Essay by cattlegurl15College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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During the past quarter century, abortion has become one of the most contentious subjects of controversy in the United States. In this continuous debate, one is either a conservative, pro-life, or a liberal, pro-choice. A large amount of the public has blatantly overlooked the fact that there are various moderate views. Among such positions, Don Marquis takes a moderate-conservative view. He proposes a criticism, suggested by Mappes and Zembaty, why abortion, with rare exceptions, is seriously immoral.

In Marquis's view, killing another adult human being is explicitly wrong because the victim is deprived of all the value--"activities, projects, experiences, and enjoyments"--of his or her future. Since abortion deprives the fetus of a "future like ours", Marquis argues that the moral wrong of killing a fetus is as strong as the moral wrong of killing an adult human being.1 When initially looking at this argument, one might begin to think that Marquis has a strong criticism about abortion; however, I believe that if analyzed further, one would find it to have faults.

Marquis uses the word future recurrently throughout his argument. By doing this, he stresses that the reason in which killing adult human beings and fetuses is wrong is, "...neither its effect of the murderer, not its effect on the victim's friends and relatives, but its effect of the victim".1 If the only wrongness of killing deprives from the fact that the victim is deprived of the value of

his or her future, does it follow that it is less morally wrong to kill someone who is 60 years of age than it is someone who is only 20 years of age?

By basing his entire criticism solely on the aspect of a "future like ours", Marquis is silently conveying to the world that killing a baby or...