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Arguments about AbortionPersonhood, Morality, and Law$
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Kate Greasley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766780

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766780.001.0001

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Selective Abortion

Selective Abortion

Sex and Disability

(p.223) 10 Selective Abortion
Arguments about Abortion

Kate Greasley

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the special problems associated with selective abortion, focussing on two types: sex selective abortion (SSA) and ‘fetal abnormality abortion’ (FAA). Not only are selective abortions on the basis of sex and disability the most politically relevant kinds (since other characteristics either are not typically tested for or cannot be detected during pregnancy); moral attitudes toward them have also been harnessed in interesting ways in the wider battle over abortion rights. It is argued that both opponents and supporters of abortion rights may not be able to, with consistency, direct specific moral opprobrium at SSA without making the same statements about FAA. All the same, though, it is argued that philosophical opponents of abortion are simply in error to claim there is anything inconsistent about supporting abortion rights generally whilst arguing that there are good reasons to support exceptional restrictions on selective abortion.

Keywords:   selective abortion, fetal sex, fetal disability, sex selective abortions, fetal abnormality abortions

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