A Christian Philosopher’s View of Recent Directions in the Abortion Debate
Lee (Patrick)
Source: Christian Bioethics, Jan-Apr2004, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p7-31, 25p
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. From the standpoint of a Christian philosopher, heeding the teaching and exhortations of Pope John Paul II and previous popes, I examine three directions in which the recent philosophical debate has developed.
  2. In the last seven or eight years there has been
    1. a renewed focus on the biological issue of when a human individual comes to be,
    2. new arguments for the proposition that personhood is a characteristic acquired after birth, and
    3. refinements of the early argument of Judith Thomson.
  3. Replying to these developments, I defend, on philosophical grounds, the pro-life position. I argue that
    1. a distinct, whole (though immature) human individual comes to be at conception,
    2. that he or she is a person, with full moral worth, from the moment he or she comes to be, and
    3. the mothers and fathers have a special responsibility to their children which entails (at least) that they ought not to choose to abort1 them.
  4. I conclude by briefly indicating, from the standpoint of Christian faith, why Christian philosophers should vigorously pursue this debate.

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