Identity Over Time and The Ethics of Abortion

Introduction There is a well-known philosophical argument against abortion that focuses on the identity of the embryo and fetus over time. Alex Pruss presents a prototypical example of this kind of argument in his paper I Was Once a Fetus: That is Why Abortion is Wrong. The argument can be summarized as follows: Every bornContinue reading “Identity Over Time and The Ethics of Abortion”

Why Fetal Potential is not Enough

Introduction A common argument for the pro-life position relates to the potential of the fetus. Even if the fetus isn’t presently conscious and self-aware, the argument goes, they nonetheless have the potential for these things. On this view, the mere potential for complex psychological capacities is sufficient for significant moral status and the right toContinue reading “Why Fetal Potential is not Enough”

Abortion Does Not Harm Women

Introduction Occasionally, pro-life advocates argue that abortion is wrong, at least in part, because it harms the women who get abortions. It’s important to note what precisely this argument needs to establish in order to succeed. It’s not enough to allege that abortion is potentially or sometimes harmful to women in certain circumstances. This isContinue reading “Abortion Does Not Harm Women”

A Qualified Case for Abortion Rights

Introduction In debates surrounding abortion ethics, questions about the personhood of the fetus steal most of the attention. This is somewhat understandable, as the personhood of the fetus is what determines whether abortion is prima facie wrong. However, it is vitally important to make sure that the personhood of the pregnant woman is not lostContinue reading “A Qualified Case for Abortion Rights”