Thursday, June 01, 2006

A new frame for the abortion debate

Eileen McDonagh argues in this month's issue of Free Inquiry that the case for legalized abortion should no longer be framed as a matter of choice.

We must turn to a new argument for abortion rights, one based on the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. This argument establishes that, even if the fetus "is" a person, a woman still has a right to an abortion, as based on what the fetus "does." As I shall argue, to combat legislation such as the South Dakota statute, the key abortion-rights issue must be reframed from a woman's right to make choices about what to do with her own body to her right to consent to the way a state-protected entity, the fetus, affects her body and liberty when pregnancy results from the presence of the fetus in her body.

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