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Abortion

Essay by 24  •  November 5, 2010  •  3,276 Words (14 Pages)  •  1,066 Views

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Abortion:

My topic would be based on an imaginary situation. The situation I'll present is of a teenager who became pregnant not because of her own will but for her boyfriend's will when he had forcible sex with her. Judith Thompson and Mary Warren would consider it morally permissible to undergo an abortion in such a circumstance. John Noonan would not consider it morally impermissible depending on the circumstances.

Judith Thompson would answer that it would indeed be morally permissible for the teenager to have and abortion. Thompson would grant, for the sake of argument, that a fetus is a person from the moment of conception. Thompson understands that the fetus has important rights to life; however, her understanding doesn't necessarily lead to the conclusion that the right to life of the fetus is greater than the rights of the mother. The mother has control over her own body.

In the text book, Thompson uses an example to make her point clear. Thompson talks about a violinist and the thought that you are connected to him. In the night people who think he's important chose you because of your rare blood type to save his life by sharing your body with him. She goes through different needs and conditions that he could place on your body and uses them to show why he doesn't have a "right" to your body, though you may have some sort of obligation to him. She believes that a woman's right to control her own body supercedes any claim that another may have on it, whatever that claim, so that they could have no absolute "right" to it.

Thompson does concede however that a woman generally has a degree of responsibility for her children. The degree of responsibility influences the morality of how they choose to exercise control over their bodies. Two distinct examples Thompson uses are: If the famous violinist needed to remain connected to your body until he finally caused your death, it would be perfectly moral to disconnect him. If he needed only to be connected for one hour and would cause you no harm, though he would still have no right to your body, you might have a moral responsibility to him. She considered the point at which one has a moral responsibility "Minimally Decent Samaritan-Ship (MDS)," which must be the least we show, and which depends on to what degree a woman suffers or sacrifices because of a pregnancy. Women take on responsibility, which influences their "MDS," depending on their actions. They are more responsible if they knowingly risk pregnancy or choose it, and then they want an abortion. She says it would be wrong for a woman to have an abortion in the seventh month of pregnancy just to avoid inconvenience on her imminent trip abroad. On the other hand they have no responsibility if they get raped and become pregnant and so have no responsibility to show a "MDS".

Marry Warren has a different view on abortion but a similar view about the case of rape in particular. Though she agreed to the validity of Thompson's argument in the case of rape she had a different reason for it.

The idea that fetus's are not "persons" seems to me to be Warren's argument for abortion. She differentiates between simply being members of our species and being "persons." She says that to be a "person" we must conform to some or all of the following criteria: sentience, emotionality, reason, the capacity to communicate, self-awareness, and moral agency.

Warren also argues that early fetuses conform to none of these requirements and that late-term fetus only shows potential because they resemble "persons." Since fetuses are not a person their rights should always be subject to the rights of their mothers, who already are "persons". The mother has complete choice of what goes on inside her body (rights conflict).

For those reasons Warren would answer that just as in the case of any woman for any reason an abortion would be morally permissible, it would also be so in the current case of teen age girl.

John Noonan would say that because the fetus was conceived by a human then one is a human; Noonan's most fundamental question. Noonan would argue that terminating the pregnancy at any given time would violate the principle of viability. Noonan explains that the fetus is depending on the mother to survive and denying the fetus this dependence is the same as to deny the fetus of the recognition to its humanity.

Noonan would also say that although the conception was done by forcible sex; in this case, the fetus has received human genetic coding, he would assume that the fetus is human and has rights.

In the cased of the teen age girl I do not think that Noonan would accept the termination of the pregnancy because the mother is not in immediate danger to die.

I think that being in a situation where an abortion is being contemplated may cause people to reevaluate their positions or reassess how dearly they hold their beliefs. Most people feel strongly on the issue and that they look much more favorably on arguments that support their opinion.

Judith Thompson's argument required minimally decent Samaritanship advocates taking some responsibility for ones actions, I have a big problem with her regarding the trade off of a persons life (which she granted) for a natural indispensable process which usually entails temporary discomfort and weight gain and a short time of great pain, as a matter of decent Samaritanship. Minimally decent Samaritanship to me would entail not killing my own unborn child because he or she will be causing my body to change for awhile. Marry Warren to me seems to be setting requirements for humanity that don't even include sleeping people, babies, or people who are intoxicated. Warren allows that the only consideration for killing them is the convenience of the mother. Her reasoning seems to make it immoral for a loving mother to have an abortion because it would cause her distress, but moral for an unloving mother to kill her young children if they cause her any burden or distress

I agree with the assertions made in the text that people may listen to the reasoning of those with opinions different from theirs and see those who hold those opinions as morally questionable. I am against abortion being regarded as an issue of ownership of a woman's body. I also do not agree of having an abortion after rape, as would probably be the case with the teen age girl. I understand about her pregnancy was not her choice, nor her decision; however, the baby is a human and I strongly feel that God will help her with that issue.

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Animal Rights:

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