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Friday, March 29, 2013

A Critique of Judith Jarvis Thomson's A Defense of Abortion, Part II

For part one of this series, click here.
Section 1. The “extreme” pro-life view. [1]

I agree with Thomson that the view that abortion is impermissible even to save the mother’s life is an extreme pro-life view. I believe that abortions are justified if the mother’s life is in immediate jeopardy. [2] She does wonder how we are supposed to weigh the mother’s life against the unborn child’s when the mother’s life is at stake, but at that point her right to self-defense should be asserted.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Cumulative Case for the Pro-Life Position

I'm taking a brief break from my current series of articles on Thomson's Defense of Abortion. Currently in Tasmania, lawmakers are considering decriminalizing abortion. I was asked to compose a letter making as strong a case as possible for the pro-life position and send it to the lawmakers, hopefully causing them to think twice about doing so. I would like to share my letter since I think it could be helpful. When I discuss or debate abortion, I tend to prefer to make a cumulative case for the pro-life position. That's what this letter has been based on. Now granted, I don't cover any pro-choice arguments in this letter, but it was getting lengthy as it is. Besides, I have written articles critiquing and responding to these arguments in the past (with more to come in the future). The body of the letter is in full below. I will add footnotes with additional information and comments that I'd like to add.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Critique of Judith Jarvis Thomson's A Defense of Abortion, Part I

Probably the most famous argument against the pro-life position is Judith Jarvis Thomson’s Violinist Analogy, in which you are attached, against your will, to a famous unconscious violinist to prevent his dying from a kidney ailment. I have already responded to the violinist analogy in previous articles, but contained in the original essay this argument appeared, A Defense of Abortion, there are other arguments contained therein to argue against the pro-life position. I would like to take a look at the entirety of her essay and show why it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. I’ll look at it in sections, divided up as she divided her original essay.