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ABORTION. By: Ronald F. White, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy College of Mount St. Joseph. Factors Influencing Debate. Scientific Factors Advancement Biological Science Advancement in Technology Economic Factors Social Factors Political Factors. How to Argue About Abortion.

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abortion

ABORTION

By: Ronald F. White, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy

College of Mount St. Joseph

factors influencing debate
Factors Influencing Debate
  • Scientific Factors
    • Advancement Biological Science
    • Advancement in Technology
  • Economic Factors
  • Social Factors
  • Political Factors
how to argue about abortion
How to Argue About Abortion
  • Legality of Abortion v. Morality of Abortion
  • Morality of Abortion
    • Teleological Arguments
      • Egoism-
      • Utilitarianism-
    • Deontological Arguments
      • Divine Command
      • Rights-Based
strategy 1 arguments concerning the moral status of the fetus
Strategy 1. Arguments Concerning the Moral Status of the Fetus
  • Persons and the Moral Universe
    • Persons and Property
    • Undoubted Persons and Undoubted Non-Persons
      • Hard Cases: fetuses, comatose, animals
  • Descriptive Personhood (Scientific)
    • Consciousness
    • Sentience
    • Self Awareness
    • Intelligence
  • Prescriptive Personhood: (Legal or Moral)
    • Species Criterion
    • Potentiality Criterion
    • Graduated Potentiality
    • Actual Possession Criterion
strategy 2 utilitarian arguments
Strategy 2: Utilitarian Arguments
  • Social Costs and Benefits
  • Consequences for:
    • Women
    • Men
    • Fetuses
    • Community
    • Health Care System
    • Welfare System
  • Monitoring and Enforcement of Anti-Abortion Legislation (Black Markets)
strategy 3 rights based arguments
Strategy 3. Rights-Based Arguments
  • The Plugged in Violinist
  • Beneficence and Non-Maleficence
  • Voluntariness and Self-Defense
    • Rape
    • Incest
    • Save Life of Mother
    • Economic Reasons
small group discussion questions
Small Group Discussion Questions
  • Are early abortions (during the first trimester) morally preferable to late abortions (during the second or third trimester)? Is infanticide ever morally justifiable?
  • Is abortion ever morally justified? If so, under what conditions? Discuss the justifiability of each of of the following conditions
    • Rape
    • Incest
    • Contraceptive Failure
    • Save the Life of the Mother
    • Save the Health of the Mother
    • Save the Economic Health of the Mother (or Family).
    • Severe Genetic Deformity of the Fetus: anencephaly, Tay Sach's Disease, Down Syndrome,
    • Multiple Births
  • Which of the following legal restrictions on abortion are morally justifiable?
    • Parental Consent Laws-Should women under the age of 18 be required by law to present evidence that her mother or father has given consent for an abortion? 
    • Spousal Consent Laws-Should married women be required by law to present evidence that her spouse has been notified of a planned abortion? Should unmarried  women be required by law to present evidence that the father of the fetus has been informed?  
    • Informed Consent Laws-  Should women be compelled by law to told specific information about abortion procedures beyond safety and effectiveness: fetal development etc.
    • 24 Hour Waiting Period Laws- Should women be compelled by law to wait 24 hours after being provided abortion-related information?
    • The Morning After Pill –Should it be legal? Prescription? Over-the-Counter, Over-18?