Abortion and the Concept of a Person

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):233 - 243 (1975)
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Abstract

The abortion debate rages on. Yet the two most popular positions seem to be clearly mistaken. Conservatives maintain that a human life begins at conception and that therefore abortion must be wrong because it is murder. But not all killings of humans are murders. Most notably, self defense may justify even the killing of an innocent person.Liberals, on the other hand, are just as mistaken in their argument that since a fetus does not become a person until birth, a woman may do whatever she pleases in and to her own body. First, you cannot do as you please with your own body if it affects other people adversely. Second, if a fetus is not a person, that does not imply that you can do to it anything you wish. Animals, for example, are not persons, yet to kill or torture them for no reason at all is wrong.

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References found in this work

A defense of abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
Abortion and infanticide.Michael Tooley - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (1):37-65.

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