The Ontology of Abortion
Engelhardt (H. Tristram)
Source: Ethics, 84, No. 3, Apr., 1974, pp. 217-234
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    The question of abortion1 turns primarily upon the status of the fetus2. I argue that in considering human life one must distinguish between human biological life and human personal life. Moreover, there are, so I contend, two senses of persons. The first denotes self-conscious, moral agents. The second denotes instances of human life which can and must play active, social roles. Neither of these characterizations can be made to apply to fetuses3, in particular non-viable fetuses4. Since our obligations are solely to persons, there is, therefore, no one wronged in abortion5, in particular the abortion6 of non-viable fetuses7.

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