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Applied ethics and social problemsMoral questions of birth, society and death$
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Tony Fitzpatrick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348609

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348609.001.0001

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(p.159) Nine Becoming
Applied ethics and social problems

Tony Fitzpatrick

Policy Press

This chapter deals with the issues surrounding abortion. It attempts to answer four questions that are key to contemporary debates surrounding abortion and reproduction. Should there be abortion on demand? Should there be abortion on demand? In this chapter, the ethics of abortion has not been reviewed in full but enough has been said, with sentience as a vital determinant of personhood, to propose that abortion on demand is a means of preserving the ‘pragmatic consensus’, especially if we decide that the upper time limit should be reduced. The author also puts emphasis on the right to choose, and that this should be contextualised carefully and systematically by an ethic that, except in the case of extreme harm and suffering, respects the right to be chosen and values the social diversity that differential abilities bring.

Keywords:   abortion, reproduction, pragmatic consensus, personhood, social diversity

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