Analysis Of A Defense For Abortion By Judy Jarvis Thomson

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The Violinist Argument In her essay, “A Defense for Abortion,” Judy Jarvis Thomson primarily argues for the permissibility of abortion, due to rape, but it can be challenged by exposing flaws in her argument that relies heavily on analogy. However, objections to Thomson’s explanation fail to defeat her argument. Before Thomson addresses “The Violinist” case, she concedes the point that a fetus is a person and therefore has a right to life. Now, Thomson continues by stating that a woman’s right to her body outweighs the fetus’s right to life. To demonstrate her position, Thomson utilizes a “thought experiment” involving a famous violinist. Suppose you wake up one morning and are attached to an unconscious violinist, one that is respected…show more content…
The Society of Music Lovers, an organization dedicated to aid the dying artist, searched through all available medical records and realized that only you have the correct blood type for an effective transfusion, which will certainly cure the violinist. The committed organization has thus kidnapped you and attached his circulatory system to yours through various technological means in order to extract poisons from his blood. If you were to disconnect, or unplug yourself from the violinist, he would immediately die, but in nine months he will have recovered and could be safely detached. Thomson concludes that a person’s right to life does not trump the right to use another person’s body. Thus, if you disconnect from the violinist, you will merely deprive him of your body- to which he has no right. However, if you continue to stay connected to the artist, you will only be doing a kindness on your part,…show more content…
For instance, the victim in the violinist example is free to leave after nine moths, but during a pregnancy, a mother can not simply leave her child after labor. This disanalogy is often ignored for it only strengthens Thomson’s argument. Nitpicking between small differences offers no compelling logic to defeat the thought experiment. Similar to how opponents of Thomson’s rationalization carefully attack the smallest details, a distinction cannot be made of what life is more valuable. Fundamentally, in either case, both the violinist and child die. All life is equally valuable and such distinctions offer no tangible contradictions to trump Thomson’s example. Additionally, an actual pregnancy has vastly different effects on a woman’s physical and psychological condition than simply being attached to a well known artist. This further justifies having an abortion, a position Thomson firmly stands by, especially during the case of nonconsensual sex. Moreover, a mother does not necessarily have more responsibility towards their offspring than an artificially connected violinist. To some women, a fetus is a stranger and a personal connection is not evident, even if a biological connection is. Furthermore, pregnancy takes a huge toll on a woman’s body and not all women have the desire to withstand such a situation. Also, the

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