Abortion and Social Responsibility: Depolarizing the Debate by Laurie Shrage

By Laurie Shrage

Shrage argues that Roe v Wade's regulatory scheme of a six-month time span for abortion on call for polarized the general public and obscured possible choices with in all probability broader help. She explores the origins of that scheme, then defends an alternative one--with a time span shorter than 6 months for non-therapeutic abortions--that may well win vast help had to make criminal abortion providers to be had to all ladies.

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Additional resources for Abortion and Social Responsibility: Depolarizing the Debate (Studies in Feminist Philosophy)

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This court has ruled that abortion on demand is inconsistent with the value society places on each human life, but this court also recognizes the inappropriateness of coercing motherhood and nurture by threatening criminal sanctions. Accordingly, this court has encouraged state bureaucrats and legislators to develop public assistance programs that allow women to choose pregnancy over abortion without facing excessive personal hardship. 97 Women who can demonstrate that pregnancy poses serious hardships, even with economic support, have access to state-supported abortion services.

His position that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the viable fetus, because it is sentient, is inconsistent with his claim that: "A state may not curtail liberty, in order to protect an intrinsic value . . " But endorsing a theory of when a protohuman life begins is no better than endorsing a theory of when a human life begins. Dworkin's third reason for the appropriateness of viability is more compatible with his general analysis that, when the state regulates abortion, it is fulfilling its responsibility to uphold a fundamental social value.

If banning abortion at six months does not too drastically abridge a woman's right, then banning abortion at five months similarly does not too drastically abridge her right, and the earlier cutoff further advances the state's interest in protecting potential life. In other words, the reasons Newman provides for permitting the state to ban abortions at viability either are not sufficient to support banning abortion at all, but only particular abortion methods, or they are sufficient to support banning abortion at viability, and possibly earlier.

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