Thanks Elle, you rightly highlight the difficult social issues of poverty, neglect and deprivation that are too readily ignored by politicians jumping on the anti-abortionist bandwagon. Many of the arguments around this issue are sloganised and naive-indeed, if you convince a prostitute with a drug problem not to abort her baby and the child ends up being abused at the age of 9 by her clients (I know this personally), it might seem cruel and unjust.

I really do appreciate the social dimension and understand the pragmatic arguments which I really thoroughly give space to here:

I also really appreciate that you recognise that the fetus has rights — that is what I am endeavoring to show in principle. It is the human rights that is at the heart of the ethical issues, not the perceived or actual rights of the woman. I am not desiring to take rights from a woman but for us, as men and women, to recognise there is a human being here that must have some rights as an innocent third party, regardless of the circumstances of their conception. Most people I encounter that support abortion are not so nuanced-it is the woman’s choice to be pregnant or not, period.

You rightly show the racial dimension also — however, it is worth remembering that the founder of Planned Parenthood was an evangelistic eugenicist who believed that abortion could help solve the “negro problem”. It is no accident that in the eugenicist atmosphere of the 20th century (all the way up to the early 1970s in the UK), family planning and eugenics were never far apart.

It is really good that women have a real choice which is why I love this story.

I have just realised I have not addressed the issue regarding fertility clinics. The issue of embryology and research is I believe a genuine moral dilemma and as such requires careful treatment by medical ethicists. There is some exceptional work and its rebuffing done in the Australian context in the early 2000s when the research programme worldwide took a major step forward in its capability (stem-cell research) which I shall try and assemble into some sort of article list. It demonstrates the polar opposite approaches and commendable ethical goals of both sides of the argument. However, this should be held in sharp distinction from casual disposal.

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I write engineering software for a technical website and am studying part-time for a PhD in Philosophy,

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