It's Complicated: What Our Attitudes toward Pregnancy, Abortion, and Miscarriage Tell Us about the Moral Status of Early Fetuses

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many accounts of the morality of abortion assume that early fetuses must all have or lack moral status in virtue of developmental features that they share. Our actual attitudes toward early fetuses don't reflect this all-or-nothing assumption. If we start with the assumption that our attitudes toward fetuses are accurately tracking their value, then we need an account of fetal moral status that can explain why it is appropriate to love some fetuses but not others. I argue that a fetus can come to have moral claims on persons who have taken up the activity of person-creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-965
Number of pages16
JournalCanadian Journal of Philosophy
Volume50
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • fetus
  • miscarriage
  • moral status
  • parental obligations
  • pregnancy
  • procreative ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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