David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 10 (3):213-228 (2000)
: A fascinating criticism of abortion occasioned by prenatal diagnosis of potentially disabling traits is that the complex of test-and-abortion sends a morally disparaging message to people living with disabilities. I have argued that available versions of this "expressivist" argument are inadequate on two grounds. The most fundamental is that, considered as a practice, abortions prompted by prenatal testing are not semantically well-behaved enough to send any particular message; they do not function as signs in a rule-governed symbol system. Further, even granting, for the sake of argument, the expressive power of testing and aborting, it would not be possible, contra the argument's proponents, to distinguish between abortions undertaken because of beliefs about the disabling conditions the fetus might face as a child and abortions undertaken for many other possible reasons--e.g., because of the poverty the fetus would face or the increase in family size that the birth of a new child would occasion. Here, I respond to criticisms of those arguments, and propose and defend another: the expressivist argument cannot, in general, distinguish successfully between abortion and therapy as modalities for responding to disabilities
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
B. Cox-White & S. F. Boxall (2008). Redefining Disability: Maleficent, Unjust and Inconsistent. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (6):558-576.
Similar books and articles
Kirsten Rabe Smolensky, Parental Tort Liability for Direct Preimplantation Genetic Interventions: Technological Harms, the Social Model of Disability, and Questions of Identity.
David F. Walbert (1973). Abortion, Society, and the Law. Cleveland [Ohio]Press of Case Western Reserve University.
Zoltan Papp (1989). Genetic Counseling and Termination of Pregnancy in Hungary. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (3):323-333.
J. Arlebrink (1997). The Moral Roots of Prenatal Diagnosis. Ethical Aspects of the Early Introduction and Presentation of Prenatal Diagnosis in Sweden. Journal of Medical Ethics 23 (4):260-261.
Mary B. Mahowald (2004). Book Review: Erik Parens and Adrienne Asch. Prenatal Testing: A Review of Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights, Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2000; and Rayna Rapp. Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America. [REVIEW] Hypatia 19 (3):216-221.
Jeff McMahan (2006). Paradoxes of Abortion and Prenatal Injury. Ethics 116 (4):625-655.
Elisabeth Hildt (2002). Autonomy and Freedom of Choice in Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (1):65-72.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #63,219 of 1,410,151 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #75,890 of 1,410,151 )
How can I increase my downloads?