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Creation EthicsReproduction, Genetics, and Quality of Life$
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David DeGrazia

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195389630

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389630.001.0001

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Prenatal Moral Status and Ethics

Prenatal Moral Status and Ethics

(p.16) 2 Prenatal Moral Status and Ethics
Creation Ethics

David DeGrazia

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of how we should understand the moral status of the prenatal human being and the attendant ethical issues of abortion and embryo research. The first section defends a framework for understanding prenatal moral status, a framework that supports liberal views about abortion and embryo research. The next section rebuts the three strongest arguments in favor of a pro-life approach. It is argued in the next section, perhaps surprisingly, that one might reasonably doubt the author’s framework. Hence a sort of pluralism regarding prenatal moral status. In view of this stalemate, the discussion is redirected to the level of political philosophy and social policy; a liberal approach to policy is defended. The final section sketches and defends such an approach to abortion and embryo research.

Keywords:   prenatal moral status, abortion, embryo research, pluralism, pro-life, pro-choice, political philosophy, social policy

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