Summary Of A Defense Of Abortion By Thomson

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In ‘A Defense of Abortion’, Thomson argues for the fact that there are certain cases where abortion is permissible and certain cases where abortion is impermissible. Thomson starts her argument by explaining that people contemplate their views on abortion by trying to determine a specific time period of when a fetus is considered a human being – some believe this is at contraception and others believe this is at birth. Whatever the case, Thomson uses an analogy of an acorn to demonstrate a pro-choice view. She relates that the development of an acorn into an oak tree does in fact not mean that acorns are oak trees. Much like how we cannot say that a recently fertilized egg is a human being. Thomson tells us these arguments are called “slippery …show more content…
Number one tells us the killing of an innocent person is always impermissible and abortion is killing an innocent being, therefore abortion is never permissive. Number two explains that directly killing an innocent human is murder and murder is never permissive, therefore abortion is impermissible. Number three of the conditions says that it is more important to restrain from directly killing an innocent person than it is to keep a person from dying, therefore, abortion is not permissive. Lastly, number four tells us that if someone is stuck between the choice to directly let a person die or directly kill an innocent person, they must let the person die therefore an abortion may not be performed. Thompson argues that all of these conditions are false. She rebuttals against the second condition by saying that if the killing of an innocent person is murder and murder is never permissive then the mother is letting the innocent person inside of her die by not having an abortion to save herself and thus breaking the second condition. But the conditions say nothing about the mother performing an abortion on herself to save her own life. They do not say she must refrain from trying to save herself or that she must sit by and await her …show more content…
A mother does not have many options when it comes to giving herself an abortion so we have to look at what a third party can do. Thompson asks us to imagine being in a very tiny house with a rapidly growing child. As the child begins to grow you smoosh closer and closer against the wall until you are finally crushed to death, whereas the child will be fine. Both you and the child are innocent and the child is unintentionally causing you harm. Now, this is what makes it hard for a bystander to help because they are unable to choose between your life and the child’s life. But it is not said that you cannot do anything to save yourself. No matter how innocent the child is, you do not have to stand by while the child crushes you to death. Thompson relates the house to a mother’s body, to which we do not allow the right of self-defense. But if the woman is housing the unborn child then it should be remembered that it is her

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