Even if the fetus is not a person, abortion is immoral: The impairment argument

Bioethics 33 (2):245-253 (2019)
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Much of the discussion surrounding the ethics of abortion has centered around the notion of personhood. This is because many philosophers hold that the morality of abortion is contingent on whether the fetus is a person - though, of course, some famous philosophers have rejected this thesis (e.g. Judith Thomson and Don Marquis). In this article, I construct a novel argument for the immorality of abortion based on the notion of impairment. This argument does not assume that the fetus is a person - indeed, I concede (for the sake of argument) that the fetus is not a person - and hence the morality of abortion is not contingent on whether the fetus is a person. I finish by answering a plethora of objections to my argument, concluding that none of them are successful.


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Perry Hendricks
Purdue University

References found in this work

Abortion and infanticide.Michael Tooley - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (1):37-65.
Why abortion is immoral.Don Marquis - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (4):183-202.
Abortion and Infanticide.Michael Tooley - 1972 - Philosophy 59 (230):545-547.

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