David Boonin-Vail. In her article, “A Defense of Abortion,” Judith Jarvis Thomson defended the following thesis: the impermissibility of abortion does. David Boonin has written the most thorough and detailed case for the moral permissibility of abortion yet published. Critically examining a wide range of. Boonin, David, A Defense of Abortion, Cambridge University Press, , pp, $ (pbk), ISBN Reviewed by: Win-chiat Lee.

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Boonn Ethics of Abortion: For example, fetal viability is used to justify abortion while, at the same time, justifying the rejection of infanticide. Customers who bought this item also bought. Josh Bertsch rated it really liked it Feb 04, If there are persons ready to adopt the child once it is born, then it is possible to avoid abortionn burden of being a parent without killing the infant.

He then explains how even if the fetus does have a right to life, abortion can still be shown to be morally permissible on the critique of abortion’s own terms. The mother is at best responsible for the existence of the fetus, but not responsible for the fact that the fetus cannot survive outside her womb, given that it now exists. He then explains how even if the fetus does have a right to life, abortion can still be shown to be morally permissible on the critic of abortion’s own terms.

By adopting such a conservative position, which would rule out the possibility that preterm-born fetuses could survive outside the womb, abortion could be justified while infanticide is rejected. Abstract Although the abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome has become commonplace, infanticide is still widely rejected.

See all 8 reviews. Review “I have never read a better examination of all the arguments that have been raised against abortion. Abortion and a Serious Right to Life. Cambridge University Press- Medical – pages.

The most helpful account of moral permissibility Boonin offers is the following: Thomson argues that it would be permissible for you to unplug yourself from the violinist even though this act would lead to the death of the violinist. Consequently, in order to avoid becoming a parent to a child with Down syndrome, one can eliminate the fetus by abortion, kill the infant, or give the infant up for adoption.


Cost, quality and ddavid of life. Therefore, in the face of these uncertainties, there are deense reasons to opt for the second alternative whereby both the abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome and infanticide are rejected. Yes, the baby should live: Nevertheless, screening fetuses for Down syndrome has become a common obstetric practice in xavid countries [ 5 ], and as no treatment is available for the defects detected, the screening is intended to provide information that can serve as a basis for deciding whether or not to abort the fetus [ 6 ].

Journal of the American Medical Association. Issues for Service Providers: Even if you are pro-choice, you should make sure you are pro-choice for logical reasons. This strategy, if it had worked, would have been the most robust way of defending abortion rights while, at the same time, rejecting the permissibility of infanticide.

A Defense of Abortion – David Boonin – Google Books

In this way, this review does not do justice defenwe the book because these particular arguments are where the real action of the book takes place. Viability is another criterion that can be invoked to defend abortion while rejecting infanticide.

If the intention of an action is morally relevant, then surely such an intention makes the disconnection morally impermissible. American Bonin of Bioethics. Lists with This Book. The author explains the contrast between morally criticizable and morally permissible. Admittedly, adoption can only be implemented after delivery, but this mere difference in timeline does not invalidate adoption as an alternative to abortion, granted that adoption is considered to be an alternative to infanticide.

A Defense of Abortion

Even though there is no denying that a fetus at conception has a future-like-ours, another necessary ingredient is missing, namely, that the fetus values such a future. It’s most impressive for its goal of defending abortion using arguments that pro-life folks already accept. Critically examining a wide array of arguments that have attempted to establish that every human fetus has a right to life, Boonin That is, Boonin owes us an account as to why the duties that are neither based on or correlatives of other people’s rights can never rise to the same level of importance or seriousness as those that are.

A Defense of Abortion abortiln David Boonin. This is in fact how David Boonin defends z criterion based on organized cortical activity. While I will not be able to accomplish a full-fledged defense daviid my position here, I will nevertheless provide reasons for why I believe that we should opt for the second position.


This is the best defense of abortion I have encountered.

Nevertheless, it would strengthen my case if one could demonstrate that it would be rational under some circumstances to act in such a ahortion, and I believe there are such circumstances.

The overall conclusion of the present arguments is that it is difficult to morally justify the abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome without also permitting the killing of infants with Down syndrome.


Find it on Scholar. The criteria related to consciousness do not exclude infanticide simply because an infant can be born without having been conscious at earlier stages. Overall, it is a good book for people who want an introduction to a number of the arguments around the issue of abortion. This is not primarily because this argument is unable to differentiate between the abortion of fetuses with Down syndrome and the killing of infants with Down syndrome, as is the case, as I have argued, with criteria based on consciousness and viability.

Separating the infant from the fetus. Therefore, if the fetus has the right to life at conception, then it must be due to the fact that it will come to possess later on the relevant properties you and I already possess.

In both cases, the proponents of the GS argument assume that human persons are being killed. Scott rated it really liked it Apr 10, For example, in the latter situation, there is commonly both a father and a mother equally affected by the situation, while the mother is clearly more affected in the former situation [ 35 ].

But in Boonin’s view, this argument ultimately fails to show that the fetus has the right to life at conception. Such a position would still not rule out the moral permissibility of infanticide according to criteria based on the existence of consciousness.

The following sentence offers no help: As discussed above, adoption provides an alternative to infanticide, and as long as parenthood can be avoided by means other than killing the fetus, such an option seems preferable to infanticide.