Preventing abortion as a test case for the justifiability of violence

Journal of Ethics 1 (2):141-163 (1997)
Abstract
This paper explores the rationale for violence and coercion aimed at preventing abortion conceived as the killing of an innocent person. Some important arguments for personhood at conception are examined, and in the light of the examination the paper considers whether they warrant concluding that a free and democratic society should pass laws recognizing personhood at conception. The wider concern is what principles such a society should use as a basis for legal coercion and what principles conscientious individuals should use insofar as they judge that self-defense or, especially, protection of the innocent, requires violence.
Keywords abortion  civic virtue  democracy  freedom  coercion  intention  liberalism  personhood  presumption of innocence  violence
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