A Defense Of Abortion By Judith Thomson

1468 Words Dec 11th, 2015 6 Pages
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Ziyun Wang

In A Defense of Abortion, Judith Thomson’s statement against abortion constructs on her agreement that fetus is a human being, for the sake of argument, therefore has the right to life. She shows that the basic argument against abortion is inadequate. The basic argument of abortion goes: the first premise is that every person has right to life; the second premise is that the fetus is a human being; the conclusion is that the abortion is impermissible. Thomson found this statement invalid, because the conclusion does not actually follow from the premises. She demonstrates that there is a suppressed premise in this argument. Her reconstruction of the argument goes: 1) every person has right to life; 2) the fetus is a human being; 3) the fetus’s right to life is stronger than the mother’s right to determine what happens in and to her own body; 4) therefore the abortion is impermissible. Thomson mainly focuses on the important third premise of the argument to determine under what circumstances it might be true that the mother’s right to her own body is less stringent then the fetus’s right to life. She comes to the conclusion that it is not always the case that the fetus’s right to life is stronger than the mother’s right to her bodily integrity. Thomson’s argument is variation, because there are three circumstances, which she believes that abortion is permissible. Her first circumstance is rape, which she demonstrates…
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