Thomson Defense Of Abortion Analysis

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Abortion has been a controversial ethical topic ever since the renowned Roe v. Wade decision permitted women to have the right to have an abortion. Thomson’s main argument is that the right to life is not an absolute right, and therefore in some cases abortion is morally permissible: those three cases being 1) the right to life does not include the rights to another person’s body without the person’s voluntary consent (cases of rape), 2) the fetus is a threat to the pregnant woman and 3) the fetus was conceived through voluntary intercourse where protective measures had failed (Thomson, 47-66). Although Thomson states in some cases that abortion seems morally impermissible, and granting for the sake of argument that the fetus is an actual living …show more content…
It can be argued that even though protection was used with the purpose of preventing pregnancy, the act of intercourse alone gives implicit (tacit) consent to the fetus that would allow it to use the mother’s body and because the fetus had no choice of being in that particular woman’s womb, then the mother has a duty to sustain the fetus. Ross’ two prima facie duties mentioned above, fidelity and non-maleficence, agree with this argument because if tacit consent was given to the fetus, then it is the mother’s duty to keep the promise of life that she implicitly gave. Since Thomson made the assumption that the fetus is a living being, then Ross’ duty of non-maleficence is a major objection to Thomson. Although causing the fetus harm goes against Ross’ duty, there still needs to be an overriding reason or duty to overlook the duty of non-maleficence. Returning to back to Thomson’s “growing child” thought experiment, if aborting the fetus saves the mother’s life then it is easier to argue that Ross would agree it is better to lose one life-the fetus’-than …show more content…
After considering these critical objections to her arguments against right to life, and analyzing ethical theories presented by other philosophers, it is clear to see that Thomson’s claim that abortion is at times morally permissible is favorable for all three of her arguments. However, it is important to remember though that she only argued for those cases and agreed that sometimes abortion is morally impermissible and that when analyzing critiques and personal thoughts on the subject, one should be conscious of personal beliefs such as religion while

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