Posted by: bridget | 15 January 2007

A Philosophical Query

Abortion rights have long been predicated on the idea of non-viability of the fetus outside the womb. Yet, technology that allows babies to survive outside of the womb at earlier dates, has, as noted by Justice White, caused Roe to be on a collision course with itself. This leads the pachyderm to wonder: as viability outside of the womb moves towards conception (note the potential quantum leap in viability outside of the mother), what is the proper remedy for a woman who does not want to be pregnant? Current third-trimester doctrine states that the woman must remain pregnant, because the fetus would be viable outside the womb, even though it is, distinctly, not outside the womb. Will abortion be replaced with induced labour? Could the state give her the choice between remaining pregnant and transplanting her uterus to a surrogate – surely a more invasive procedure than pregnancy? Or will abortion doctrine move to encompass viable fetuses – a political and moral cesspool? In short: how can there be a pro-choice doctrine in the face of nearly unlimited fetal viability?

Thoughts, please.


  1. […] of a quantum leap forward in viability and the possible repercussions for the abortion mandate.  (Here and here.)  This is no longer a possibility.  As Fox News reports, a baby who was born at ten […]

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