The Abortion Debate

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Gideon Brown
Lisa McLeod
The Abortion Debate
The permissibility of abortion is a highly debated ethical dilemma. There have been many valid arguments for both sides. Don Marquis is an author who presented his view on the topic in his article titled “Why Abortion is immoral”. An equally convincing paper has also been written by author Judith Jarvis Thomson debating the other side of the argument. Her work is titled “A Defense of Abortion”. Both of these papers attempt to use logical arguments to persuade the reader that their view on the abortion issue is the most ethical.

Don Marquis’ paper is a good persuasive work because he is able to argue his strong anti-abortion view point without relying on whether the fetus is a baby or religion. Because he omits those two factors his paper is able to convince a larger proportion of people. Marquis’ conclusion is “Abortion is, except possibly in rare cases, seriously immoral…it is in the same moral category as killing an innocent adult human being. He believes that the issue of the abortion is “whether the fetus is a being whose life it is seriously wrong to end”. He believes that the fetus is such a being and he argues in that favor. Marquis begins his article by showing how the pro-life argument is too broad. According to him pro-lifers base their argument on the fetus being a person. However what is the distinction between a newly fertilized ovum and a cell. He then states that if we follow the argument of a pro-lifer it would be unethical to kill a cancer cell. Next Marquis evaluates the pro-choice argument and deems it too narrow. He claims that under a pro-choicer point of view it doesn’t show that killing infants or a retarded person is wrong. Marquis sees this as a never ending argument because both sides can continue to add their point. He therefore constructs his own argument based on a more general discussion. He examines what makes killing wrong in the first...
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