Do you think abortion should or should not be legal when the pregnancy results from rape?

1. Do you think abortion should or should not be legal when the pregnancy results from rape? Regardless of whether it’s legal, is it moral? If one opposes all abortion on the grounds that’s fetuses are persons from the moment of conception, is it possible to consistently defend an exception for pregnancies resulting from rape?

2. The traditional Roman Catholic position on abortion rests on the assumption that the unborn is a person from conception. Since the fetus is an innocent person, even when a pregnancy is due to rape or incest, the fetus may not be held accountable and made to suffer through its death. According to Roman Catholicism, then, a direct abortion is never morally justifiable. (Although the fetus may never be deliberated killed, it may be allowed to die as a consequence of an action that is intended to save the life of the mother, such as the removal of a malignant uterus.) By this account, an abortion in the preceding case would be immoral. Evaluate this position.

3. Christian moralist Joseph Fletcher has written: “No unwanted and unintended baby should ever be born.” Do you think such a rule would produce the greatest social benefit?

4. Do you think Rawl’s first principle of social justice has any relevance to the abortion issue?

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