You write: “Actually, there would be. Even if Marquis is right, Thompson’s violinist argument would establish that in cases of rape and childhood incest (another type of rape), the killing of that fetus would be justified.”

Although I was referring to normal cases, I’ll comment here just to say that I disagree that Thomson has “established” anything of the sort. She certainly thinks her violinist thought experiment justifies abortion in these cases, and she thinks many people would agree with her, but I am not convinced.

You write: “Marquis can at most provide us with a reason to doubt the moral permissibility of abortion under normal circumstances where there is no concern about saving the life of the mother or when the mother has been raped and become pregnant as a result.

So the conservative needs to be extremely careful here because Marquis’s argument does nothing to show that all abortion is impermissible, because in many cases there are moral considerations about the safety of the mother or her right to bodily autonomy in the presence of a forced pregnancy that are overriding moral reasons that supplant the considerations raised by Marquis.”

Even if this is right — which in my piece I was more or less sidestepping since reasonable people from the “pro-life” camp can and do disagree about whether to allow “exceptions” to abortion’s impermissibility — the result would be a resounding success. If all Marquis’ argument establishes is the impermissibility of abortion in most cases, this would represent a spectacular victory for the “pro-life” side.

Editor in Chief of Arc Digital

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