1Finnis on Abortion1.
The Murder Argument"In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus inthe womb …To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is aman which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed."Tertullian,
9:8A definition of murder:A murder is an act that intentionally ends the life of an innocent human being.P1. No act of murder is morally acceptable.P2. All abortions are acts of murder.C. Therefore, no abortion is morally acceptable.1.2.
A response to the Murder ArgumentTwo senses of ‘human being’:(a)
A human being is a collection of living human cells.(b)
A human being is a
who has moral rights.Some people (like Donceel) claim that
There is a time during gestation when an embryo becomes a person;
Prior to this time abortion is morally acceptable;
After this time abortion is not morally acceptable.2.
Finnis’ Arguments2.1. Finnis’ Version of the Murder ArgumentGeneral idea: Abortion is always wrong, because embryos / fetuses are persons from themoment of conception.P1. It is never morally right to end the life of a human person.P2. The unborn are human persons.C1. It is never morally right to end the life of the unborn.