Marquis vs. Thomson on Abortion

3085 Words Dec 3rd, 2003 13 Pages
"Marquis versus Thomson on Abortion"

The debate about abortion focuses on two issues; 1.) Whether the human fetus has the right to life, and, if so, 2.) Whether the rights of the mother override the rights of the fetus. The two ethicists who present strong arguments for their position, and who I am further going to discuss are that of Don Marquis and Judith Thomson. Marquis' "Future Like Ours" (FLO) theory represents his main argument, whereas, Thomson uses analogies to influence the reader of her point of view. Each argument contains strengths and weaknesses, and the point of this paper is to show you that Marquis presents a more sound argument against abortion than Thomson presents for it. An in depth overview of both arguments will be
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Therefore, it explains why it is wrong to kill a person while they were and infant as it is to kill them now. The conclusion of this argument is that because abortion involves killing fetuses and fetuses have FLOs for exactly the same reason infants have FLOs, and then abortion is immoral.

Lastly, Marquis offers an analogy, the analogy with animals. He goes to show that humans are not the only living things that can suffer. That the suffering of non-human animals is wrong, and thus inflicting pain, whether it is towards a person or non-person is wrong. To deprive someone of a future value is a misfortune no matter whom the deprivation in inflicted on. This analogous argument goes to show that abortion is wrong by taking the same form of this argument for that causing pain and suffering to non-human animals is wrong.

Now on a different note, Thomson's main argument is set out to undermine the anti-abortionist argument. The anti-abortionist argument states: Every person has a right to life, the fetus is a person and hence has a right to life. The mother has the right to control her own body, but the fetuses' right to life is stronger than her right to control her body. Therefore, abortion is wrong. How Thomson goes about this is through analogies, and her main argument is through her violinist argument. Thomson asks you imagine that you find yourself hooked up to a famous unconscious violinist. If he can't use your kidneys for nine months, he'll die.
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