Thomson's View of Abortion

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Thomson's View of Abortion
In the article "A Defense of Abortion" Judith Jarvis Thomson argues that abortion is morally permissible even if the fetus is considered a person. In this paper I will give a fairly detailed description of Thomson main arguments for abortion. In particular I will take a close look at her famous "violinist" argument. Following will be objections to the argumentative story focused on the reasoning that one person's right to life outweighs another person's right to autonomy. Then appropriate responses to these objections. Concluding the paper I will argue that Thomson's "violinist" argument supporting the idea of a mother's right to autonomy outweighing a fetus' right to life does not make abortion permissible. In her article Thomson starts off by giving antiabortionists the benefit of the doubt that fetuses are human persons. She adds that all persons have the right to life and that it is wrong to kill any person. Also she states that someone's right to life is stronger than another person's autonomy and that the only conflict with a fetuses right to life is a mother's right to autonomy. Thus the premises make abortion impermissible. Then Thomson precedes to attacks the premise that one's right to autonomy can be more important to another's right to life in certain situations. She uses quite an imaginative story to display her point of view. Basically there is a hypothetical situation in which a very famous violinist is dying. Apparently the only way for the violinist to survive is to be "plugged" into a particular woman, in which he could use her kidneys to continue living. The catch is that the Society of Music Lovers kidnapped this woman in the middle of the night in order to obtain the use of her kidneys. She then woke up and found herself connected to an unconscious violinist. This obviously very closely resembles an unwanted pregnancy. It is assumed that the woman unplugging herself is permissible even though it would kill the...
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