abortion - Philosophy 4 Introduction to Ethics Handout#1...

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Liuzzi Dominique Liuzzi Philosophy 4: Intro to Ethics TA: Carmen McDonald 12 March 2008 Abortion: Not a Good Dinner Discussion Abortion is one of the most controversial issues discussed today, and opposing sides have such strong ideas that it seems no middle ground can be reached. The pro-life sector believes that a fetus is a living human from the time of conception, and women must carry any fetus to full term. The pro-choice supporters feel that the rights of the woman must be considered when discussing the issue of abortion, and often they disagree that a fetus is a human upon the moment of conception. Pro-life supporters feel that care for the life of the fetus is the responsibility of not only the mother or the couple who created the fetus, but of society as a whole. Judy Jarvis Thomson, an avid abortion activist, attempted to walk the fine line of fetal rights with her essay “A Defense of Abortion,” which acknowledges the life of the fetus but argues for the respect of the mother’s body. The basis of the pro-life argument is that a fetus is a human from the moment of conception onwards. Because the fetus is given human status, it is therefore afforded the rights of all citizens, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The pro-life faction argues that because a fetus is a human, its life and rights are just as important as the rights of the mother. Scientifically, anti-abortionists have multiple reasons supporting their stance. At the moment of conception, each fetus immediately creates DNA that predetermines the entire genetic makeup of the baby. Similarly, the fetus’s body matures with each passing day and quickly grows to resemble its larger adult counterpart. For instance, the fetus has a heartbeat merely 18 to 25 days after conception. Within eight weeks, the fetus has a complete body system, and after nine, the fetus has unique fingerprints. After twelve weeks have passed, all of the fetus’s bodily systems 1
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Liuzzi are functioning. These systems cooperate to keep the fetus alive, and the pro-life sector notes that if the fetus is being kept from dying through the connection between these systems, it must obviously be alive. It follows that if the fetus is simply a smaller, living version of adults, then it must be a human deserving of its rights. Now, the nation is divided on this issue of the rights of the human fetus. The pro-life faction argues that although a large amount of Americans still deny the fetus human rights, morality insists that we support the rights of the fetus to live. They point to the era in history
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This note was uploaded on 05/20/2008 for the course PHIL 4 taught by Professor Chandler during the Winter '08 term at UCSB.

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abortion - Philosophy 4 Introduction to Ethics Handout#1...

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