Judith Jarvis Thomson developed the famous abortion-rights “Violinist” argument back in the ’70s. You’ve probably heard it in a form somewhat like this:
Even if the unborn is a human being, abortion should still be allowed because my rights trump the rights of the baby. I’m not obligated to maintain the life of another human being against my will. Look at the violinist example: If you were to be kidnapped and surgically connected to a famous violinist who could only stay alive if he remained attached to you, you wouldn’t be obligated to use your body to keep him alive. You would be justified in disconnecting him from yourself, though he’s a human being. In the same way, a pregnant woman is justified in disconnecting the unborn baby.
If a woman brought up this argument in conversation with you, how would you respond? Take your best shot, and Alan will be here on Thursday to tell you how he responds to this challenge.