Essay On A Defense Of Abortion By Judith Jarvis Thompson

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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. Right away Thompson identifies the main argument used by “anti-abortionists,” which is that a fetus is a person and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to be aborted. She states that this stance, is poorly argued. Judith believes that one simply cannot discern at what point a fertilized egg truly becomes a person (p. 47). Where does one draw the line? In one example, Thompson compares an acorn to a fetus. She notes that an acorn certainly will become an oak tree, however at what point does one define an acorn as having become an oak tree in full? This point of transition is essentially impossible to identify. This examples stands as one of her most prominent defenses. Thompson believes that the fact of whether of not a fetus is a person is completely irrelevant towards the issue of abortion. This is mainly because she has found the point of becoming a person cannot be proved with complete confidence. Judith does not seem to understand why people think that just because a fetus may actually be a person that it ... ... middle of paper ... ...t it is immoral. I also see that it may not be immoral for a woman to abort if she has made the most effort to avoid pregnancy using contraceptives. However, as Thompson states, I think in this situation a mother “ought” not to have an abortion. A fetus should have the right to life, however the mother should also have the right to determine how to use her own body. So I too find it difficult to determine a solid stance on this issue. I’ve always believe that a fetus is a person, but I’ve also always struggled to discern when it is that the fetus becomes a person. Regardless of whatever science can prove or not regarding when a fetus is a person or however much argumentation is done regarding the permissibility of abortion, this topic will forever be surrounded by debate. I don’t believe there will ever a unanimous opinion on whether or not abortion is moral.

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