November 12, 2011
Biomedical Ethics 9:30-10:45 T/R
Essay on Abortion
A Defense on Abortion
For years the “rights” of abortion has remained a sore subject for discussion due to the drastically different opinions determining the rights to life of the fetus, and to which point the fetus is considered a human being. Thompson’s essay, “A Defense of Abortion,” provides a phenomenal approach in which she sets aside this common argument to evaluate the overall picture: in some circumstances, abortion is morally permissible. Although the objectives provided in Thompson’s argument prove a valid point, objections from those opposed to abortion can be evaluated and challenged by the author respectively using the examples given in her excerpt, in which we conclude that the act is, in fact morally permissible in particular circumstances. In “A Defense of Abortion,” Thompson argues that in some cases, abortion is morally permissible regardless if they are considered human beings, for the fetus’ “right to life” does not out-weigh the right to life of the life provider, the mother, nor does it extend the use of the women’s body. She states, “a women has a right not to have her body used by someone else against her will,” in which she refers to the life support given to the fetus. Thompson also considers situations of women who become pregnant as a result of rape, claiming that the woman should have the right to abort the child for it was not a situation which she could prevent, or control, and is therefore not at fault. The opposing arguments of those who claim that abortion is morally impermissible are considered and addressed one by one in “A Defense of Abortion” using various examples; however, some might still object to these slippery slope arguments for they are unrealistic. The first objection, “directly killing an innocent person is always and absolutely impermissible, an abortion may not be performed,” is argued...