A. Jonathan Glover, in his article Matters of Life and Death casts dispersions on both pro-abortion and anti-abortion debates citing them as too knee-jerk emotional reactions diminishing the inherent complexity of the other side (1. Glover, CC2006, p. 0110). Glover comprehensively addresses the key points of both sides of the abortion debate and evaluates their inherent virtues, especially for those who hold these opinions, then methodically points out its flaws. Ultimately, Glover comes to the conclusion that though a fetus is a human at the moment of conception, the right to abort lies with the mother and her own self-determination.
Glover begins his article by claiming that the status of the fetus, historically, has been
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Thomson would not necessarily agree with Glover's position that a fetus is a human from the moment of conception and would argue that not until sometime right before birth is the fetus human, but Glover's argument would be able to absorb this criticism since Glover was using that moment in pregnancy to make a point- a point that Thomson acquiesces in her own article to pursue an argument. Like Glover, Thomson understands that establishing a line to determine humanness is a tricky line to draw and no real justification can be given for choosing one point over another; it is essentially arbitrary (8. Thomson, CC2006, p. 0084). Where Glover deduces that since all points in between are arbitrary, then the beginning point must be chosen, Thomson sees said choice as an incorrect one. Thomson sees the embryo as sub-human and though has the potential to become human, not quite there yet. She offers the analogy of an acorn and an oak tree pointing out that while the acorn has the potential to become an oak tree and has the same makeup as an oak tree, no rational person would see an acorn and call it an oak tree (9. Thomson, CC2006, p. 0085). She means to extrapolate this idea to the cells that emerge immediately after conception are not human in any way and are virtually indistinguishable from other animal cells immediately after conception save the fact that these cells have the potential for humanness. Thomson is wary of