Ethics: Abortion - Right or Wrong?

  • April 19, 2014 · 3:00 PM

In this discussion we'll read and talk about one of the most contentious issues in ethics. Abortion, as it is easily obtained in the hospitals nowadays, is something that is often rejected by religion (Catholics in particular), conservatives and some philosophers. Do women always have a right to choose over their reproductive health?

In an essay that we'll read, Judith Jarvis Thompson makes a fiery attempt to defend and say that women should be allowed so. In it, she uses many examples and analogies to illustrate her point of view, appealing for us to see it from a woman's perspective.

Does she succeed? Are there any objections? What is your take on it?

Come and discuss.

This essay is one of the most anthologized in contemporary philosophy. It has also, presumably, received a lot of critical attention. Can you spot any errors in it? What are some of the problems you can think of? The essay can be found here:,Fall02/thomson.htm

Before we discuss I'll try to look for other formal objections from other philosophers, but do read it!

Some of the the reason why abortion is such a big ethical issue is because thinking about it requires us to think a lot about related issues as well. For instance, such as:

Should a fetus be considered a human being?

To what extent should a woman have a right to decide on the fate of her fetus?

In what cases should abortion be allowed and not allowed? Why?

Do the implications of abortion matter? Such as whether it has an effect on sexual behavior and relationships?

Should religious concerns be taken into consideration?

These are some of the questions we will discuss. Do come along and bring along your thinking hat.

Preferably, do read the essay, so that your own experience of the discussion will be enriched.

It's hoped that this meet will have women attending and discussing a subject that is intrinsically connected to them.  What would women say about this?


Do RSVP only if you are sure if you would go, and leave it open to others if there are changes to your plans. Please try not to cancel on the very last day as this would prevent others from reserving a place. No Shows for 2 meets will be banned for the next 2 meets.

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  • Sue

    Sorry had to leave earlier, was interesting discussion tho :-)

    1 · April 19, 2014

    • Aloysius

      hi, thanks for coming. hope you enjoyed it. glad to hear from your point of view!

      April 20, 2014

  • Kern S.

    When Does Life Begin

    April 17, 2014

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