Micah Watson asks, “Is the Abortion Debate Over?” and reviews Scott Klusendorf’s The Case for Life.
Nevertheless, the philosophical debate about the normative dimensions of the abortion issue still comes down to the aforementioned watershed difference: either human beings as such have a right to life, or some human beings have a right to life and are thus persons, and some are not and are thus expendable.
While pro-life philosophers must continue their work by applying principles to emerging bioethical questions, the argumentative clarity achieved by their work in the abortion debate has implications for pro-lifers who seek to continue to influence both the law and the culture. Perhaps the most important implication is also the most obvious. If the philosophical debate about abortion is over, the political debate remains.
MercatorNet interviews Donna Harrison about the number of women who die from unsafe abortion.
MercatorNet: Does it matter very much if the numbers are not accurate? Governments do have to address all aspects of maternal health, including abortion, don’t they?
Donna Harrison: Actually, it matters enormously because of the implications for planning national policy. If a country finds that a large percentage of maternal deaths happen from a lack of skilled birth attendants at delivery, and a very small number come from induced abortions, then it becomes clear that funding should be directed to skilled birth attendants and not to abortion agencies.
But if a country where abortion is illegal uses methodology which allows spontaneous abortions to be counted as induced abortions, a falsely high number of maternal deaths may be attributed to “unsafe abortions”. The country will then be under international pressure to legalize abortion, on the assumption that it would result in the immediate lowering of the hospital admissions owing to abortion, and the associated costs.