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Mary Anne Warren Thesis Essay

A. Mary Anne Warren in the chapter “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion and Postscript on Infanticide” discusses her views on pro-abortion. Warren explains how a fetus has not reached enough development to be considered a person. In order for a being to be considered a person they must have a list of five traits. The first is “consciousness”, specifically the facility to feel emotions externally and internally, such as pain. The second is “reasoning”, the capability to finding solutions to any difficult insistences, or situations.

“Self-motivated activity” is the third trait, it consists of “activity which is relatively ndependent of either genetic or direct external control” (pp). The fourth trait is communication, “by whatever means, messages with an indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics” (pp). The final trait is “self-awareness and self-concepts” (pp). These five traits are what ultimately identifies humanity or personhood, and a fetus does not apply to these descriptions, therefor, a fetus is not considered a person – rather the mother of the fetus is, she has the right to decide whether to terminate the fetus or not. “A pregnant other’s right to protect her own life and health outweighs another person’s desire that the fetus be preserved” (PP), making it morally acceptable to be pro-life.

B. Don Marquis’ view in the chapter “Why Abortion is Immoral” argues the similarity between an abortion and terminating an adult life, how they are both unjustified acts and morally wrong. Marquis uses the example of killing an adult, he explains how the victim was deprived of a potential future, “the loss of one’s life deprives one of all of the experiences, activities, projects, and enjoyments that would otherwise have constituted one’s future” (PP).

Marquis argues his view by explaining how it is hypercritical to say that killing an adult is immoral and a fetus isn’t. A fetus has a whole life to look forward to, it could’ve grown up to be somebody and potentially have a bright future, “The future of a standard fetus includes a set of experiences, projects, activities, and such which are identical with the futures of adult human beings and are identical with the futures of young children” (PP). By terminating a fetus, it is parallel to killing an adult human. Marquis does point out in his argument though, that there are some instances abortion is justified.

C. Warrens view on pro-life is incorrect because although the fetuses aren’t capable of consciousness, reasoning, self- motivation, communication or self-awareness; the fetus is still a human. Although a fetus is not able to think for itself, that does not mean that it won’t have the five traits Warren was examining. By terminating a fetus, you are restraining a human from a life, where he or she will be able to reason, and prove consciousness, etc. It is unfair to say that a fetus is not a person, the unborn child has a genetic code, making him or she unique and the potential to be its own individual. There is potential for this fetus to mature and it is unfair to restrain it because it hasn’t reached its full level of development.

D. Exactly that, it hasn’t reached its level of development just yet, therefor what are you ultimately restraining it from? A fetus is not yet a person, it is merely a cluster of cells, as everything else in a human beings body. Yes, there is a “potential for the fetus to mature”, but there is also potential for the mother herself to mature, and find a place in her life where she will be able to choose whether or not a child will flourish in. It is unfair o expect a child of merely fifteen or sixteen to hold the responsibility of a life, when she has not even experienced life herself.

It is not a selfish act to terminate a cluster of cells that have not yet reached the development for it to become a person; but it is selfish to take away the life of a child who has made a mistake in her life and not be able to appropriately raise a child, because in the end of the day that’s what would be most important, how this child would have been raised and loved. The fetus would feel no remorse, it has no way of understanding what will happen to it; most importantly, a fetus will feel no pain nd I believe that’s what truly is at stake when debating the morality of an abortion. The fetus has no train of thought, so it is fundamentally the mother’s decision of what will happen to her body and her future.

E. Marquis view is absurd, you cannot compare terminating a fetus to an adult who has lived a life and already has predestined aspirations whereas a fetus does not even have a train of thought developed yet. Women have a right to decide on what is going to happen to their bodies, they shouldn’t feel guilty for their decisions, nor called killers. There are so many actors to think about when deciding on the morality of abortion, such as age, family dynamics and wealth. As well as sensitive circumstances such as rape and incest. Imagine having to have your rapist’s child feeding off your body and having to raise the child, it’s a situation no one should ever be in. A child should not come into the world if the mother isn’t emotionally prepared to raise a child. Women need to have a say on the topic of abortion, the process of an abortion is traumatic enough and never taken lightly, it is unfair to be seen as such a selfish and easy way out because it is by far not an easy thing to o.

F. I do agree that there are situations in which an abortion seems necessary, and so did Marquis’ view, “The loss of one’s life is almost the greatest misfortune that can happen to one. Presumably abortion could be justified in some circumstances, only if the loss consequent on failing to abort would be at least as great” (PP). But, you must also consider that as much as the mother had no say in being a victim of rape, the unborn child is just as much as a victim as she is. There are two beings involved, it does not make it right to restrict the child from a life, and uture because of the way he or she was conceived.

G. I sincerely believe that a new life is so precious, the way the human anatomy works is remarkable and being a mother is such a lifelong commitment full of love and aspirations for your child’s future. But, having an unborn child in your womb for nine months that was not planned is heartbreaking. Imagine having to bear the fact that the child was conceived due to rape, or that you were too young to know any better and have to now drop out of school and work seven days a week in order to provide some kind of life for a child by yourself.

Having your family and riends look down on you, and feel sorry for you rather than being excited. That is unfortunately the truth for many women around the world because they were told how immoral an abortion is, but what I found immoral is having to bring a child into the world that you frankly didn’t want. I believe Warren’s view on pro-life is superior because her argument is clear and concise, an abortion is not the act of terminating a person but rather just a pregnancy.

A fetus has not developed any of the five traits she discussed, “consciousness (of objects and events external and/or internal to the being), and in particular the apacity to feel pain, reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems), self-motivated activity ( activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct external control), the capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages with an indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics and the presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness” (PP). I believe Warrens view is by far more reasonable than Don Marquis’, there is no harm being doing on a fetus when it has no way of thinking for itself.

Although Marquis argues that it restrains its potential of a life, but Warren argues that “it is clear that genetic humanity is neither necessary nor sufficient for establishing that an entity is a person” (PP). An abortion would not be harming anybody, but the mother. The fetus is not feeling any sort of neglect, and although the mother may receive criticism for her decision, at the end of the day it should be her decision. Living a life of regret from both the mother and child, and going into motherhood unprepared, and fearful is far more immoral than terminating a fetus.

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