Abortion: Two Sides of the Debate

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Anna Roberts Professor Stephens Introduction to Ethics 21 October 2013 Abortion: Two Sides of the Debate Abortion has proven to be one of the most controversial moral issues of the modern era. While multiple arguments have arisen around the abortion debate, two of the most prominent arguments have been represented by the philosophers Mary Anne Warren and Don Marquis. Both have somewhat differing views on the abortion debate. In this paper, I will show the holes in Marquis’ argument and that what makes a person a member of the human community is not simply genetic makeup. In the simplest terms, abortion can be boiled down to two opposing sides. But before one can explore the sides to the argument, it must first be established exactly what abortion is defined as. Marquis states that abortion is any “action intended to bring about the death of a fetus for the sake of the woman who carries it,” (LaFollette 137). Those who argue for Pro-life state that abortion is immoral on the basis that the fetus is considered a human being from the moment conception. Notable philosophers like Marquis identify as pro-life because of their views of the personhood of the fetus while Warren identifies as pro-choice. Pro-choice advocates argue that a woman’s right to choices concerning her own body is as important or perhaps even more important than the fetus’ right to life. The moral status of the fetus is one of the most prevalent arguments to the abortion debate and the main difference between pro-life and pro-choice advocates. Warren is a prominent figure in the abortion debate. In “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” Warren’s main argument centers around determining what exactly makes a genetically human being a morally human being. In the beginnings of her argument, she states that abortion should be both morally and legally permissible because denying a woman the
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