Silent Subject

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Overview

When, God willing, the abortion controversy is behind us, partisans of the pro-life and pro-choice positions are going to have to live together in this society. That is why, sloganeering and passionate polemics are inevitable, civil conversation is essential. And that is why The Silent Subject is such a gift to all of us at this point in the controversy. (From the foreword by Richard John Neuhaus) The essays in this work constitute a sensitive, public argument for a reconstruction of the confused—yet dominant—popular attitudes toward nascent human life and its value. Unlike most pro-life arguments, it offers no strictly religious or exclusively sectarian warrants for its assertions - instead bearing a more secular cast, speaking to a generalized and pluralistic audience. As a whole, The Silent Subject embraces no specific, particular political ideology. Its contributors have a broad spectrum of professional interests, political perspectives and social philosophies - all of which indicates the fundamentally humanistic and apolitical nature of concern for the unborn and the degree to which they are esteemed. This unusual book is a refreshingly candid and morally compelling analysis of the social forces that superintend our cultural outlook toward unborn human life.

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews

Diane M. Kondratowicz
This is an edited collection of original essays written by authors representative of varied backgrounds, academic disciplines, and professional affiliations. This book addresses a subject integral to the abortion debate that has received little critical attention, notably, the significance of human fetal life and the cultural and social forces that shape our understanding and assessment of it. Although intended for a ""generalized and pluralistic"" audience, the book will hold particular appeal to pro-life proponents. Composed of 13 essays, the book is organized into five distinctive sections that address the ethical, cultural, personal, religious, and legal aspects of abortion and fetal life. This collection offers a comprehensive examination of fetal life and the threat abortion poses. Many of the essays provide intriguing theoretical justifications for the antiabortion position. Essays in the ethics section, for example, challenge the notion of therapeutic abortions, the argumentation of Roe versus Wade, the devaluation of fetal life, and its uncertain moral status. Other essays provide historical background regarding abortion law, the Catholic position concerning prenatal life, grass roots efforts to assist women in carrying pregnancies to term, and offer reflections of women who have aborted. Still other essays address cultural views of sex, its consequences, our attitudes toward the unborn, and reflect upon a growing apathy in protesting abortion. Although a variety of perspectives are explored, collectively, the essays serve to underscore the value of fetal life and assign it central prominence in the abortion debate. Pro-life proponents will find in this collection manyperspectives and arguments to support their position. Skeptics and critics will gain further insight into the pro-life position and find many additional arguments with which to take issue.
From The Critics
Reviewer:Diane M. Kondratowicz, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description:This is an edited collection of original essays written by authors representative of varied backgrounds, academic disciplines, and professional affiliations.
Purpose:This book addresses a subject integral to the abortion debate that has received little critical attention, notably, the significance of human fetal life and the cultural and social forces that shape our understanding and assessment of it.
Audience:Although intended for a "generalized and pluralistic" audience, the book will hold particular appeal to pro-life proponents.
Features:Composed of 13 essays, the book is organized into five distinctive sections that address the ethical, cultural, personal, religious, and legal aspects of abortion and fetal life. This collection offers a comprehensive examination of fetal life and the threat abortion poses. Many of the essays provide intriguing theoretical justifications for the antiabortion position. Essays in the ethics section, for example, challenge the notion of therapeutic abortions, the argumentation of Roe versus Wade, the devaluation of fetal life, and its uncertain moral status. Other essays provide historical background regarding abortion law, the Catholic position concerning prenatal life, grass roots efforts to assist women in carrying pregnancies to term, and offer reflections of women who have aborted. Still other essays address cultural views of sex, its consequences, our attitudes toward the unborn, and reflect upon a growing apathy in protesting abortion. Although a variety ofperspectives are explored, collectively, the essays serve to underscore the value of fetal life and assign it central prominence in the abortion debate.
Assessment:Pro-life proponents will find in this collection many perspectives and arguments to support their position. Skeptics and critics will gain further insight into the pro-life position and find many additional arguments with which to take issue.
Booknews
Based on the premise that honest public discussion of "nascent human life" (the fetus) is impeded by feminists, the politically correct, and prevailing social custom, the volume's 13 essays cover ethical, cultural, personal, religious, and legal perspectives on the subject of the fetus in America. The contributors, primarily Christian activists, include professors of theology, religion, philosophy, and psychology. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275950323
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/30/1996
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

BRAD STETSON is director of the David Institute, a social research organization.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Preface
Introduction: The Silent Subject 1
1 The Moral Status of Fetuses and Embryos 19
2 Ignorance of Fetal Status as a Justification of Abortion: A Critical Analysis 33
3 Moral Duty to the Unborn and Its Significance 43
4 The "Medicalizing" of Abortion Decisions 51
5 Feminism and Imaging the Unborn 61
6 Sex and Consequences: An Anthropological View 91
7 Motherhood in the 90's: To Have or Have Not 115
8 Pregnancy Care Centers: Sisterhood is Powerful 123
9 Women Who Abort: Their Reflections on the Unborn 135
10 When Good Men Do Nothing: Reflections Prom a Modern-Day Burgermeister 151
11 The Catholic Debate on the Moral Status of the Embryo 169
12 The Effective Enforcement of Abortion Law Before Roe v. Wade 179
13 Supreme Court Jurisprudence and Prenatal Life 229
Selected Bibliography 247
Index 255
About the Editor and Contributors 263
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