A Logical Case Against Abortion

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Jacob E. Bell
Philosophy 60
T-TH 10:40-12:10

The case against abortion

Is abortion murder or a matter of choice is a question that has been in the mainstream of moral debates for as long as I can remember. I have always supported a women’s right to choose, however in this paper I shall look at the philosophical argument to the contrary. In this deductive look at a classic dilemma, I will first outline why killing a person is wrong and then determine at what point the “unborn” is considered to be a person. At that point, we can decide when abortion becomes murder and not a matter of a person’s free will concerning their body.

Most people can agree that the killing of a fellow human being is “severely wrong,” excluding specific instances like self-defense and euthanasia (Marquis). However, Professor Dan Marquis of the University of Kansas takes it a step further and attempts to decipher exactly what it is about murder that makes it wrong. Marquis states that a “premature death” has the misfortune of “depriving an individual of a future of value” and for this reason killing is immoral.

Now professor marquis’ argument itself can and is used as an argument against abortion, however, I want a more definitive answer as to when a fetus is considered a person. For this, I found a very cogent argument written by John T. Noonan Jr. The first of his two main arguments states that at the moment of conception there is a substantial jump in “human potential” (Noonan). That is to say, that before conception occurred there is very little chance that a rationally thinking human being will (for lack of a better term) be created. In fact, the odds of one sperm reaching one egg at precisely the right moment (ovulation) are roughly 200,000,000 to one. Compare that to the four out of five odds that a human being will result after or rather at the moment of conception. Noonan supports his view that conception is the decisive moment in human...
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