Don Marquis: Why Abortion Is Imoral?

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Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade supreme court case, Abortion has become a frequently discussed topic amongst people. Abortion is the intentional termination of pregnancy, typically it is done early in the pregnancy, but it has occasionally been done late term, though in those cases they are more for the safety of the mother. There are many different views on Abortion and the question of its morality, though there are three philosophers who able to eloquently express some of those views. Those philosophers being Don Marquis, who believes that abortions are immoral and should be illegal, Judith Jarvis Thomson who agrees with Marquis that the fetus has some rights, but also says that the rights of the mother outweigh the fetus’s and as a result she…show more content…
Marquis acknowledges that fetuses don’t have the capacity for self-conscious awareness, but believes that despite their lack of awareness they still should be given a right to life. He goes on to make the argument that abortion can be on the same level as the murder of an adult human. And, Marquis explains that people have reservations against murder because it denies them the right to their future experiences, projects, activities, and enjoyments. While he still believes abortion to be immoral, he does condone abortion under certain circumstances, those circumstances being when the loss would be equal, such as when the mother’s life is at risk because then the mother wouldn’t be allowed the same right to future experiences as the fetus otherwise. An easy objection to make to Marquis statement is that the value of one’s future is reliant on someone’s ability to be cognizant of their future, and as fetuses aren’t it would make abortion morally permissible. To that point Marquis responds that a fetus has the potential to become self-conscious. And according to him, because fetuses have the potential to personhood makes abortion morally…show more content…
However, she differs in opinion with Thomson in a major way, as Warren makes the claim that fetuses don’t have a significant right to life, which directly opposes Thomson’s belief that fetuses have a right to life. Warren rejects the traditional anti-abortion arguments, as she believes they contain faulty equivocations and lack clear distinction. The distinction that she is attempting to raise is that of biological life and personhood, biological life is a scientific concept, whereas personhood is a much more personal, philosophical concept, and because of that she doesn’t consider fetuses to be people. For her, in order to be considered a person one needs to have the five Cognitive Criterion of Personhood traits. Those traits being Consciousness, reasoning, self-motivated activity, the capacity to communicate, and lastly the presence of self-concepts and self-awareness. While it may seem somewhat cold to an outside observer, she views those five traits as an easy and logical way to determine if a creature should be considered a

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