Restricting Donative Choice: Fetal Tissue Transplantation and Respect for Human Life
Author(s)Kinney, Joanna H.
fetal tissue transplant
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AbstractI propose that a woman who becomes pregnant with the intent to abort will be treated as an initial aggressor, and as such she will be denied the "abortion exception" that will be granted to the woman who aborts an accidental, unwanted pregnancy. Moreover, I shall argue that a woman should not be allowed to designate the donee of the fetal tissue from her abortion, even though her pregnancy was accidental. Without this restriction, a woman who intends to become pregnant and abort may simply claim her pregnancy was accidental, and thereby claim the exception. Central to this study is the question of fetal worth, and the value to be ascribed to beings not like us, that is, not like human beings who have been born. Although I argue for a moral justification of elective abortions, I intend to show that such a justification should be a narrowly drawn exception to the prima facie duties neither to harm nor to instrumentalize others. I shall also argue that prohibiting a woman from becoming pregnant in order to abort is necessary because such a situation does not fall within the narrow exception for elective abortions, and that such a restriction is crucial to preserving our respect for those with no voice. Finally, I shall argue that the prohibition against becoming pregnant with the intent to abort does not vitiate a woman's right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Rather, this restriction is a necessary condition of the prima facie duties of nonmaleficence and non-insturmentalization.