J. J Thomson's A Defense Of Abortion?

2229 Words 9 Pages
For millennia, women have been the primary subject of scrutiny when it comes to the topic of abortion. Simply because it is a female that bears children in our species does not account for all the prejudice and moral tantrums that are publically thrown in protest of abortion rights or the right to life. Today, the debate remains strong but we still linger upon the woman being the sole holder of moral responsibility in the matter. Some will extend the moral repercussions to third-party abortion providers. Some will even extend the moral repercussions to the government. One goal of this discussion is to reign in the prejudice against women and attempt to make the moral responsibility extend to only the familial unit of which would bear …show more content…
J.J. Thomson’s, “A Defense of Abortion,” grants the premise that a fetus is a person, with a right to life, from the moment of conception, all for the sake of her argument. She elaborates on the right to self-defense, which is limited in that you may not torture another to death to preserve yourself; and she defines the right to life in so far that one does not have the right to another’s life in order to preserve their self, and it is morally permissible for someone with a right to life to be killed as an act of justice. Thomson utilizes different anecdotes to illustrate her argumentative stance: the case of the violinist where a random abduction leads to biological connections to a strange adult, and the case of the open window and people seeds which will take root and grow in carpeted rooms. The case of the violinist can be twisted around to argue that should the incident be random, it is morally permissible to unhook oneself from another, as it is not a moral obligation to sustain them. However, should one have signed an agreement (had prior knowledge that this would happen and agreed to the conditions) then there is a moral obligation present to sustain the connected life. Yet the next anecdote forces the audience to reconsider that stance. The people seeds flying in the window offers a unique standpoint of which to critique preventative measures and their efficiency. All precautions taken, a people seed flies in, takes root in the carpet, and the homeowner is now responsible for that life. I argue that this is morally unjust – as not all homeowners have carpet (as not all human beings are female) and to force those with carpet to sustain life even after painful precautions have been taken is a large injustice to not only the homeowner (or woman) but to the life they are now to care for. Under this premise, it is

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