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Another reason for exception is to give way for the cases in which the permissibility of abortion is in line with the argument. According to marquis, abortion is permissible if the continuation of pregnancy will endanger a woman’s life. Killing a fetus is wrong just as killing an adult human being. This is because killing denies us an opportunity to unleash our potential, achieve our dreams and reach a moment of self actualization. What makes abortion wrong is the fact that killing a human being deprives him/her the value of his/her future. There is what we value now, and what we would have to value later, so it becomes a serious issue to kill children and infants. The main objection to marquis argument is that fetuses do not have a desire to go on living and killing them is not wrong. He continues to argue that only victims can be wronged since they have sentience. An embryo is not a victim, it does not have sentience and, therefore, it is not wrong to have an abortion (Landau, 2007). The most serious problem with this argument is the killing of embryos that do not have the sentience. Anti-abortionists claim that fetuses are both human and alive and human beings have a right to life. Therefore, fetuses have a right to life too. ...
Abortion activists mostly appeal to the criterion of being human. In this sense, fetuses are clearly human; they do not belong to another species. A correct theory on the wrong of killing a fetus is similar to how it would be wrong to kill peaceful persons from outer space who come to pay a visit to our planet regardless of whether they biologically resemble us or not. If they are persons like us, they will have futures like ours so it would be wrong to kill them. For marquis, his stand against abortion is too absurd to be acceptable. His emphasis is on the value of life rather than a potential person. These arguments then are too absurd to be acceptable because they deem contraception as being wrong (Landau, 2007). Question 2 Most of Thomson’s arguments on the defense for abortion rely on the premise that a fetus is a human being - a human being from the time of conception. To her, the argument that the development of a human being from conception to childhood is not clear because there is no point for distinction between being a person at one stage and not a person on the other. Concluding that a fetus is a human being from the time of conception is not valid. She does not support the different stages of development of a fetus into a child. Her assertion is that the fetus is already a person well before birth. By the age of ten weeks, the fetus begins to acquire human characteristics like face, arms and legs as well as brain organs. A fertilized ovum is just like an acorn in an oak tree. Thompson gives an anecdote of a kidnapped person who wakes up to find himself attached to an unconscious violinist who has a fatal kidney failure. His circulatory system has been plugged to the victim for him to survive. Both have a right to life, but the victim’s ...Show more


Question 1 Don Marquis defines abortion as an act intended to terminate the life of a fetus for the sake of the woman carrying it. The fetus is inclusive of embryos and zygotes, that is, a being that is developing from the time of conception to birth. However, he does not include spontaneous abortions in the definition…
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Human Diversity and Justice
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