The Pros And Cons Of Abortion

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Abortion is a complex social and moral issue that remains unresolved in today’s society. It is continuously changing and renewing under new influences presented by different individuals as well as the global civilization as a whole. Arguments from both sides are often extremely dogmatic and defensive, presenting merely from one perspective. However, the common argument revolves closely on what the true definition of a person or a human being is and its relations to whether a fetus is a human being or not from the moment of conception. This is examined from a liberal point of view by Thomson (Thomson, 1971, p. 47-66), who explains that abortion can be justified in a wide range of cases and challenges the notion that it is morally impermissible. Anti-abortionists have taken an opposite stance and claimed that Thomson’s argument is exaggerated and patently false. In this paper, I will briefly examine Thomson’s perception of abortion and explain how the analogies demonstrated in her paper assist in supporting her view on legal abortion as well as why I agree with Thomson on some parts of her argumentation.

In “A defense of abortion” (Thomson, 1971, p. 47-66), instead of engaging in the usual debate about the moral status, Thomson grants ‘for sake of argument’ (Thomson, 1971, p. 48) that a human embryo is a person as she believes that personhood does not have any relations with the permissibility of abortion. In investigating this, Thomson attempts to define the rights of a woman in regards to her autonomy in controlling what happens to her body in comparison to the right to life of a fetus. The first thought experiment proposes a scenario involving an innocent person being kidnapped and attached to a sick violinist. In order to sav...

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...on. I believe that abortion is not always morally impermissible as we will never be able to achieve an absolute, neutral perspective of whether abortion is wrong or right. In extreme cases where the pregnancy interferes with the mother’s life such as life threatening situations, it is permissible to abort the pregnancy. It is not abortion as a whole that is ‘wrong’. Instead, it is the society’s attitude towards it. Individuals who use abortion, as a tool of convenience or choice is not morally permissible, as the fetus should be considered to have a right to life.

In conclusion, Thomson has used a very interesting and comprehensive way to present different situations involving abortion. The ‘violinist experiment’ focuses on whether abortion is morally impermissible as a whole while other thought experiments provide stimulating scenarios from other point of views.
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