Reproductive autonomy and the ethics of abortion

Journal of Medical Ethics 27 (suppl 2):10-14 (2001)
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Abstract

Abortion is one of the most controversial issues in today's world. People tend to turn to the law when trying to decide what is the best possible solution to an unwanted pregnancy. Here the author's views on abortion are discussed from a lawyer's and a woman's point of view. By taking into consideration the rights of the fetus an “antagonistic relationship” between the woman and her unborn child may occur. Therefore, women should have more autonomy in the issue. The article concludes with examples of cases in the United States and Ireland where the rights of the fetus are considered more important than those of the mother because of existing laws. This article suggests that a more inclusive ethics of abortion is required rather than a new ethics of abortion when “translating fetal life into law”

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