Don Marquis On Abortion

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Abortion has been around for centuries; women all around the world have had them regardless of the society and time-era. It has been and still is one of the most controversial matters in the United States. There were no laws against abortion up until the 1820s; the laws were instated to protect women from ill-prepared abortionists. It had become illegal and forbidden for a woman to have an abortion after the 4th month of pregnancy. In the late 1800s abortion was a crime, at that point in time most of the states had banned abortion unless the woman’s life was in danger. This brought about “back-alley abortions” which was just another way of saying illegal abortions. At one point in time there were up to 1.2 million of these abortions happening…show more content…
Marquis’ thesis is as follows “That abortion is, with rare exceptions, seriously immoral.” Prima facie is defined as “based on the first impression; accepted as correct until proved otherwise.” Marquis is saying that abortion, at first glance, is seriously wrong but in some cases, it can be proven morally permissible. These exceptions include rape, when the woman’s life is in danger due to the pregnancy or if the fetus is anencephalic (a congenital condition in where the fetus has some or all of the developing skull leaving brain matter exposed). I like the fact that Marquis takes into account congenital anomalies, because the fetus would most likely suffer and to be taken to term would cause the fetus pain and a very short life span. Marquis first states that killing an adult is wrong. What makes the act of murder immoral is, not losing the physical aspect of being alive, or the pain caused to our family and friends, but because we are completely eradicating their future, robbing them of their future of value, that they would’ve experienced had they not died, and that is what makes it unjust. “The loss of ones life deprives one of all the experiences, activities, project’s, and enjoyments that would have constituted ones future.” He then applies the same thought process to abortion saying that the reason abortion is wrong is because the fetus will never have a future of value. I believe Marquis’ view on abortion is very different to other philosopher’s views on abortion. Not only because he is pro-life and many philosophers are pro-choice but because he focuses on the potential future of value. He is comparing a human who actually has a future of value, to a fetus, which has not yet begun life. I think that Marquis argument is a very strong pro-life argument, however to say that abortion is wrong solely because the fetus has not fulfilled his potential future
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