A Sensible Confucian Perspective on Abortion

Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 14 (2):235-253 (2015)
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Abstract

Confucian resources for moral discourse and public policy concerning abortion have potential to broaden the prevailing forms of debate in Western societies. However, what form a Confucian contribution might take is itself debatable. This essay provides a critique of Philip J. Ivanhoe’s recent proposal for a Confucian account of abortion. I contend that Ivanhoe’s approach is neither particularly Confucian, nor viable as effective and humane public policy. Affirmatively, I argue that a Confucian approach to abortion will assiduously root moral consideration and public policy in evidence-based strategies that recognize the complexity of the phenomena of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. What most distinguishes a Confucian approach, I argue, is a refusal to treat abortion as a moral dilemma that stands free of the myriad social conditions and societal inequities in which empirical evidence shows it situates.

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Amy Olberding
University of Oklahoma

Citations of this work

Birth with dignity from the Confucian perspective.Jianhui Li & Yaming Li - 2018 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 39 (5):375-388.
Confucianism, Human Dignity, and Reverence for Life.Erin M. Cline - 2016 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15 (4):607-617.

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References found in this work

Sexual assault and the problem of consent.Patricia Kazan - 1998 - In Stanley French, Wanda Teays & Laura Purdy (eds.), Violence Against Women: Philosophical Perspectives. Cornell University Press. pp. 27--42.
A confucian perspective on abortion.Philip J. Ivanhoe - 2010 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 9 (1):37-51.

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