Who Shall Count as a Human Being?
In discussions of abortion policy, the premature ultimate is ‘humanity.’ Does the fetus possess ‘humanity’? How does one go about deciding whether a living being possesses it? And what rights go with such possession? These and similar questions have arisen beginning with the earliest speculations about human origins and characteristics. They are still thought central to the abortion debate. I propose to show in this paper that they cannot help us come to grips with the problem of abortion; indeed they obfuscate all discussion in this domain and lend themselves to dangerous interpretations precisely because of their obscurity.
KeywordsHuman Life Slippery Slope Clear Line Normative Conclusion Early Abortion
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