STUDENT NAME Paper Outline 2 Mary Anne Warren, “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion” The main view of Warren’s paper is proving why abortion is absolutely permissible. She proves this through discussing personhood:

1. One is human in the genetic sense when one is a member of the biological species Homo sapiens. 2. One is human in the moral sense when one is a full-fledged member of the moral

community (pg.13). After analyzing the concept of a person, Warren states, “There is no stage of fetal development at which a fetus resembles a person enough to have a significant right to life” (pg. 14). A woman’s right to obtain an abortion is absolute and morally justified at any stage of fetal development. Traits most important to personhood (pg. 16):

1. Consciousness (of objects and events external and/or internal to the being), and in particular the capacity to feel pain;

2. Reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems); 3. Self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct

external control); 4. The capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an indefinite variety of types,

that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics;

5. The presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness, either individual or racial, or both Now not all of these attributes must be present to be considered a person. Both 1 +2 and 1-3 would be sufficient enough to be a person. Since a fetus satisfies none of the 5 traits, the fetus should not be considered a person (pg. 16). On page 17, Warren gives an interesting point: Some human beings are not people. This may be the case if a man/woman’s consciousness is permanently obliterated but the man/woman remains alive. They would no longer have a reasonable mental capacity. This proves the point that a fetus is a human being but not yet a person.

1. How far advanced since conception does a human being need to be before it begins to have a right to life by virtue, not of being fully a person as of yet, but being like a person?

2. To what extent, if any, does the fact that a fetus have the potential for becoming a person endow it with some of the same rights?

A fetus is not fully conscious like an infant of a few months. This fetus cannot reason or communicate messages of any sorts. A fully developed fetus is considerably less person-like than the average mature mammal or average fish (pg. 17). A fetus’s resemblance to a person or its potential for becoming a person does not give the fetus a right to life (pg. 19). “A woman’s right to protect her health, happiness, freedom, and even her life, by terminating an unwanted pregnancy, will always override whatever right to life it may be appropriate to ascribe to a fetus, even a fully developed one.” Infanticide is impermissible (pg. 20):

1. If a newborn infant’s parents do not want it, there are people that would like to have it. 2. People value infants and would prefer that they be preserved, even if foster parents aren’t

immediately available. Most would rather be taxed to support orphanages than allow unwanted infants to be destroyed.

A woman’s rights override the rights of those who would like the fetus preserved while she is pregnant. Once the infant is born, its preservation no longer violates any of the mother’s rights, even if she wants the fetus destroyed, because she is free to put it up for adoption.

Comment [PAP1]: This piece includes more writing, but it is still an excellent example of an outline.

Comment [PAP2]: This is the summary of a quite complicated argument. It would have been appropriate for her to present the argument, or to summarize it as she does here.

Comment [PAP3]: Usually quotes weaken an outline; however, in comparison to the summary she just provided, the quote provides additional gravity.

Comment [PAP4]: Outline is flexible enough to move from more paragraph-like chunks to lists, when appropriate.

Comment [PAP5]: Important detail necessary to understand the piece.

Comment [PAP6]: These are longer summaries of content. Yet the outline is controlled and clear, moving quickly around different ideas and focusing on what is most important.

Comment [PAP7]: This is an important objection that the student did well to consider. Grade: 96 Comments: Excellent job presenting this article. Fantastic work with really dicey distinctions (i.e. the

conditions necessary for personhood). It's easy to get

Warren wrong on these points.You also did well to characterize her position on more minor points–for

example, how she characterizes the moral standing

of a fetus is important, as is her response to the infanticide objection.

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