poten... ... middle of paper ... ...g abortion I am convinced that abortion is not murder. Abortion does not involve killing a person because a fetus is not yet a person it is only a genetic human being. Unfortunately many people overlook the rights of the woman and only take into consideration the rights of the potential person. Once people stop assuming that a fetus is entitled to the same rights as an actual person can people learn that abortion is morally permissible and a woman should have the right to obtain an abortion. Pope John Paul II assumes that one will accept that abortion is immoral because it is the killing of a human. But after reading Thompson and Warren’s arguments I disagree with Pope John Paul II. On a final note I believe that every woman should have the right to obtain an abortion because at the end its will her decision that she will have to live with for the rest of her life.

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