Abortion, A Woman 's Right On Body Over The Fetus Essay

1440 Words Nov 15th, 2016 6 Pages
Dr. Toner and Dr. Walter lived in vastly different sociocultural climates, and analysis of the difference in their use of language to describe abortion-seeking women provides insight changes in perspective on one of the fundamental ethical arguments surrounding the abortion dilemma: a woman’s right to her body over the fetus’s right to life. The use of misogynistic language within Dr. Toner’s 1861 article condemning abortion shows his perspective on this dilemma that disregards the ethical argument that women have a right to their body. There are multiple instances in which Dr. Toner describes women as beings of lesser willpower, calling them “weak and erring unmarried females” and “weak and confiding woman” (Toner 443). Dr. Toner seeks to further discredit the decision making capabilities and judgement of women in their pursuit of obtaining an illegal abortion by portraying women’s reasoning as too petty to be taken seriously. He asserts that “indeed it is not uncommon for a married woman, who does not wish to have her family increased, or attend to the wants of her offspring” to seek out illegal abortion, recounting a personal anecdote in which a merchant’s wife requested an abortion due to her wish to “not slave [her]self to death with another child. As she spoke her eyes flashed, and her voice and manner evinced her positive determination to do as she said” (Toner 443). Dr. Toner noted the detail that the woman’s eyes flashed, evidence of his perception that the woman…

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