Essay about Response to Judith Jarvis Thomson's A Defense for Abortion

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Response to Judith Jarvis Thomson's A Defense for Abortion

Judith Jarvis Thomson, in "A Defense of Abortion", argues that even if we grant that fetuses have a fundamental right to life, in many cases the rights of the mother override the rights of a fetus. For the sake of argument, Thomson grants the initial contention that the fetus has a right to life at the moment of conception. However, Thomson explains, it is not self-evident that the fetus's right to life will always outweigh the mother's right to determine what goes on in her body. Thomson also contends that just because a woman voluntarily had intercourse, it does not follow that the fetus acquires special rights against the mother. Therefore, abortion is permissible even
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She argues that a person has no right at all against anybody that he/she should do anything to keep that person alive. Thomson uses the violinist to illustrate that just because he needs the continued use of your kidneys for continued life, that does not establish that he has the right to be given the use or you kidneys. She claims that he definitely has no right against you that you should give him use of your kidneys continuously. Thomson maintains that nobody has the right to your kidneys unless you give them permission. If you do give him the right to your kidneys it is out of kindness on your part, and if you begin to unplug him now, no one should try to prevent you from it. In relating back to the fetus, because a person has the right to decide what happens in and to their body, and a fetus does not have that right yet. This is because it depends on the mothers body and not it's own. Just as the fetus has not gained a right to your body for it's growth, the violinist has not gained or been given permission to the use of your body. Neither have more of a right to life then you do because they both depend on you for life. Since your right to life includes deciding what happens in and to your body, you are able to

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