Following Don Marquis’ ideology, I agree that abortion is morally wrong because it deprives a being of a valuable future. In order to create a strong argument I will also be addressing the views of philosopher Judith Thomson. In Don Marquis’ article Why Abortion is Immoral, he makes the argument that abortion is on the same plane of immorality as killing an adult human. Marquis reasons this by explaining what is wrong with killing is that you are depriving someone of a future. He goes on to explain that you deprive them of a future of experiences, achievements, relationships, etc.
Importantly, he notes that this does to only apply to humans but rather to all species, or anything with a future of value for that matter. Furthermore, Marquis says that having a valuable future is not a necessary condition for killing to be immoral, but it is a sufficient reason, and that having a valuable future is not the only reason that killing a being could be wrong. Essentially, Marquis offers one explanation as to why killing could be immoral while clarifying that it could be one of many reasons for killing to be immoral.
Marquis then connects this idea with abortion by saying that aborting a fetus is depriving a Ewing of a valuable future. Regardless of what pro-choice or pro-life views somebody might have, the bottom line is that the fetus has the potential for a valuable future and by ending that life, you deprive the being of it’s valuable future. Some would claim that the fetus is either unaware of it’s valuable future and/or may not desire such a future. Marquis addresses these claims simply stating that Just because the being may unaware, it does not mean that future of value is not there.
Not allowing a being the potential for a future like ours (I. E. Abortion) is immoral. Judith Thomson presents a very intriguing case in her article A Defense of Abortion. While majority of Thomson argument explains why abortion should be morally permissible, she also presents this violinist case: “But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist.
He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, “Look, we’re sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you-we would never have permitted it if we had known.
But still, they did it, and the violinist now is plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it’s only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you. (Thomson, 49) This clearly alludes to an example of a case in which a woman was raped and impregnated. Thomson example allows me to address the majority of instances of rape cases, which also ties in with my position that decision making does not always have to follow what is or is not morally permissible.
Thomson presents a clear but unfortunate reality that society deals with much to often. At first thought, many people would deem the situation unfair and immediately request an abortion. In fact, if I were put into such a situation, I too would request to be unplugged from the Illinois because I was unwillingly taken advantage of and do no want to have to deal with the issue. However, it does not change the fact that you are denying a being of a valuable future and for that reason I would say it is morally impermissible.
I think it is indisputable that the situation is quite unfortunate and something that nobody deserves. With that established the question remains, is it moral to be unplugged (or get an abortion)? The answer is no, it is morally impermissible. I strongly agree with Marquis ideology that depriving a being of a future like ours is morally wrong. Regardless of the conditions, two wrongs will never make a right. In order for anyone to prevent a strong case for any argument, it is very important to address potential counterarguments.
Let’s also consider that the focus of this paper is not to discuss pro-life vs.. Pro-choice but rather, the morality of abortion. I think that the most compelling counterargument is there simply cannot be one correct answer when it comes to abortion because there are so many variables that create unique circumstances. Unfortunately, this is true and for that reason it is impossible to address each and every possible scenario. Instead, I can pose my theory for the morality of abortion in general.
If I present the argument that abortion is morally wrong because it denies the potential future of a being, then it would be fair to say that not allowing an abortion denies the autonomy of a being to pursue the future they desire. It is indisputable that pregnancy and giving birth would have a great impact on the mother (and in majority of cases the father). So if abortion is immoral because it denies the future of a being, isn’t it essentially the same as forcing the mother and father’s life to change? You are speaking on the very same grounds as to the reasons for explain why abortion is immoral.
At the end of the day, you denied a person the ability to pursue the future they desire. This counterargument poses a very realistic concern but it is one I believe to be dismissible. As I said, it is impossible to consider all scenarios and therefore we must establish general guidelines rather than an answer for every possible outcome. The counterargument mentioned represents a misunderstanding in my thesis. I would like to acknowledge the fact that you are changing the potential future of the mother and father but that goes not make it okay to get an abortion.