Abortion Essay

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John T. Noonan makes the argument that the jump in probability for a fetus’ coming to term, at a specific point in the development of the fetus, has an important implication for the humanity (personhood) of the fetus. He bases this argument on the reasoning that “life itself is a matter of probabilities, and most moral reasoning is an estimate of probabilities.” He goes on to state that his argument in which a fetus has an implication for the humanity of the fetus is strictly an “appeal to probabilities that actually exist.” To demonstrate his point concerning probabilities he uses an analogy. The analogy he uses is of a man who shoots into the bushes because of movement in the bushes. If the chances of this movement in the bushes being a …show more content…

In order for the violinist to be saved, you must remain wired to that person for 9 months. The key point to this analogy is that you were kidnapped and did not have a choice to be wired to the violinist or not. You were forced into it. Analogously, when a female is raped and impregnated, they did not have a choice; they were forced into it. The analogy works well in rape cases, but not in all unwanted pregnancy cases.
A rape is very similar to this hypothetical situation because a rape is forced upon you without your choosing. Similarly, in the hypothetical situation the person did not choose to be wired to the violinist; she was kidnapped and forced to by the Society of Music Lovers. This analogy would not work well, though, with a case in which a female voluntarily has sex and gets pregnant without intending to. The pregnancy was unwanted, but she chose to have sex; she was not forced into it like the case of the person and the violinist. The analogy therefore, does not work well with all unwanted pregnancy cases. Regardless of whether the analogy is reasonable or not, the quality of this comparison is irrelevant for her larger argument.
Thomson makes her large argument real clear by explaining her position clearly, thoroughly, and through the use of analogies. The larger argument she makes is that the mother has certain undeniable rights – such as the right to control

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