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Evaluation Of Contrasting Views On Abortion From The Legal, Medical, Biblical And Ethical Angles

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Even though the topic on abortion is much debated on each side, Judith Jarvis Thomson and Kerby Anderson make use of their essays, “A Defense of Abortion” and “Arguments Against Abortion” respectively to efficiently support the perspective of the pro-life and convince their audiences in adopting their view points. When it comes to Anderson, he creates a very great pro-life disagreement and gives it support by using many motives from various categorizes. Thomson on the other tries to defend the act of abortion from the stance of anti-abortion which takes its grounds the fetus statement as being a human being and the right to life which a human being does have.

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Their arguments were very effective in persuading me since they both give many reasons for supporting their claims comprising legal, medical, biblical and also ethical evidence. Anderson’s essay has been organized by use of subheading in various separations of his article to openly define health, lawful philosophical and also biblical essentials on the dispute. He starts with a prevalent argument that does not support abortion, the Bible. He makes and recognizes that the Bible does not directly point on abortion, however, gives an explanation through pointing out the fact that abortion was impossible to a woman who was an Israelite since children were regarded as a gift from God and being barren was seen as a curse. He supports his reasons using evidence from the Bible (Anderson 2). Three different passages are cited by him in the Bible: Psalm 139, where David states that he was made in the womb through God’s hand, Psalm 51, that claims that every human plus those that are unborn, are created in God’s image, and that is what makes them entirely human in the sight of God. However, if a reader of this argument does not have any belief concerning the Bible, then Anderson goes ahead offering medical cases which are against abortion.

From this passage, he makes use of logos in appealing towards the coherent position of his entire viewers. For instance, he explains that from the moment conception takes place, the embryo has got its particular independence regarding genetics and is very different from the mother (Anderson 3). Anderson then brings up an argument in his paper about the description of life and death. He proposes that the norm that has been used in defining death be also used in describing life. The audience is forced to examine what the distinction is when it comes to murdering an unborn baby plus in murdering another creature. It is an arrangement of pathos and logos since it pleas to the logic of the reader and also the emotions of a reader through relating abortion of a child towards the murderous death of an individual. Further, if the reader is not convinced, the author then makes use of the next part of this paper in offering legal arguments which do not support abortion. He brings out the errors of the famous case of the Supreme court of Roe vs. Wade (Anderson 4). He makes a quotation of the decision which the Supreme Court that said, “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to an answer (Anderson 5). ” From this section concerning legitimate fights, Anderson dichotomizes the incident on Roe vs. Wade and states that it was not a good choice in the requirement of being reversed (Anderson 5). What is left is the tricky dark area of the debate on abortion. The frequent instances of rape and death of the mother are straightforward and agreed to by a majority of people; even some of the staunchest opponents of abortion allow for exceptions in such circumstances such as these.

The much less straightforward aspect of the abortion debate comes in cases when pregnancy results from consensual sex. I argue that there are two factors that should be taken into consideration before abortions can be deemed permissible or impermissible: the events leading to the pregnancy and the circumstances of the pregnancy and the possible resulting life of the fetus and the mother should the mother give birth. The first consideration is addressed by Thomson’s thought experiments with the windows. She argues that it seems odd to say that because a woman opened her window knowing full well that it is possible for a burglar to come in that it is then impermissible for her to kick the burglar out.

Further, it is even odder to say that she cannot kick him out if he got in only because the bars that she had installed were faulty. There are some problems with this thought experiment, which I will address. However, it does set up the challenge of seeking an abortion after consensual sex rather well. The way that this thought experiment sets up its parallels seems to be this: the opening of the window is comparable to having consensual sex, having bars (faulty or not) on the window is similar to using contraception of sorts, the most obvious comparison seems to be a condom or a diaphragm, the burglar entering is comparable to an unwanted pregnancy and finally, kicking the burglar out is equivalent to getting an abortion, (Thomson, 34). The biggest problem in the thought experiment is the comparison between the burglar entering and unwanted pregnancy: the first part, the burglar coming, is an illegal act, and thus one should be able to use whatever means necessary to remove the burglar. In fact, in individual states, one can even shoot a burglar with intent to kill. If we can use whatever means necessary to solve the problem of the burglar, it then seems that under any circumstances, having an abortion comparatively is permissible.

To modify this thought experiment, Thomson begins talking about “people-seeds” floating through the air, somehow passing through one’s windows (consensual sex) and by one’s screens (condoms or contraception) taking root in one’s carpet and furniture (uterus). Although this iteration of the thought experiment takes out the aspect of the illegality of the burglar’s burgling, it still seems to place excessive restrictions on women. One could argue, for example, that she ought to have kept her window shut (abstinence) or removed the carpeting (hysterectomy). Thomson, rightfully outraged, facetiously argues that we ought not to limit this to consensual sex, after all “by the same token anyone can avoid pregnancy due to rape by having a hysterectomy, or anyway by never leaving home without an army” (Thomson, 59). It seems absurd to say that women should get hysterectomies just in case they get raped to avoid having to get an abortion, and it seems ridiculous as well to say that they should perhaps walk around with a female condom in at all times just in case they get raped. I admit that these are ways to avoid unwanted pregnancy, both in cases of rape and consensual sex; the biggest problem that I have is that it seems to either require denying one’s self one of the highest physical pleasures or denying one’s self the possibility of ever having a wanted pregnancy.

Conclusively, from the arguments of the two authors against abortion, we see that they both support their points using various quotes and sayings from different fields. For Anderson, he makes use of different types of evidence using sources like medical, religious, legal and also philosophical arguments. Thomson on the other side finds out that in a majority of the anti-abortion stances which make use of this evidence, the cases appear to jump from the evidence.

15 April 2020

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