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Lecture 8

PHL105Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Incest, Fetus

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Diana Raffman

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Lect 08: Philosophy
Abortion: Discussion Over
Thomson’s Points and The Main
Ideas Suggested
Thomson: distinguishes between what the mother can do to herself with her
own body and what a third party can do on her behalf.
If we think that killing in self-defense can be acceptable or permissible then
a women should be allowed to perform an abortion on herself if it is
endangering her body.
Question is that if when killing the fetus we are violating his right to life. So
if you grant the fetus right to life you grant it other rights.
Idea that: When a right to life comes in conflict with a right to control your
own body then the right to life will trump it.
“Abortion is impermissible expect when it threatens the woman’s health and
or involves incent”
Incest: when two people are biologically related and they have a defective
gene it is most likely this gene will get passed on to the baby thus making it
ok for the pro-life side to accept abortion in this case.
Your body is yours in a way is inviolable.
There are limits as to what we can do with our bodies that involve the
wellbeing of other people.
Right to life grants the right to use ones mothers body for survival: would
not be completely accurate. (surrogate mother vs mother- which body is it)
Right to life is not enough to defend life
The father is not responsible because the women is entitled to her own body
The fourth premise of the argument proposed by Thomson is the one that
would be challenged as it suggests that the right to life grants the fetus the
right to use another person’s body for survival (in the case the mothers)
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