Feminist Argument Against Abortion

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Debates about abortion have engendered both, great interest and great hostility in the past few years. An issue of contention even today, the ethics surrounding abortion shall be discussed in this paper. As a person that believes abortion is morally permissible, I shall begin my argument by first addressing the ‘conservative’ position against abortion. I shall then examine the arguments laid out by Peter Singer in “Practical Ethics” regarding the permissibility of abortion and infanticide. It should be noted here that while I agree that abortion is permissible, I am opposed to the claim that infanticide is permissible under regular circumstances. Moreover, while I agree with Singer’s final claim about abortion, I do not agree with his entire argument pertaining to infanticide for reasons described later in this paper. Further, I shall address a supporting view by advancing Judith Jarvis Thompson’s “Feminist Argument” for abortion as well as refuting an opposing view held by Don Marquis in an article titled “Why Abortion is Immoral.” The central argument against…show more content…
The liberal position on abortion attempts to refute the second premise by pointing out that the fetus is only a member of the species Homo sapiens; it is not a ‘person.’ Peter Singer clearly distinguishes between a member of the species Homo sapiens and a person by characterizing a person as one who possesses capacities of rationality, awareness, autonomy and self-consciousness. A fetus possesses none of these capacities, and therefore, Singer believes that killing a fetus is morally permissible. This description of a ‘person’ also proves that there is no significant difference between the mental capacity of a premature infant and a late-stage fetus, and this description may provide the illusion that there is no difference between undergoing an abortion and committing infanticide. However, this illusion shall be countered by my
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