Marquis vs. Warren in the Case Against Abortion

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Introduction There are many factors that are taken into consideration when determining if abortion is morally permissible, or wrong including; sentience of the fetus, the fetuses right to life, the difference between adult human beings and fetuses, the autonomy of the pregnant woman, and the legality of abortion. Don Marquis argues that abortion is always morally wrong, excluding cases in which the woman is threatened by pregnancy, or abortion after rape, because fetuses have a valuable future. Mary Anne Warren contends that late term abortions are morally permissible because birth is the most significant event for a fetus, and a woman’s autonomy should never be suspended. Don Marquis argument is more convincing than Mary Anne Warren’s …show more content…
The fetus has a valuable future, just as we consider children, the retarded or mentally ill to have valuable futures, thus killing a fetus is not morally permissible. Another pro-choice argument is that the fetus has no desire to live and consequently there is no wrongness in killing. Marquis criticizes this viewpoint, as society believes it is morally wrong to kill those who have no desire to live, and those who are unconscious or suicidal (Gedge & Waluchow, 2012, p220).
A further argument made by Paul Bassen is that abortion is permissible because a fetus cannot be considered a victim due to its lack of sentience (Gedge & Waluchow, 2012, p222). Bassen’s requirement of mentation is deemed invalid as killing an unconscious person is still immoral and we are denying them their valuable future.
Marquis argument is superior to others as he avoids casuistry terms such as “human life,” or “human being” and rests on the ethics of killing, which also apply to the fetus (Gedge & Waluchow, 2012, p224). Killing a fetus denies it the right to a valuable life just as adult human beings have. This deems abortion morally wrong.
The Moral Significance of Birth The foundation of Mary Anne Warren’s argument is built on the importance of a woman’s autonomy and the significance of birth which results
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