Ectogenesis, abortion and a right to the death of the fetus

Bioethics 31 (9):697-702 (2017)
Authors
Joona Räsänen
University of Oslo
Abstract
Many people believe that the abortion debate will end when at some point in the future it will be possible for fetuses to develop outside the womb. Ectogenesis, as this technology is called, would make possible to reconcile pro-life and pro-choice positions. That is because it is commonly believed that there is no right to the death of the fetus if it can be detached alive and gestated in an artificial womb. Recently Eric Mathison and Jeremy Davis defended this position, by arguing against three common arguments for a right to the death of the fetus. I claim that their arguments are mistaken. I argue that there is a right to the death of the fetus because gestating a fetus in an artificial womb when genetic parents refuse it violates their rights not to become a biological parent, their rights to genetic privacy and their property rights. The right to the death of the fetus, however, is not a woman's right but genetic parents’ collective right which only can be used together.
Keywords abortion  ectogenesis  genetic privacy  parenthood  property right  right not to become a parent
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12404
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