The Fetal Position
A Rational Approach to the Abortion Issue
By Chris Meyers
(Prometheus Books, Paperback, 9781591027683, 216pp.)
Publication Date: June 22, 2010
Is it wrong for a woman to have an abortion or for society at large to allow abortions? Conversely, does a woman have a moral right to terminate her pregnancy? Fundamental moral questions such as these are at the heart of the abortion debate. In this unique approach to one of the most contentious and emotionally charged issues of our day, the author argues that philosophy provides the ideal neutral forum for considering the soundness of both sides of the abortion debate. Unlike most books on abortion, this one takes neither a pro-life nor a pro-choice stance. Rather, using philosophical methodology, the author carefully scrutinizes the commonly voiced arguments for and against abortion with the aim of assessing them from a position that is as unbiased as possible. The author argues that since philosophy involves questioning our most basic assumptions and does not assume any one particular worldview, it is best equipped to provide objective clarity to the debate. The book considers all the hot-button issues, including:
-What is life? Theories of the soul vs. the naturalistic, biological concept of life
-The implications of the fact that life begins at conception
-Responsibility and how each side of the debate defines the term differently
-The status of the fetus as a potential person
-The application of the Golden Rule to the debate
-The question of the woman’s bodily integrity vs. the fetus’s right to life
-Assessing the consequences of abortion (with reference to utilitarianism)
-How our attitudes on abortion reflect our character (with reference to virtue ethics)
Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, and especially if you are undecided, this thoughtful, clearly presented treatment of an important, controversial topic will prove enlightening.
Chris Meyers (Hattiesburg, MS) holds a doctorate in philosophy from Loyola University, Chicago, and is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has published articles in ethical theory and applied ethics in Philosophical Studies, Journal of Social Philosophy, and Social Theory & Practice, among other journals.