o Legal Personhood Issues The fetus is granted personhood if wanted by the mother The fetus can become a non-person at the discretion of the mother However, a mother may not choose to kill her born child How can the personhood of a human being be decided by another person? Moral Arguments “Benefit” to women “Benefit to child (every child “wanted”) “Right” to control their own body Population control Fetus is not a person – personality argument o “Benefit” to Women Prevention of deaths from “coat hanger” or “back alley” abortions Cases of rape or incest, fetal abnormalities or threats to mother’s life or health Abortion alleviates economic and social problems Abortion Must Remain Legal to Prevent Abortion Deaths Abortion Must Remain Legal to Prevent Abortion Deaths o The “Hard” Cases Abortion must be available for: cases of rape or incest Represent only 1% of all cases cases of fetal abnormalities Represent only 1% of all cases mother’s health is at risk Represents only 3% of all cases Abortion Alleviates Economic and Social Problems
Pregnancy subjugates women, interferes with career and educational choices For most women, pregnancy does not interfere with the ability to work or attend school, except after birth Laws prevent employers from firing or discriminating against pregnant women Women are not forced to keep their children. Adoption is always an option The existence of social problems is not justification for another evil Every Child Should Be Wanted Being wanted is not a condition of the child, but of the adult Is it fair to kill a child because of the attitude of an adult? Wanted children are less likely to suffer abuse (next slide) o Every Child Should Be Wanted (Wanted Children Are Less Likely to Be Abused) Women Have a “Right” to Control Their Own Body Is the fetus part their body? Separate circulatory system Unique DNA Do we have rights to do anything with our bodies? Assault Illegal drugs Use of drugs/alcohol during pregnancy o Population Control – Rebuttal Those countries that outlaw abortion have an overcrowding problem This does not indicated cause and effect – these countries also have little or no access to birth-control, poor education, etc. War, disease and famine also curb population growth. Should we condone them? o Fetus Is Not a Person “Persons . . . are members of a social community that shapes and values them, and personhood must be defined in terms of interactions and relationships with others.” Susan Sherwin. 1999. Ethical Issues: Perspectives for Canadians . Ed. Soifer, Eldon. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, p. 267 o Fetus Is Not a Person – Rebuttal Personality definition problems Does a human non-person exist?
- Fall '08
- human embryology, Medical Embryology Textbooks