Must We Have Full Moral Status Throughout Our Existence? A Reply to Alfonso Gómez-Lobo
DeGrazia (David)
Source: Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal Vol. 17, No. 4, December 2007, 297–310
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Author’s Abstract

  1. Those who are morally opposed to abortion generally make several pivotal assumptions. This paper focuses on the assumption that we have full moral status throughout our existence.
  2. Coupled with the assumption that we come into existence at conception, the assumption about moral status entails that all human fetuses have full moral status, including a right to life.
  3. Is the assumption about moral status correct? In addressing this question, I respond to several arguments advanced, in this journal and other venues, by Alfonso Gomez-Lobo.
  4. Gómez-Lobo’s reasoning resolves into two basic arguments:
    1. An appeal to the practical necessity of early moral protection and
    2. An appeal to our kind membership and potentiality.
  5. I respond to these in turn before offering further reflections.

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