This book provides extensive and critical engagement with some of the most recent and compelling arguments favoring abortion choice. It features original essays from leading and emerging philosophers, bioethicists and medical professionals that present philosophically sophisticated and novel arguments against abortion choice.
The chapters in this book are divided into three thematic sections. The first set of essays focuses primarily on unborn human individuals—zygotes, embryos and fetuses. In these chapters, it is argued, for example, that human organisms begin to exist at conception and that zygotes, embryos and fetuses are persons. These chapters also explore questions about whether or not zygotes, embryos and fetuses are part of their mothers’ bodies. The second set of essays focuses primarily on elective abortion and the debates surrounding it. These chapters consider whether or not opponents of abortion are commonly hypocritical, how opponents of abortion should think about adoption, how emerging technologies may affect the current debate and whether or not those participating in the debate should rely on analogies to support their case. Finally, the third set of essays shifts focus from the legal and moral status of elective abortion to its place in medical practice. In these chapters, it is argued that elective abortion embodies a kind of ableism, that elective abortion is medically unnecessary, harmful to women’s mental health and that telemedicine abortion poses significant risks to women’s health.
Agency, Pregnancy and Persons offers an up-to-date examination of unborn human beings, the debates surrounding elective abortion and the place of elective abortion within medical practice. It will be of interest to medical professionals and those who work in philosophy, bioethics and medical ethics alike.
Robert P. George
Part I. Zygotes, Embryos and Fetuses
1. Is the Human Embryo an Organism?
Maureen L. Condic
2. A Plausible Account of Basic Equality
3. Embryonic Persons
4. Whose Body?
5. It is More Difficult to Justify Abortion if Fetuses are Parts of their Mothers
6. Do Fetuses Have the Same Interests as Their Mothers?
Part II: The Abortion Debate
7. Hypocrisy, Consistency and Opponents of Abortion
Bruce P. Blackshaw, Nicholas Colgrove and Daniel Rodger
8. Adoption, Abortion and the Demands of Integrity
9. The Impairment Argument Against Abortion
10. The Artificial Womb and the End of Abortion
11. The Feminists’ Dilemmas: A Response to Overall’s "Rethinking Abortion, Ectogenesis, and Fetal Death"
Jessalyn A. Bohn
12. Violinists, Burglars, People-Seeds, Samaritans and Reluctant Bone Marrow Donors: Why Do We Need Analogies to Pregnancy in Order to Understand It?
Francis J. Beckwith
Part III: Abortion and Medical Practice
13. False Compassion, True Discrimination: The Practice of Prenatal Diagnosis and Selective Abortion
14. Is Abortion Medically Necessary?
Toni C. Saad
15. Abortion’s Causal Role in Trauma and Suicide
16. Telemedicine Abortion: Why It Is Not Safe for Women