Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 13 (4) (1992)
The purpose of this commentary on James Nelson's article  is to advocate introducing the ethics of care into the arena of gestational conflict. Too often the debate gets stalled in a maternal versus fetal rights headlock. Interventionists stress fetal over maternal rights: they believe education, post-birth prosecution or pre-birth seizure of pregnant women may be permissible. In contrast to interventionists, other philosophers stress that favoring fetal rights treats women like fetal containers. I question whether we should really consider issues of moral/parental obligations to children in terms of rights. Rather, the language of care should guide moral conduct vis-a-vis children/fetuses. The particularity of each woman's story — the particulars of her human relationships — inform her story. An individual's ability to care is largely a function of whether community cares for her. We must care for others to enable them to care for themselves and their loved ones — born or unborn.
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