- The Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Ethics
- Biographical Sketches
- The Discursive Context of Reproductive Ethics
- Access to Basic Reproductive Rights: Global Challenges
- Constructing the Abortion Argument
- Victims of Trafficking, Reproductive Rights, and Asylum
- The Commodification of Women’s Reproductive Tissue and Services
- Twenty-First-Century Eugenics
- Procreative Rights in a Postcoital World
- Reproduction as a Civil Right
- Conscientious Objection in Reproductive Health
- The Role of Providers in Assisted Reproduction: Potential Conflicts, Professional Conscience, and Personal Choice
- Ethical Issues in Newborn Screening
- How We Acquire Parental Rights
- Mothers and Others: Relational Autonomy in Parenting
- Procreators’ Duties: Sexual Asymmetries
- Reproductive Control for Men: For Men?
- Societal Disregard for the Needs of the Infertile
- Is Surrogacy Ethically Problematic?
- Parents with Disabilities
- Late-in-Life Motherhood: Ethico-Legal Perspectives on the Postponement of Childbearing and Access to Artificial Reproductive Technologies
- Justice, Procreation, and the Costs of Having and Raising Disabled Children
- Ethical Issues in the Evolving Realm of Egg Donation
- Sperm and Egg Donor Anonymity: Legal and Ethical Issues
- Who Am I When I’m Pregnant?
- Contemplating the Start of Someone
- The Possibility of Being Harmed by One’s Own Conception
- Understanding Procreative Beneficence
- Opting for Twins in In Vitro Fertilization: What Does Procreative Responsibility Require?
- Procreative Responsibility in View of What Parents Owe Their Children
Abstract and Keywords
Debates in the abortion literature typically rely upon crude versions of ethical naturalism. Pro-choice advocates invoke the absence of psychological characteristics such as the capacity to reason to support the claim that fetuses do not have a right to life; pro-life advocates invoke biological characteristics such as the human genome to support the claim that the fetus does have that right. Yet such arguments notoriously transition from claims of fact to moral claims. In contrast, constructivism offers a novel and useful approach to the abortion debate. In this chapter, I provide a constructivist account of the ethics of abortion. On this account, the fetus’s right to life derives from parents taking on the obligation to care for and nourish their future child. This constructivist account of the right to life as a special personal obligation offers a dramatic challenge to natural rights theorists’ paradigmatic example.
Rosamond Rhodes, Professor of Medical Education, Director of Bioethics Education, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
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