Civil Dialogue on Abortion  book cover
1st Edition

Civil Dialogue on Abortion

ISBN 9781138205871
Published February 20, 2018 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

Civil Dialogue on Abortion provides a cutting-edge discussion between two philosophy scholars on each side of the abortion debate. Bertha Alvarez Manninen argues for her pro-choice view, but also urges respect for the life of the fetus, while Jack Mulder argues for his pro-life view, but recognizes that for the pro-life movement to be consistent, it must urge society to care more for the vulnerable. Coming together to discuss their views, but also to seek common ground, the two authors show how their differing positions nevertheless rest upon some common convictions. The book helps to provide a way forward for a divide that has only seemed to widen the aisle of public discourse in recent years. 

This engaging book will prove essential reading for students across multiple disciplines, including applied ethics, medical ethics, and bioethics, but will also be of interest to students of religious studies and women’s studies.

Table of Contents


Bertha Alvarez Manninen and Jack Mulder, Jr.

1 Why I am pro-choice

Bertha Alvarez Manninen

2 Why I am pro-life

Jack Mulder, Jr.

3 A response to Mulder

Bertha Alvarez Manninen

4 A response to Manninen

Jack Mulder, Jr.

5 Convergences and divergences

Bertha Alvarez Manninen and Jack Mulder, Jr.


Bertha Alvarez Manninen and Jack Mulder, Jr.


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Bertha Alvarez Manninen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University, USA.

Jack Mulder, Jr. is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hope College, USA.


"Bertha Manninen and Jack Mulder show us how to engage with our opponents thoughtfully, critically, and respectfully while illuminating the moral and philosophical complexities behind the abortion debate. Their dialogue opens a path to peaceful coexistence and better policy compromises when citizens hold widely divergent views."

Laurie Shrage, Florida International University, USA

"Aristotle wrote that while both are dear, piety requires philosophers to honor truth above our friends. Fortunately, what Manninen and Mulder illustrate here is the reality of honoring both truth and our friends, even on the controversial topic of abortion. In doing so, they provide a valuable service for those looking for model civil dialogue on this issue – indeed, on any issue."

Russell DiSilvestro, California State University, Sacramento, USA

"With civil dialogue on any controversial issue an increasing rarity, Civil Dialogue on Abortion could not be more timely. Manninen and Mulder offer an honest and scholarly look at the reasons behind their pro-choice and pro-life views and disagreements, and give a hopeful but realistic account of where they find common ground. I can think of few better ways for students to learn the intellectual map of the abortion debate while being presented with a model for how that debate should be carried out."

Christopher Tollefsen, University of South Carolina, USA