In this chapter we shall consider problems with the cutoff abortion argument and then examine two alternative arguments for the permissibility of abortion.
The cutoff abortion argument has many problems. The cutoff abortion argument has many problems. The one that I want to focus on now is that when creating new people, just making sure that they will be no worse off than if they had never existed and will not be harmed relative to prospects they had before being conceived are not sufficient conditions. 1
For example, on the continuing assumption that the fetus is a person would it be permissible for a woman to begin a pregnancy knowing that she will intentionally abort it? One such case could arise if a woman's chance of developing breast cancer would be reduced by becoming pregnant and then having an abortion. In another case, perhaps a woman wants to get pregnant as a summer project--just to see what it is like-- and also intends to abort. Avoiding cancer is a weighty reason for pregnancy; a summer project is a frivolous one. Yet both cases seem to carry with them an inappropriate attitude toward creating a new person. In these cases, pregnancies are begun as a means to some end other than having a child and with the intention that they will end with an abortion.
Suppose that abortion involved intending the death of the fetus as a means to--not merely foreseeing its death as a consequence of--freeing