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Abortion Ethics 1

February 17, 2012

Pro-life to pro-choice

Most people initially find abortion abhorrent, but often change their views. When my mother told me killing unborn babies was murder I agreed. But now I’m an obstetrician/gynaecologist, and for years I’ve done abortions. What happened?

None of what follows is original, but perhaps it will help someone.

The pro-life case goes something like this.

Killing innocent people is wrong
The fetus is a person
Therefore abortion/killing the fetus is wrong.

But
People should be allowed to do what they like with their own bodies
The mother is a person
Therefore she should be allowed to empty her uterus/have an abortion

The anti-abortionist needs a third argument to resolve the conflict.

When one person’s desire to do what they like with their own body conflicts with another person’s desire not to be killed, not killing takes precedence.

It all sounds reasonable. But those who are pro-choice, like me, must find the flaw.
Tomorrow’s post examines the claim that the fetus is a person.

Jim Thornton

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