Notes on the readings


The first section includes a statement of her goals and strategy (par. 1).

The rest of the section is devoted to showing how attempts to resolve the abortion debate without resolving the status of the fetus (that is, whether fetuses are persons or not) do not succeed.

In the second section (numbered I), Warren focuses on Thomson’s argument and gives a special version of the voluntariness objection to Thomson’s violinist example.

In the third section (numbered II), Warren gives her own defense of abortion. She does so in four steps:

  1. How “human” is ambiguous
  2. How the moral community is defined
  3. Do fetuses make it into the moral community?
  4. What about their potential?

Finally, Warren has a postscript discussing infanticide.