Mary Anne Warren Abortion Analysis

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Mary Anne Warren’s reading, “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion” explores both viewpoints on women who have an abortion. Today, this is a critical issue that creates a divide between people who are pro-life and pro-choice. Warren provides some key components in the argument of abortion being a negative component in society or should be allowed (Warren, pg. 44). The first significant claim that is made throughout this reading is dealt with Judith Thompson's response to John Noonan. John Noonan is arguing in favor that abortion is morally wrong because the human fetus is a human being and has a right to live. (Warren, pg. 46). His foundation of beliefs is formed off the theologians’ criterion of humanity which states, “that whoever is …show more content…
Throughout this argument, one side believes that a fetus is equivalent to the life of human and each has the same moral rights in life. However, the other side contradicts this idea due to the lack of understanding and support of how a fetus and full-fledge human being are exactly the same (Warren, pg. 54). Warren defines a moral community through a different aspect and provides support for her claim, “... the moral community consists of all and only people, rather than all and only human beings... ” (Warren, pg. 54). From here Warren breaks down what characteristics really define what a person is into five components, “consciousness (1), reasoning (2), self-motivated activity (3), the capacity to communicate (4), and the presence of self-concept and self-awareness (5)” (Warren, pg. 55). Through these key factors help break down the complex difference between classifying if a fetus is a person or not. Warren simplifies the understanding of this scale with examples. First, she states that if there was an encounter with an alien that had numbers one and two of the components than it would be classified as some sort of person. Due to the fact that some of the components were detected in the alien, it would then be classified as a person. On the other hand, if something did not obtain any of these components, it is not considered a person. Thus, a fetus