The de-moralisation of a woman’s right to choose - Sp!ked
Arguments about why abortion should be considered a problem have changed considerably in recent years. Writing in the 1980s, the American philosopher LW Sumner stated: ‘Abortion is a moral problem… What is at stake for the fetus is life itself… What is at stake for the woman is autonomy – control of the use to be made of her body.’
In the early twenty-first century the issue appears far less clear. A whole range of issues – fetal viability, fetal sentience, and a range of areas relating to the effects of abortion on women’s health – are just as likely as moral questions to animate participants in the abortion debate. What these issues have in common is their (pseudo) scientific and medical character. In all these examples, the language of risk and safety replaces that of right and wrong. Heated debates about ‘the evidence’ take the place of that about political outlook.