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.
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.
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 starts off her paper by explaining the general premises that a fetus is a person at conception and all persons have the right to life. One of the main premises that Thomson focuses on is the idea that a fetus’ right to life is greater than the mother’s use of her body. Although she believes these premises are arguable, she allows the premises to further her explanation of why abortion could be
In A Defense of Abortion (Cahn and Markie), Judith Thomson presents an argument that abortion can be morally permissible even if the fetus is considered to be a person. Her primary reason for presenting an argument of this nature is that the abortion argument at the time had effectively come to a standstill. The typical anti-abortion argument was based on the idea that a fetus is a person and since killing a person is wrong, abortion is wrong. The pro-abortion adopts the opposite view: namely, that a fetus is not a person and is thus not entitled to the rights of people and so killing it couldn’t possibly be wrong.
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
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. Therefore, abortion is permissible even if the mother knows the risks of having sex. She makes her points with the following illustration. Imagine that you wake up one morning and find that you have been kidnapped, taken to a hospital, and a famous violist has been attached to your circulatory system. You are told that the violinist was ill and you were selected to be the host, in which the violinist will recover in nine months, but will die if disconnected from you before then. Clearly, Thomson argues, you are not morally required to continue being the host. In her essay she answers the question: what is the standard one has to have in order to be granted a right to life? She reflects on two prospects whether the right to life is being given the bare minimum to sustain life or ir the right to life is merely the right not to be killed. Thomson states that if the violinist has more of a right to life then you do, then someone should make you stay hooked up to the violinist with no exceptions. If not, then you should be free to go at a...
Over the duration of the last century, abortion in the Western hemisphere has become a largely controversial topic that affects every human being. In the United States, at current rates, one in three women will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45. The questions surrounding the laws are of moral, social, and medical dilemmas that rely upon the most fundamental principles of ethics and philosophy. At the center of the argument is the not so clear cut lines dictating what life is, or is not, and where a fetus finds itself amongst its meaning. In an effort to answer the question, lawmakers are establishing public policies dictating what a woman may or may not do with consideration to her reproductive rights. The drawback, however, is that there is no agreement upon when life begins and at which point one crosses the line from unalienable rights to murder.
In Thomson’s pro-life argument, the key premise she describes as false is “that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception” (47). In the eyes of Thomson, abortion is morally impermissible. She does explain how most agree that the fetus is a human well before birth with evidence supporting on how by the tenth weeks of development, it already has a face, arms, legs, fingers, toes and even internal organs along with brain activity being detectable. Though she states this, the sees the premise as false and this is not the point of her argument. She is not “arguing for the right to secure the death of the unborn child” (66), but for the right of the woman’s choice to control her body. She sways her argument in using real life
2). On the other hand, Judeo-Christian tenets limit individualism and promote values which “oppose human tampering with natural process...[and advocate for the] sacredness of human life” (Tamney, Johnson, & Burton, 1992, p. 3). Ultimately, at the heart of this contentious argument is whether a fetus is or is not a person. Proponents of abortion define a fetus as a nonperson and thus argue in favor of a woman’s right to choose, as well as the right to use her own body and she deems fit (Goldberg, 1997). Conversely, opponents define a fetus as a person and argue that the fetus’ rights are inviolable and would supersede the women’s right to do with her body as she pleases. Despite the merits of each argument, one can assert that these contentions are philosophical and limited in their intention to persuade anyone who has not already made a determination. Therefore, in order to make an informed decision and to determine the merits of abortion, it is more advisable to pursue scientific