It would be less nice, though no doubt well meant, if my friends flew out to the West coast and brought Henry Fonda back with them. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective, and a seed drifts in and takes root.
Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception. I am inclined to think also that we shall probably have to agree that the fetus has already become a human person well before birth.
What if he appeals to us to extricate him? If, for example, a late-term abortion accidentally results in the birth of a living baby, then Thomson would conclude that the mother has no right to kill the baby.
We surely must all grant that there may be cases in which it would be morally indecent to detach a person from your body at the cost of his life. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him. A famous unconscious violinist. Some opponents of abortion are inclined to regard this as beneath contempt--thereby showing insensitivity to what is surely a powerful source of despair.
And suppose that a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape. But certainly the violinist has no right against you that you shall allow him to continue to use your kidneys.
It would be indecent in the woman to request an abortion, and indecent in a doctor to perform it, if she is in her seventh month, and wants the abortion just to avoid the nuisance of postponing a trip abroad.
It is not as if there are unborn persons drifting about the world, to whom a woman who wants a child says I invite you in. Suppose that box of chocolates I mentioned earlier had not been given to both boys jointly, but was given only to the older boy. In our case there are only two people involved, one whose life is threatened, and one who threatens it.
One notable exception to this general agreement is Peter Singerwho says that, despite our intuitions, a utilitarian calculus implies that one is morally obliged to stay connected to the violinist.
Admittedly she did not voluntarily do anything to bring about the existence of a child.
And so also for mother and unborn child. In sum, a woman surely can defend her life against the threat to it posed by the unborn child, even if doing so involves its death.In A Defense of Abortion (Cahn and Markie), Judith Thomson presents an argument that abortion can be morally permissible even if the fetus is considered to be a person.
JUDITH JARVIS THOMSON A Defense of Abortion' Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception. A Defense of Abortion: Most Opposition to Abortion Relies on the Premise That the Fetus Is a Human Being.
"A Defense of Abortion" by Judith Jarvis Thomson Page 1 Judith Jarvis Thomson: A Defense of Abortion Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise. Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception.
The premise is argued for, but, as I think, not well. Take, for example, the most common argument. We are asked to notice that the development of a human being from conception.
A DEFENSE OF ABORTION I JUDITH JARVIS THOMSON Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception.Download