Abortion Debates The debate surrounding abortion has a renewed tension due to the recent attempts of President Bush and conservatives to limit a woman’s right to choose. The issue is so divisive because it deals with death and human rights, and the exhausting question of whether or not the unborn human organism has full moral rights. Pro-life advocates claim that abortion is murder and cannot be justified, while pro-choice advocates claim that women have the right to decide what happens to their bodies. The president should support right for women to seek abortion during all terms of pregnancy because the majority of population support the right to seek an abortion and for the health of woman involved. He should also discourage biased
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Indeed, much of the issue’s divisiveness is due to fundamental differences in how opposing parties treat the following difficult ethical problems (Feinberg [a and b], Thomson). At what point between conception and birth, if any, does the unborn human organism gain full human status and subsequent rights? If the unborn organism has a right to life, does the mother’s right to life supercede it if carrying the fetus to term threatens the mother’s life? If the unborn organism has a right to life, does the mother’s right to autonomy over her body supercede it independently of any threat to her life? MIT philosopher Judith Thomson makes a strong pro-choice case, which we will employ in support of our general position.
Philosophers have highlighted the problems inherent in ascribing full human status to a zygote, which even at its most healthy cannot think or feel (Feinberg [a] 243). However, since virtually every pro-life platform relies on the premise that the unborn organism has some human right not to be killed, those who oppose abortions-after-time-t (where t is any time between conception and birth) are usually committed to the claim that the unborn organism is a person with rights after t (Thomson 721). For the purpose of engaging the pro-life dialectic it is therefore best to follow Thomson in granting as true—purely for the sake of argument—the pro-life claim that the zygote/embryo/fetus