Is Abortion a Question of Personal Morality?

International Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (1):91-99 (2013)
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Abstract

Is abortion a question of personal morality? Liberals and feminists often embrace this idea, but so also do those who are personally opposed to abortion. Someone may claim to believe personally that abortion is wrong without holding the corresponding public belief. I am interested in what exactly one means when one says that abortion is a question of personal morality. In Sec. II, I consider three influential interpretations of the claim that abortion is a question of personal morality. After showing that each of these interpretations is inadequate, I develop a fourth that avoids some of the problems with the first three (in Sec. III). But even on this interpretation, the claim that abortion is a question of personal morality is difficult to defend. This is because we cannot show that abortion is a question of personal morality without first knowing something about the moral status of the fetus. I conclude the paper with some pessimistic remarks concerning our ability to arrive at a compromise position on abortion.

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Author's Profile

Julie Kirsch
D'Youville College

Citations of this work

Christianity, Epistemic Peer Disagreement, and the Abortion Debate.Michael Jones & John Molinari - 2018 - Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 17 (49):32-45.

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References found in this work

Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The morality of freedom.J. Raz - 1988 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (1):108-109.
Analyzing Oppression.Ann E. Cudd - 2006 - New York, US: Oup Usa.

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