A Defense Of Abortion By Judith Thomson

965 Words4 Pages
Philosopher Judith Thomson, in her article “A Defense of Abortion,” presents a hypothetical case of a famous violinist who has a health condition that can only be healed by getting “connected” to someone compatible and use his kidneys for 9 months to clean his contaminated blood. A compatible person is then kidnapped, rendered unconscious, and connected without permission to the dying violinist. When the victim wakes up, he gets an explanation and is presented with two options: he stays connected for nine months to help the violinist survive his ailment or he disconnects himself, immediately causing the death of the violinist (CC Reader, Summer 2013, p. 37).
Thomson uses this story as an analogy to unwanted pregnancy. She argues that regardless of the violinist’s right to life, the kidnapped victim is under no moral obligation to carry the burden of the violinist, even if in denying his body to him, the inevitable consequence is the death of the violinist. The analogous counterpart is a woman who becomes pregnant by rape, failed contraceptives or any other involuntary cause. Hence becoming attached to another being whose survival now depends on her decision to stay connected (pregnant) for nine months or to disconnect (through abortion), leading the dependent being (the fetus) to die. By presenting this scenario, she aims to prove that a pregnant woman does not violate the fetus’ right to life by aborting any more than the kidnapped person violates the violinist’s right to
Get Access