Essay on Thomson Defense of Abortion

878 Words Mar 27th, 2012 4 Pages
Philosophy 1001-001 A Defense of Abortion in Pregnancy Reduction

In this paper I will discuss the relevance of J.J. Thomson’s argument in her article, A Defense of Abortion, to that of pregnancy reduction and if there is any relevance, if there are exceptions or situations where that might change. J.J. Thomson’s argument in A Defense of Abortion is that the one thing a person has rights to is his/her body and the right to control what happens with it. Thomson also states that there is an innate desire and need for self-preservation that we all have that must additionally be considered.

To support her argument, Thomson uses the example of a violinist where an unconscious violinist would only stay alive if you were constantly
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In pregnancy reduction the same arguments that Thomson uses would apply especially concerning her example of finding yourself trapped in a tiny house with a growing child in it and that you would be crushed to death but the child would not be crushed to death if allowed to continue growing. She concludes that it would not be a bystander’s decision to decide who lives or dies but that you have the right to attack to save your own life. This is pertinent because pregnancy reduction requires a medical procedure, therefore involves a third party, a bystander, that you are asking to help you in your own self defense and because multiple pregnancy is most often a higher risk to the mother as well as the child. She states that both parties are innocent here and “the person threatened” can interfere even if it requires a third party to assist her. What a third party might do in response to a woman’s request for an abortion could vary and they have that right however no third party should stop a woman from defending “her life against the threat to it posed by the unborn child even if doing so involves its death.” Thomson goes on to say that the mother has more rights than the child because the “mother owns the house” and therefore more rights