Therefore, the debate between the two groups continues endlessly. Since either party fails to shake off the context-specificity of abortion, the groups on either side of abortion makes them vulnerable to each other’s critiques (Marquis 183-187). Personhood, right to life, and ethics are several recurring keywords in both the pro and contra abortion debate. Often these themes serve as the grand principles of the attempts to validate the arguments of either party on the issue of abortion. But unfortunately, these themes themselves have been contaminated by the context-specificity.
In his article, “A Defense of Abortion”, though Jarvis Thompson attempts to deal with the permissibility of general abortion, he mostly hovers around some specific contexts of abortion that may draw the readers’ emotional support, and then rational, to his stance on the issue of abortion. Indeed Thompson’s approach is to establish a person’s or a woman’s right to abortion from a pure ethical point of view. He argues that since an unexpected conception of a baby in its mother’s womb due to a rape or other cases is in direct conflict with its mother’s right to choose, the mother’s choice to abortion may proved to be mean and selfish according to the existing morals of a society, but she has the right to abort the baby.
Thompson’s success lies in drawing a clear dichotomy between morals and ethics on the issue of the abortion. According to him, a mother’s right to choose to deprive her unborn baby from its right to life through abortion should be based on ethics, whereas her choice to allow the baby to live in her womb is a question of her and her society’s morality.