With the rising numbers of teenage pregnancies nowadays, there is no doubt that abortion is one of the most controversial issue since the 16th century. Abortion has been in the records as early as the 11th century but gained public notice in the late 1800’s. In Canada, there is currently no legal restrictions pertaining to abortion since it was decriminalized in January 28, 1988. However, debates of whether abortion is morally acceptable or not is still going on in different areas of the country. Pro-choice (pro-abortion) insists that fetuses are not included to the principle of “right to life” therefore abortion is permissible. They base their argument to the personhood principle where they define a “person” as someone who is rational, autonomous, has self-consciousness, etc. On the other hand, pro-life (anti-abortion) argues vice versa and pushes the principle that fetuses are “biologically human” therefore, they deserve to have a right to live. Different angles of argument has been considered but all ends in a standoff. Marquis, for one, offers a solution that might solve the issue once and for all.
According to Don Marquis, “Abortion is presumptively very seriously wrong, where the presumption is very strong – as strong as the presumption that killing another adult human being is wrong” (Marquis, p. 371). In his work Why Abortion Is Immoral? , he argues that the main reason why it is morally impermissible to kill an adult human is neither the effect on the killer nor the people left by the victim but because killing him deprives him of his future’s value. All the activities, projects, experiences and enjoyments he could have in the future are taken away from him (Marquis, p. 367). Therefore, killing anyone who has a “future like ours” is morally wrong.
Following this statement, Marquis also mentions that a standard fetus has a future that is identical to that of an adult human being. Therefore, it follows that killing a fetus, except in rare cases, is presumptively morally wrong.
I believe that Marquis succeeded in pointing out his argument and for this, I will give three factors to prove it. First, he starts by comparing a few of the arguments of both sides (pro-choice and pro-life) and shows how they cancel out each other’s standpoint. By doing so, he does not just shows that abortion is a very complicated and controversial issue, but he also proves that the arguments given are not enough to prove each other’s point. “If any of these arguments concerning abortion is a good argument, it requires not only some characterizing fetuses, but also some general moral principle that ties a characteristics of fetuses to having or not having the right to life or to some other moral characteristics that will generate the obligation or the lack of obligation not to end the life of a fetus” (Marquis, p. 365). This calls for another claim from each side that will justify their argument and wherein the opposite side will have nothing to cancel...