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Human Diversity and Justice
Pages 14 (3514 words)
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.
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. ...
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