The Fighting Mongoose

Philosophy, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -Ambrose Bierce
A group weblog by the graduate philosophy students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Thursday, October 05, 2006

1) An infant has the same moral worth as it did the day before it was born, and this carries back (at least) through most of the third trimester of pregnancy.

2) During most of the third trimester, labor can be artificially induced with a high survival rate.

3) Therefore, either (non-medically needed) third trimester abortions are immoral or infanticide is moral.

It seems that there is no reason to think that the process of birth adds any moral value to a child. The usual moral grounding for abortion is that a woman has rights to control her body, and I’m sure many of us are familiar with the Violinist example: . The third trimester gives us a different position than the Violinist however, because a woman could “disconnect” without necessitating death. I cannot find any reason then why a woman could not maintain control of her body with a lesser right to have labor induced and simply leave the child for adoption.

Maintaining the right to third trimester abortions then would be a right beyond control of one’s body and be a right to end the life of the child independent of its relation to one’s body. If we wish to say that the moral value of the third trimester child is so low, then it seems that we should simply say that infanticide is permissible.

I find it hard to see an argument for another pro-choice position, but maybe someone can enlighten me.


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