Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice

Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice

by Francis J. Beckwith


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Defending Life is the most comprehensive defense of the prolife position on abortion ever published. It is sophisticated, but still accessible to the ordinary citizen. Without high-pitched rhetoric or appeals to religion, the author offers a careful and respectful case for why the prolife view of human life is correct. He responds to the strongest prochoice arguments found in law, science, philosophy, politics, and the media. He explains and critiques Roe v. Wade, and he explains why virtually all the popular prochoice arguments fail. There is simply nothing like this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521870849
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/13/2007
Pages: 314
Product dimensions: 6.42(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Francis J. Beckwith is Associate Professor of Church-State Studies, Baylor University, Texas, where he teaches in the departments of philosophy and political science and the J. M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies. A 2002-3 Madison Research Fellow in the Politics Department at Princeton University, New Jersey, he is a graduate of Fordham University, New York (Ph.D., philosophy) and the Washington University School of Law, St. Louis (M.J.S.), where he won the CALI Award for academic excellence in the Reproductive Control Seminar. His more than a dozen books include Is Statecraft Soulcraft? Christianity and Politics (forthcoming); To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview (2004); Law, Darwinism, and Public Education: The Establishment and the Challenge of Intelligent Design (2003); Do the Right Thing: Readings in Applied Ethics and Social Philosophy, Second Edition (2002); and The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement (2002), which was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Award in theology and doctrine. With interests in jurisprudence, politics, philosophy of religion, and public policy, Professor Beckwith has published in a wide variety of academic journals including the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Journal of Social Philosophy, International Philosophical Quarterly, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, the Journal of Medical Ethics, Public Affairs Quarterly, the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy, Social Theory and Practice, the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, Christian Bioethics, the Nevada Law Journal, the Journal of Law and Religion, and Philosophia Christi. His website is

Table of Contents

Part I. Moral Reasoning, Law, and Politics: 1. Abortion and moral argument; 2. The Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade, and abortion law; 3. Abortion, liberalism, and the neutral state; Part II. Assessing the Case for Abortion-Choice and against Human Inclusiveness: 4. Science, the unborn, and abortion methods; 5. Popular arguments: pity, tolerance, and ad hominem; 6. The nature of humanness and whether the unborn is a moral subject; 7. Does it really matter whether the unborn is a moral subject? The case from bodily autonomy; Part III. Extending and Concluding the Argument: 8. Cloning, bioethics and reproductive liberty; 9. Conclusion - a case for human inclusiveness.

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