‘The violinist case for abortion’

‘The violinist case for abortion’


norman lebrecht

June 24, 2014

This early feminist text is new to us, though actually more than 40 years old. It begins:

You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help.

Full argument here.

Pregnant woman with violin


  • Emmanuel says:

    Judith Jarvis Thomson’s paper ‘In Defence of Abortion’ is not feminist in any interesting sense. Rather, it is a compelling argument to the effect that the debate about the permissibility of abortion is not settled by deciding whether the foetus is ‘a person’.

  • ElizaF says:

    Quite right, Emmanuel. It is classic essay in “Practical Ethics”. If you look for it in a university library, you will find it in the Philosophy Section, along with Aristotle, Kant and Hume. The “feminist” tag is misleading and doesn’t really do it justice.