Josiah Della Foresta
McGill University
Motivated by recent political trends surrounding the legality of abortion, and noting the apparent difficulty with which partisan agreement can be found when engaging with arguments from foetal personhood, this paper revisits a classic axiological argument for the legalisation of abortion which relies on a commitment to the moral relevancy of consequences and the empirically sound nature of said consequences. Academically known as the Argument from Back-Street Abortion, agreement with the argument's premises entails the legalisation of abortion is morally obligatory, and agreement to said argument's premises are possible regardless of one's position regarding a foetus' right-to-life. As such, this oft-overlooked argument deserves revisiting due to its potential for bipartisan reconciliation in service of the establishment of ethical abortion policy.
Keywords Applied Ethics  Abortion  Consequentialism  Legalisation  Pro-choice  Pro-life
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