Paradoxes of abortion and prenatal injury

Ethics 116 (4):625-655 (2006)
Many people who believe that abortion may often be justified by appeal to the pregnant woman’s interests also believe that a woman’s infliction of significant but nonlethal injury on her fetus can seldom be justified by appeal to her interests. Yet the second of these beliefs can seem to cast doubt on the first. For the view that the infliction of prenatal injury is seriously morally objectionable may seem to presuppose a view about the status of the fetus that challenges the permissibility of abortion. The fear of being interpreted as implicitly endorsing such a view has thus led some defenders of abortion to be reluctant for tactical reasons to condemn the infliction of prenatal injury. In this they are encouraged by those who exploit the issue of prenatal injury in their campaign against abortion. When, for example, the House and Senate in 2004 passed legislation recognizing two victims of an assault against a pregnant woman, many viewed this as a tactic in a larger strategy to restrict access to abortion. This tactic is potentially effective. For people may find it compelling to infer that, if injuring a fetus is seriously objectionable, abortion must be even more objectionable, since killing is normally more seriously objectionable than merely injuring.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/504621
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

72 ( #67,656 of 1,925,067 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,130 of 1,925,067 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.