Final Paper Phil - 1 Tsihlis f Elias Tsihlis Ms Honigsberg...

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Tsihlis f Elias Tsihlis Ms. Honigsberg PHI 1000C 05/01/2011 “ DEFENSE OF ABORTION- JUDITH JARVIS THOMSON” The issue of abortion 1 is the most divisive social and political issue in America today, with two opposing armies of dedicated true-believers, one opposing abortion under any circumstances because they view it as the murder of an unborn child, and the other upholding the idea of choice as an absolute allowing the woman to secure an abortion without hindrance at any point in her pregnancy. Standing between these two extremes are millions of Americans with a more moderate view, a view that includes a concern for the trauma of the woman and an understanding that abortion is a choice not to be made lightly. These millions of Americans area also willing to allow some restrictions on abortions without banning the option altogether. The rigid positions of the two extremes are well-known because both are articulated by core groups of advocates who present the issue in black and white, with an either-or rhetoric that can be puzzling to the majority of Americans who do not see the issue in such stark terms. Those with a "pro-choice" position hold that the fetus is not yet a human life but only a tissue that is part of the woman's body and thus under her control. Those with a pro-life position do not favor abortion as an option except under very limited circumstances, if at all. These people assert that the fetus is a human life and that abortion is murder 1 Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion of a fetus or embryo from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death 1
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Judith Jarvis Thomson 2 argues in defense of abortion and begins by noting the rationale offered by those on the other side of the debate. She says that most opposition to abortion centers on the idea that the fetus is a human being from the moment of conception. She finds that this is a form of "slippery slope" argument, which does provide exactitude, but she is also forced to agree that the prospects for "drawing a line" in the development of the fetus are dim. She states: "I am inclined to think also that we shall probably have to agree that the fetus has already become a human person well before birth" (Western Philosophy 591). She notes the evidence that the fetus develops human-like characteristics early in the gestation period. She begins by allowing the premise. She finds that abortion opponents spend much time proving that a fetus is a human being and do not bother then carrying their argument into why abortion is impermissible, assuming that because the fetus is human, abortion has to be impermissible. In order to clarify the issues, “Thomson postulates an extreme example. She uses the analogy of waking up to find oneself linked to an unconscious violinist with a fatal kidney ailment” (Western Philosophy 591). It is argued that you must remain linked to the violinist because to disengage would kill him and because all persons have a right to
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Final Paper Phil - 1 Tsihlis f Elias Tsihlis Ms Honigsberg...

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