Football analogy adds perspective to controversial abortion debates

Whenever I come across the issue of abortion, I feel ambivalence.
I feel that both sides are, somehow, correct. I need to figure out why I feel this way, and whether I should feel this way.
I believe that there are four levels of abortion worth individual consideration:
1. cases of dangerous pregnancy (life-threatening),
2. cases of forced pregnancy (rape),
3. cases of undesired pregnancy, and
4. cases of desired pregnancy.
The first and the fourth levels are the easiest to deal with morally, whereas the second and third levels are more difficult.
A few weeks ago, I examined a college ethics textbook (Analyzing Moral Issues by Judith Boss) and read Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion.”
Thomson took the unique approach of accepting that a fetus is a person but still allowing that abortion is permissible in certain cases.
Thomson argues that in the first three cases, abortion is morally justified. Thomson defends her view by using the analogy of a house that belongs to a woman.
Although I agree with the idea of the analogy, I disagree with her execution of the analogy.
Thomson’s analogy for level one (self-defense) is that there is a child who grows in the house and crushes the woman to death.
The woman, as the owner, has the right to defend herself in her own home, even though the child was invited in and is not intentionally harming her.
I wish to present my own analogy for the four levels.
First, imagine that the woman invites an injured Tim Tebow into her home for nine months of healing.
After three months, the woman discovers that Tom Brady strapped a bomb into Tebow’s shoes.
Although it is unintentional, Tebow’s presence threatens the woman in her own home.
Even though the only way to save the woman is to force Tebow to take his shoes outside and detonate himself with them, the woman is justified in defending herself.
Thus, abortion in the case of danger to the mother’s life is justified. (But, if Tebow somehow survives the blast, she can’t go outside and shoot him.)
Thomson does not believe that abortion for level four (initially desired pregnancy) is acceptable, and neither do I.
Thomson’s brief argument is that “we must not fall below” the standard of “Minimally Decent Samaritanism.”
I will continue my house analogy for level four.
If the woman invites an injured Tebow into her home for nine months of healing, she cannot shoot Tebow in the head after seven months simply because she grows tired of having him in her home and that he refuses to leave.
This case is murder because the woman had previously offered to rent her property to Tebow for nine months, and he did nothing to invalidate the contract (whereas he did invalidate it in the level-one case by threatening her).
Levels two (rape) and three (undesired pregnancy) are where things become more difficult.
Thomson’s analogy for level two (rape) is that there is a famous violinist who is forcibly attached to the woman’s kidneys in order to save the violinist’s life.
Is the woman morally required to allow the violinist to remain attached to her kidneys until he recovers in nine months?
Thomson argues that the woman never offered the violinist the right to use her kidneys, and so she is justified in detaching the violinist and allowing him to die.
But it sounds rather unpleasant to send the dependent violinist to certain death, because it was not the violinist who chose to attach himself to the woman.
Let’s clarify the case. Imagine that the injured Tebow is forcibly thrown through the window of the woman’s house and will not be able to leave for nine months.
The woman does not want Tebow to be there, but Tebow did not choose to be there, nor is he threatening her life.
Still, Tebow is on her property against her will. Being thrown through the window did not give Tebow a nine-month lease to her property.
It is unfortunate, but, since Tebow cannot leave when the woman wants him to, the woman appears to be entitled to remove Tebow from her property by whatever means necessary.
Thomson’s analogy for level three (unwanted pregnancy) is that opening a window does not entitle a burglar to enter the woman’s home, even though she knows that burglars are out there.
Going further, what if she puts up bars and screens, but a burglar still manages to get in? The woman is justified in removing the burglar by whatever means necessary, right?
I find this analogy to be the most problematic and inaccurate.
I believe that a more accurate analogy is that the woman puts up a ‘for rent’ sign one night and allows millions of men to tour the property.
The next morning, she takes down the ‘for rent’ sign and demands that all of the men leave her property immediately, claiming that it isn’t really for rent.
She wanted the men to tour the property solely for her own pleasure.
Imagine, though, that one of the men—the injured Tebow—decided to accept the rent deal last night.
Maybe it was a really horrible deal for Tebow and she did everything she could to discourage him, but Tebow signed the lease while it was offered anyway.
She never intended for the offer to be accepted. Nonetheless, it was.
Thus, Tebow is entitled to rent her property for the next nine months.
And so, whereas Thomson believes that abortion is morally justifiable at levels one (self-defense), two (rape), and three (undesired pregnancy), I believe that abortion is morally justifiable only at levels one and two.