Bioethics 33 (6):723-724 (2019)

Bruce P. Blackshaw
University of Birmingham
In his recent article Perry Hendricks presents what he calls the impairment argument to show that abortion is immoral. To do so, he argues that to give a fetus fetal alcohol syndrome is immoral. Because killing the fetus impairs it more than giving it fetal alcohol syndrome, Hendricks concludes that killing the fetus must also be immoral. Here, I claim that killing a fetus does not impair it in the way that giving it fetal alcohol syndrome does. By examining the reason why giving a fetus this condition is wrong, I conclude that the same reasoning, on common pro‐choice accounts, does not apply to killing the fetus. Accordingly, Hendricks's argument does not succeed in showing abortion is immoral.
Keywords abortion  fetal alcohol syndrome  impairment argument  personhood
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12576
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Fetuses, Newborns, and Parental Responsibility.Prabhpal Singh - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (3):188-193.
Strengthening the Impairment Argument Against Abortion.Bruce Philip Blackshaw & Perry Hendricks - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 1 (Online):medethics-2020-106153.

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