Analysis Of Don Marquis's Argument That Abortion Is Wrong

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Abortion has generated considerable debate with supporters and opponents widely labeled as “pro-choice” and “pro-life” respectively. Despite both sides feverously arguing that their view is better, abortion is a topic that is widely misunderstood and mischaracterized considering how both sides employ similar arguments and thus causes great confusion. In this essay, I set out to support the claim that abortion, except perhaps in rare circumstances, is seriously wrong. In the first section, I will provide an expository of one of the most sophisticated and famous arguments opposing abortion in literature: Don Marquis’ “An Argument that Abortion is Wrong.” In the second section, I will not focus on examining his basic argument, which known as …show more content…
Marquis is not trying to argue that celibacy and abstinence are morally wrong since they reduce the number of valuable FLO. Rather, Marquis’ argument centers on the concept of identity and an individual’s experience of life. Even though Marquis avoids the personhood approach to abortion, and consequently skirts around the issue of merelogical sum that Norcoss brings up, Marquis builds his argument on certain presuppositions. Namely, Marquis supposes that a person’s unique and valuable FLO comes into existence at (or after) conception. This is because before conception, there is no entity present that has a FLO, which is a point he reiterates again and again. I applaud his use of the FLO argument since he attempts to discuss abortion in a manner that is different than the typical arguments used by pro-choice and pro-life advocates. Instead, he offers an argument that everyone can agree upon-that killing is immoral and premature death is an undue travesty- and makes a case to apply this logic when discussing abortion. He also makes a point to add a personal element to his argument by naming it a Future-Like-OURS. By including the reader, Marquis forces the reader to include herself into the discussion rather than being an outsider. I feel that this argumentative strategy is successful for his purposes. Contraception and celibacy are not topics that Marquis deliberately discusses because his main issue is describing the morality of actions that take place once a fetus is conceived. Before the time of conception, there is no specific entity to be defended. Only after conception is there the possibility of a FLO. This is because before a couple conceives a child, they are planning for a hypothetical individual, but then after they are successful in conceiving they plan for the actualization of the individual they conceived. Therefore, the contraception objection is