Saturday 25 November 2017

Too many generalisations in nuanced issue of abortion

• Discussions of abortion and pregnancy remain insufficiently nuanced to do justice to the issues involved.

They tend to set up superficial polarities, for example, between pro-life and pro-choice, allied to competing assertions about the status of the foetus and about when it should acquire the protection of the law.

Generalisations suggesting that we may never take an innocent life are also unhelpful in that there are so many cases where we may. For example, in separating conjoined twins one of the two is sometimes justifiably sacrificed so that the other will live; in mountaineering, to preserve one's life it may be necessary to cut the rope of a colleague who is beyond rescue and is now endangering your life.

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