Defending abortion is normally a liberal position to take. To defend that the fetus is
a person is a conservative view. Thomson says, even if you establish that a fetus is a
person, you can still defend abortion, according to her. Whereas normally when you
establish the fetus is a person then you are automatically arguing against abortion.
This is not her position, she doesn’t necessarily agree with this, but lets see if it
works. She argues it is still defensible, in limited cases. You can still defend
abortion if you agree that a fetus is a person.
First she argues that human beings have a right to life. It is not just because were
humans that we have rights. We could say because we are person we have rights.
But this is not really hitting it exactly. Is this entity a moral being. Well it’s a
refrigerator, that doesn’t tell you anything. Well it’s a human, okay that’s biological.
Even person when it is understood psychologically, it is not what gives us a right to
life. Both warren and marquee touch on this problem. Its better to avoid this
because you can mean biological or morally.
She argues, even if we suppose the fetus has a right to life, it doesn’t follow that
abortion is immoral. abortion doesn’t always lead to the death of a fetus. The fetus
could survive. Most of the time when we talk about abortion, were talking about
taking away a fetus’s right to life. Theres nothing worse you can do than kill people.
There are only certain circumstances in which killing is acceptable.
Shes thinking about a situation where, yes your killing something that has a right to
life, but it is a justified situation. One case where you got an optopic pregnancy, and
it becomes a threat to your own life. Youd loose the fetus’s life also, so it would be
justified to abort. Certainly a woman, if she had the power to do it, could abort
herself. Certainly you have a right to stop something that is killing you. Drs. Might
have moral issues with doing it.
The main case she is talking about is becoming pregnant from a rape. Abortion
should be justified in this case, even assuming that a fetus is a person. Argument for
morality—analogy is famous violinist is dying. He needs access to the right kidney
to survive. The society determines that you are the only one compatible, within a
reasonable radius, they want to hook you up to the violinist. They are not gonna ask
you, they are enforcing it. They’ve kidnapped you, you wake up and find yourself
hooked up to this violinist. This is sposed to be an analogy, because it was a violent
act against your will. You end up having another human being who is dependent on
your life. Your hooked up for 9 months. You didn’t do any