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We are not gametes: distinguishing between abortion and contraception

Saad, Toni 2016. We are not gametes: distinguishing between abortion and contraception. The New Bioethics 22 (3) , pp. 202-211. 10.1080/20502877.2016.1238581

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It is sometimes argued that interruptions of the life's continuum which have the same end result are morally equivalent. In other words, abortion and contraception are ethically identical because both prevent birth and the development of persons. We will examine two major arguments in favour of this thesis: (1) all things that are potential persons have equal moral status. Hence preventing fertilisation of gametes is morally identical to destroying an embryo; (2) all interruptions of the continuous process which leads to the creation of a person are morally equivalent; abortion and contraception are morally indistinguishable. These arguments challenge those who distinguish between abortion and contraception. It is argued, however, that there is good reason to doubt their validity. Furthermore, an argument is offered which confirms the ethical boundary between abortion and contraception on the basis that an embryo is something greater and other than the sum of its constituent gametes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: potentiality; personhood; embryo; gametes; contraception; abortion
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 2050-2885
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2019 03:36

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