Abortion: Moral Problems in Contemporary Life

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Moral Problems in Contemporary Life


Abortion is one of the most widely controversial issues that exist in all societies. In this essay I will analyze two different viewpoints. One opinion is from Judith Jarvis Thomson who is a professor of philosophy at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. In the other side from Serrin M. Foster who is the president of Feminist for life of America, an organization which dedicates to find practical solutions to the root causes that drive women to choose abortion.

Judith Jarvis Thomson wrote a paper called “A defense of Abortion” where she exposes through a thought experiment that the fetus has the right to life. Thomson defends abortion even she doesn’t believe in. For she there is an ethical that is resumed in this question: if both mother and fetus are both human and both have rights to life, can abortion be ethically permitted where the woman does not want to continue her pregnancy?

In order to solve this problem, she mentions a thought experiment that consists in the next. “You wake up in the morning and fine yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist who has kidney ailment… the Society of Music Lovers kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own… To unplug would be to kill him. But, it is only for nine months.”

Thomson takes that example saying that you may now permissibly unplug yourself from the violinist even though this will cause his death. Thomson also mentions: there is no right to use another person's body, and so by unplugging the violinist you do not violate his right to life. So if you allow him to go on using your kidneys, this is a kindness on your part, and not something he can claim from you as your duty.

Even though she explains that case, I think abortion is more controversial because it involves factors that are not mentioned in the...
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