Abortion, Intimacy, and the Duty to Gestate
Little (Margaret Olivia)
Source: Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Sep., 1999), pp. 295-312
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. In this article, I urge that mainstream discussions of abortion1 are dissatisfying in large part because they proceed in polite abstraction from the distinctive circumstances and meanings of gestation. Such discussions, in fact, apply to abortion2 conceptual tools that were designed on the premise that people are physically demarcated, even as gestation is marked by a thorough-going intertwinement.
  2. We cannot fully appreciate what is normatively at stake with legally forcing continued gestation, or again how to discuss moral responsibilities to continue gestating, until we appreciate in their own terms the goods and evils distinctive of gestational connection.
  3. To underscore the need to explore further the meanings of gestation, I provide two examples of the difference it might make to legal and moral discussions of abortion3 if we appreciate more fully that gestation is an intimacy.

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