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24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 3. Abortion

[morality of terminating a life before birth]

33 ideas
Abortions should be procured before the embryo has acquired life and sensation [Aristotle]
Aquinas says a fertilized egg is not human, and has no immortal soul [Aquinas, by Martin/Barresi]
It is a crime to create a being who lacks the ordinary chances of a desirable existence [Mill]
Abortion is puzzling because we do and don't want the unborn child to have rights [Foot]
In the case of something lacking independence, calling it a human being is a matter of choice [Foot]
Maybe abortion can be justified despite the foetus having full human rights [Thomson, by Foot]
The foetus is safe in the womb, so abortion initiates its death, with the mother as the agent. [Foot on Thomson]
A newly fertilized ovum is no more a person than an acorn is an oak tree [Thomson]
Is someone's right to life diminished if they were conceived by a rape? [Thomson]
It can't be murder for a mother to perform an abortion on herself to save her own life [Thomson]
The right to life does not bestow the right to use someone else's body to support that life [Thomson]
The right to life is not a right not to be killed, but not to be killed unjustly [Thomson]
No one is morally required to make huge sacrifices to keep someone else alive for nine months [Thomson]
Most women see an early miscarriage and a late stillbirth as being very different in character [Williams,B]
It is hard to justify the huge difference in our judgements of abortion and infanticide [Jackson]
Why should a potential person have the rights of an actual person? [Singer]
If killing is wrong because it destroys future happiness, not conceiving a happy child is also wrong [Glover]
Defenders of abortion focus on early pregnancy, while opponents focus on later stages [Glover]
If abortion is wrong, it is because a foetus is a human being or a person (or potentially so) [Glover]
If abortion is wrong because of the 'potential' person, that makes contraception wrong too [Glover]
Conception isn't the fixed boundary for a person's beginning, because twins are possible within two weeks [Glover]
If viability is a test or boundary at the beginning of life, it should also be so for frail old people [Glover]
How would we judge abortion if mothers had transparent wombs? [Glover]
Apart from side effects, it seems best to replace an inadequate foetus with one which has a better chance [Glover]
Abortion differs morally from deliberate non-conception only in its side-effects [Glover]
It is always right for a qualified person to perform an abortion when requested by the mother [Glover]
Most people see an abortion differently if the foetus lacks a brain [Dennett]
I may exist before I become a person, just as I exist before I become an adult [Lockwood]
It isn't obviously wicked to destroy a potential human being (e.g. an ununited egg and sperm) [Lockwood]
If the soul is held to leave the body at brain-death, it should arrive at the time of brain-creation [Lockwood]
The issue of abortion seems insoluble, because there is nothing with which to compare it [Scruton]
Abortion issues focus on the mother's right over her body, and the status of the foetus [Statman]
Is abortion the ending of a life, or a decision not to start one? [Tuckness/Wolf]