The Value of Choice and the Choice to Value: Expanding the Discussion about Fetal Life within Prochoice Advocacy
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2012
© by Hypatia, Inc.
How to Cite
Manninen, B. A. (2012), The Value of Choice and the Choice to Value: Expanding the Discussion about Fetal Life within Prochoice Advocacy. Hypatia. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2012.01302.x
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2012
In this essay, I provide evidence that a new generation of prochoice advocates wishes to move away from defending abortion rights via the view that fetal life has little or no value (for example, as Mary Anne Warren does in her “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion”) and toward a more complex view of abortion rights. This newer view simultaneously grants that fetuses are more than simply “clumps of cells,” that they are, to some extent, entities that possess some degree of value, and also that women still have the right to decide whether they wish to continue a pregnancy (for example, as can be found in the writings of Rosalind Hursthouse, Judith Jarvis Thomson, and Margaret Olivia Little). Prima facie, this may sound like an impossible task—an instance of “having your cake and eating it too”—but I will show throughout my paper that, and how, such a task can indeed be accomplished.