Reproducing Persons: Philosophical Essays / Edition 1

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Overview

Controversies about abortion and women's reproductive technologies often seem to reflect personal experience, religious commitment, or emotional response. Laura M. Purdy believes, however, that coherent ethical principles are implicit in these controversies and that feminist bioethics can help clarify the conflicts of interest which often figure in human reproduction. As she defines the underlying issues, Purdy emphasizes the importance of taking women's interests fully into account. Reproducing Persons first explores the rights and duties connected with conception and pregnancy. Purdy asks whether conceiving a child or taking a pregnancy to term can ever be morally wrong. She challenges the thinking of those who feel the prospect of disability or serious genetic disease should not constrain conception or justify abortion. The essays next look at abortion from a variety of angles. One contends that killing fetuses is not murder; others emphasize the moral importance of access to abortion. Purdy considers the conflicting interests of women and men regarding abortion, and argues against requiring a husband's consent. The book concludes with a consideration of new reproductive technologies and arrangements, including the controversial issue of surrogacy, or contract pregnancy. Throughout, Purdy combines traditional utilitarianism with some of the most powerful insights of contemporary feminist ethics. Her provocative essays create guidelines for approaching new topics and inspire fresh thinking about old ones.
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Editorial Reviews

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"This book is frankly opinionated, though far from close-minded, and joins analytic arguments with appeals to sensibility. . . Time and again, Purdy points out double standards, juxtaposing the ways in which we frame and judge women's behavior with the ways in which we frame and judge behavior elsewhere."—Margaret Olivia Little, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Women and Health
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801483226
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Right to Reproduce: Limits and Caveats 35
1 Genetics and Reproductive Risk: Can Having Children Be Immoral? 39
2 Loving Future People 50
3 What Can Progress in Reproductive Technology Mean for Women? 75
4 Are Pregnant Women Fetal Containers? 88
Pt. II Abortion and the Right Not to Reproduce 107
5 Is Abortion Murder? 110
6 Abortion, Potentiality, and Conferred Claims: A Response to Langerak 128
7 Abortion and the Argument from Convenience 132
8 Abortion, Forced Labor, and War 146
9 Abortion and the Husband's Rights: A Reply to Teo 161
Pt. III New Worlds: Collaborative Reproduction 169
10 The Morality of New Reproductive Technologies 171
11 Surrogate Mothering: Exploitation or Empowerment? 182
12 Another Look at Contract Pregnancy 198
13 Children of Choice: Whose Children? At What Cost? 216
Selected Bibliography 239
Index 247
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