Blessed are the peacemakers: Commentary on making peace in gestational conflicts

The purpose of this commentary on James Nelson's article [1] is to advocate introducing the ethics of care into the arena of gestational conflict. Too often the debate gets stalled in a maternal versus fetal rights headlock. Interventionists stress fetal over maternal rights: they believe education, post-birth prosecution or pre-birth seizure of pregnant women may be permissible. In contrast to interventionists, other philosophers stress that favoring fetal rights treats women like fetal containers. I question whether we should really consider issues of moral/parental obligations to children in terms of rights. Rather, the language of care should guide moral conduct vis-a-vis children/fetuses. The particularity of each woman's story — the particulars of her human relationships — inform her story. An individual's ability to care is largely a function of whether community cares for her. We must care for others to enable them to care for themselves and their loved ones — born or unborn.
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