Judith Jarvis Thompson And her Attitude To Abortion Essay

People always have and will always dispute over their position on abortion because there are a lot of varying factors; their culture and their environment which helped shape people into who they are today and how they think. Thompson’s argument proves that to completely abolish abortion would take away women’s individuality, freedom, and right as human beings. Thompson’s argument starts off with her stating “the fetus is not a person from the moment of conception” (169).In this statement; Thompson says she does not believe that in the early stages of fertilization that there is no human life at this point. This view shows that Thompson sees things from a scientific prospective and shares the belief that a blastocysts, a fertilized egg by sperm is a single cell organism, a cluster of human cells and in no way shape or form does a blastocysts resemble a human or has any human characteristics.

Thompson took on this approach because antiabortionist’s main issue with abortion is that they believe, “every person has a right to life. So a fetus has a right to life” (168). Thompsons bases her argument from the viewpoint of a abortionist that a fetus is a person, so the abortionist have a better understanding of how a fetus is a person; regardless of the person’s incapability’s, should not be allowed to use someone’s body without permission is unjust.

Thompson uses her example of the unconscious violinist to explain why using another person’s body without that person’s permission is wrong, “a person’s right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body” (160). The many different scenarios Thompson used to show how the violinist isn’t justified to have the use of your body for any amount of time no matter the situation. No matter how important a person is deemed to society, that person does not have the right to use your body freely because to do so would compromise your way of life, you an individual would change how you eat, your motor skills, how you go to the bathroom sleep et cetera.

Housing a fetus for nine months is the same as housing a parasite for the same amount of time and just like a parasite, a fetus latches onto you body and feeds off of you and grows until it can later on expel itself from your body to grow up and produce more offspring. Like housing a parasite, a fetus is dependent on your body for survival; you are not dependent on it and can live a comfortable life without it. Also like a parasite, it can cause your body to react to the parasitic invasion in many various ways; a fetus can cause morning sickness and fever as a result of your body trying to expel the foreign body from within itself because the body does not recognize the foreign entity. There is almost an endless amount of doctor appointments to make sure the fetus is not endangering you and appointments become costly overtime and not everyone has insurance to pay for all the doctor appointments.

Like some people infected with major parasitic infections, pregnant women need caretakers because some women are incapable of being unassisted just incase she falls or has trouble getting out of bed. Some women are even subjected to bed rest for a duration of the pregnancy and have to use bed pans to use the bathroom and without assistance are not able to get the proper exercise they need unassisted to keep their limbs fully functional. There is also the intense pain of childbirth where the woman’s body dilates wide enough to expel the child and not all women can handle such a intense pain that can last for hours on ends and sometimes days and in some cases where the child is to big to leave your body a C section will have to be preformed and it will take a longer period of time for your body to heal from being cut open.

There are long term effects after the pregnancy which causes a great deal of damage to your body such as; weight gain, a lot of women loose their figure when they’re pregnant and have difficulties getting rid of the baby fat. Some women will suffer some finical issues because of all the doctor appointments and new wardrobe because of the weight she steadily gained during her pregnancy. There also is the fact that pregnant women experience a hormonal imbalance that can cause unsightly ache and for some it may fade away after the pregnancy, while for others, the ache will leave behind scaring that is costly to get rid of. Pregnancy is not an easy thing for women to deal with it can be a form of torture or feel like punishment in some cases so people should not feel so inclined to try to force women to endure it because to do so would dehumanize women and violate their rights.

Thompson is pro-abortion, but there are instances when she finds it unacceptable to have an abortion, “it would be indecent for a woman to request an abortion and indecent for a doctor to perform it if she is several months pregnant and wants to avoid postponing a trip abroad” (183); In this situation, the woman is trying to get a abortion for selfish reasons. The woman is in her third trimester and abortion is performed not for women’s health but for selfish reasons; at that point in the women’s third trimester, the baby is fully formed and at this time it is considered to be human with a fully functional brain and heart and has humanistic characteristics and is therefore now considered to be human. If the woman wanted to really get an abortion she should have had one earlier on, the woman accepted full responsibility of having the child.

Extreme antiabortionist are so passionate in their claims to abortion that they believe even rape victims should be forced to endure pregnancy and if the woman can’t handle raising the baby give it up for adoption. Thompson includes a lot of examples in her argument how rape victims should be allowed to have abortions which shows she strongly believes that rape victims are the main women who should be allowed to have abortions, “the mother has not given the unborn person the right to use the of her body for food and shelter” (176). Thompson believes rape victims should be allowed to have abortions because it is not their fault the victims found themselves in a situation where an involuntary act was committed against them that led them to having to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. To further this argument, I believe that not only should rape victims be allowed to rid themselves of unwanted pregnancy but it would be unjust to force these women who have already suffered the trauma of rape to suffer again though a nine month pregnancy of which the entire duration of the pregnancy the woman will constantly be reminded of their involuntary sexual experience.

A lot of rape victims suffer through some type of trauma or intense psychological damage done to them because of the rape takes years for women to overcome their experience. Most rape victims are emotionally unstable and are not in the right state of mind to carry an unborn child for nine months. Also for a lot of victims the constant reminder of the events that led the pregnancy does not give them the time to heal emotionally. This coupled with the hormonal imbalance caused pregnancy can lead to severe depression. Some rape victims end up doing horrendous acts against themselves or their unborn child, acts that they in their normal state of mind wouldn’t commit if they were in the right frame of mind while pregnant such as self abuse, severe drinking and taking drugs and suicide killing both her and the unborn child. In some cases where the woman do survive the pregnancy and do decide to keep the baby the women end up abusing the child through his or her adolescent life as a constant reminder of such a tragic event. Not because they are of an abusive nature, just that the trauma of the rape has caused them to act out in ways that they wouldn’t normally.

“A fetus cannot survive outside the mother’s body; hence removing it from her body guarantees its death” (183). Sadly there is no other way to safely extract a fetus and put it into an artificial womb where it can grow and safely develop into a human being; until scientists develop such a procedure where woman’s bodies are not need as a vessel for a fetus, Thompson will continue to be pro-abortion and her and anti-abortionist will continue to have a never ending dispute with one another.

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