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The Controversial Issue Of Abortion Essay

1422 words - 6 pages

Abortion is a very controversial topic. This paper will discuss the opposing sides of the issue as well as my own personal opinion. The basic question is when a developing person actually becomes a person or alive. The following articles: A Defense of Abortion, by Judith Jarvis Thomson and Opposition to Abortion: A Human Rights Approach, by Baruch Brody discuss the opposing sides of the abortion issue. I will be using and summarizing those articles in my evaluation of the topic abortion.
In Judith Jarvis Thomson’s article, A Defense of Abortion, she argues that a mother has the rights to “unplug” herself from a fetus even if we assume it is a person. She also believes this to be permissible in cases other than rape.
The extreme anti-abortion view that Thomson discusses is the view that abortion is impermissible even in certain cases pertaining to saving the mothers life. The argument present in this case is that performing the abortion is directly killing the child, whereas not doing anything at all is just the same as letting the mother die. The question is which one is right. How can abortion be though of as murder if the mother is doing it to save her own life? How can she just sit there passively and wait for her own death. A woman has the right to defend her life against any threats posed by an unborn child, even if it involves the child’s death.
Thomson talks about what the phrase “right to life” actually means. Some believe that it means having the right to the bare minimum one needs to continue life. Some people are stricter in their views of “right to life”. In that particular case, it does not include the right to be given anything, but only the right not to be killed by anybody.
Then Thomson goes on about the right to use the mother’s body. In cases of rape, the woman gets pregnant she has not given the unborn person the right to use her body for food and shelter. Another way for a person to be “uninvited” into someone’s body, is if a woman is voluntarily engaging in intercourse, and due to her bad actions she gets pregnant. Eventhough, she did invite this person the fetus to live inside her, but by knowing the consequences of her actions, the fetus does hold some rights to her body. By having an abortion, it would be depriving the fetus of its right to use its mother’s body.
The succeeding argument it the indecency and injustice argument. Thomson says there are cases in which it is morally indecent to separate a person from your body at the cost of its life. An example of that is what if pregnancy lasted only for one hour, but the pregnancy is the result of a rape. Even thought it is only lasting one hour it would be indecent of the mother to abort the child. Nevertheless, if a woman is pregnant due to a raping, then she does have to opportunity to not allow the unborn to use her body for the time it needs. It may be indecent but it is not unjust.
Baruch Brody criticizes the opposition to Thomson’s...

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