Skip to main content Accessibility help
Abortion Rights
  • Cited by 1
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

This book features opening arguments followed by two rounds of reply between two moral philosophers on opposing sides of the abortion debate. In the opening essays, Kate Greasley and Christopher Kaczor lay out what they take to be the best case for and against abortion rights. In the ensuing dialogue, they engage with each other's arguments and each responds to criticisms fielded by the other. Their conversational argument explores such fundamental questions as: what gives a person the right to life? Is abortion bad for women? What is the difference between abortion and infanticide? Underpinned by philosophical reasoning and methodology, this book provides opposing and clearly structured perspectives on a highly emotive and controversial issue. The result gives readers a window into how moral philosophers argue about the contentious issue of abortion rights, and an in-depth analysis of the compelling arguments on both sides.


'This book is the cure for arguments all too often relying upon ad hominem attacks, false premises, bad data and incompleteness. It is also necessary preparation for intelligently grappling with the complex set of arguments about abortion accumulated over more than half a century.'

Helen Alvaré - George Mason University, Virginia

'This splendid book offers a carefully reasoned debate about the morality of abortion by first-rate philosophers whose views are strongly opposed but who present their arguments and engage with those of the other in a civil, respectful manner. Their clear and accessible discussions do not require any training in philosophy. Those in search of authoritative guidance through the relevant moral issues and arguments, with attention to both secular and theologically-influenced perspectives, will find all they are looking for here.'

Jeff McMahan - White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford

'A lively, thoughtful, lucid, and sensitive debate on abortion. The great strength of this book is that the two authors, while profoundly disagreeing, discuss the issues respectfully and with a genuine attempt to take the opposing sides of the arguments seriously. As a result we have one of the most sophisticated, and yet accessible, books on the ethics of abortion available. Students and experienced researchers alike will find this an invaluable resource.'

Jonathan Herring - University of Oxford

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Adler, N., David, H., Major, B., Roth, S., Russo, N., and Wyatt, G. (1990). Psychological Responses after Abortion. Science, 248(4951), 4144.
Adler, N. E. (2000). Abortion and the Null Hypothesis. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57(8), 785786.
Ariely, D. (2010a). Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Revised and expanded edition. New York: Harper.
Ariely, D. (2010b). The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic. New York: Harper Perennial.
Armsworth, M. W. (1991). Psychological Response to Abortion. Journal of Counseling & Development, 69(4), 377379.
Baker, L. R. (2000). Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Benn, S. (1984). Abortion, Infanticide, and Respect for Persons. In Feinberg, J. (ed.), The Problem of Abortion, 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Bermudez, J. L. (1996). The Moral Significance of Birth. Ethics, 106(2), 378403.
Boonin, D. (2003). A Defense of Abortion. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press.
Burin, A. K. (2014). Beyond Pragmatism: Defending the Bright-Line of Birth. Medical Law Review, 22(4), 494525.
Calhoun, B. C., Thorp, J. M., and Carroll, P. S. (2013). Maternal and Neonatal Health and Abortion: 40-Year Trends in Great Britain and Ireland. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 18(2), 4246.
Camosy, C. C. (2013). For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action. Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media.
Camosy, C. C. (2015). Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for a New Generation. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Carlson, B. (2004). Human Embryology and Developmental Biology. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby.
Carlson, B. M. (1996). Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Carter, I. (2011). Respect and the Basis of Equality. Ethics, 121(3), 538571.
Cecchino, G. N., Araujo, E. Jr., and Elito, J. Jr. (2014). Methotrexate for Ectopic Pregnancy: When and How. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 290(2), 417423.
Centers for Disease Control. (2011). Abortion Surveillance – United States, 2008. Retrieved from
Clark, R. M., and Chua, T. (1989). Breast Cancer and Pregnancy: The Ultimate Challenge. Clinical Oncology, 1(1), 1118.
Condic, M. L. (2003). Life: Defining the Beginning by the End. First Things, May (133), 50–54.
Davies, J. A. (2014). Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Debnath, J., Gulati, S. K., Mathur, A., Gupta, R., Kumar, N., Arora, S., and Krishna, R. B. (2013). Ectopic Pregnancy in the Era of Medical Abortion: Are We Ready for It? Spectrum of Sonographic Findings and Our Experience in a Tertiary Care Service Hospital of India. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of India, 63(6), 388393.
Dellapenna, J. (2006). Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.
Department of Health. (2013). Abortion Statistics, England and Wales: 2012. Retrieved from
Department of Health. (2015). Report on Abortion Statistics in England and Wales for 2014. Retrieved from
Derbyshire, S. W. G. (2006). Can Fetuses Feel Pain? BMJ, 332(7546), 909912.
Douthat, R. (2013). The Texas Abortion Experiment. New York Times. Retrieved from
Dworkin, R. (1994). Life’s Dominion: An Argument about Abortion, Euthanasia, and Individual Freedom. New York: Vintage.
Engelhardt, H. T. (1999). The Sanctity of Life and the Concept of a Person. In Pojman, L. P. (ed.), Life and Death: A Reader in Moral Problems (pp. 7783). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
English, J. (1975). Abortion and the Concept of a Person. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 5(2), 233243.
English, J. (1996). Abortion and the Concept of a Person. In Schwartz, L. M. (ed.), Arguing about Abortion. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., and Boden, J. M. (2009). Reactions to Abortion and Subsequent Mental Health. British Journal of Psychiatry, 195(5), 420426.
Feser, E. (2014). Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction. Neunkirchen-Seelscheid, Germany: Editiones Scholasticae.
Finnis, J. (2010). The Other F-Word. Public Discourse. Retrieved from
Finnis, J. (2011). Natural Law and Natural Rights, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Forsythe, C. D. (2013). Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade. New York City: Encounter Books.
Foster, S. M. (2017). Isn’t Feminism about a Woman Having Rights Equal to Those of a Man? Retrieved from
Friberg-Fernros, H. (2015). A Critique of Rob Lovering’s Criticism of the Substance View. Bioethics, 29(3), 211216.
George, R. P., and Ponnuru, R. (1996). The New Abortion Debate. First Things (62), 1012.
George, R. P., and Tollefsen, C. (2008). Embryo: A Defense of Human Life. New York: Doubleday.
Girgis, S. (2014). Equality and Moral Worth in Natural Law Ethics and Beyond. American Journal of Jurisprudence, 59(2), 143162.
Giubilini, A., and Minerva, F. (2013). After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live? Journal of Medical Ethics, 39(5), 261263.
Goila, A. K., and Pawar, M. (2009). The Diagnosis of Brain Death. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, 13(1), 711.
Gomez-Lobo, A. (2007). Individuality and Human Beginnings: A Reply to David DeGrazia. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 35(3), 457462.
Greasley, K. (2012). Abortion and Regret. Journal of Medical Ethics, 38(12), 705711.
Greasley, K. (2017). Arguments about Abortion: Personhood, Morality, and Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Greenhouse, L., and Siegel, R. B. (2016). Casey and the Clinic Closings: When “Protecting Health” Obstructs Choice. Yale Law Journal, 125(5), 14281480.
The Guttmacher Institute. (2016). Laws Affecting Reproductive Health and Rights: State Trends at Midyear, 2016. Retrieved from
The Guttmacher Institute. (2017a). Policy Trends in the States: 2016. Retrieved from
The Guttmacher Institute. (2017b). State Policies on Later Abortion. Retrieved from
Haidt, J. (2012). The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. New York: Random House.
Hawking, M. (2015). The Viable Violinist. Bioethics, 30(5), 312316.
Hershenov, D. B., and Hershenov, R. J. (2015). Morally Relevant Potential. Journal of Medical Ethics, 41(3), 268271.
Hillman, N., Kallapur, S. G., and Jobe, A. (2012). Physiology of Transition from Intrauterine to Extrauterine Life. Clinics in Perinatology, 39(4), 769783.
Huang, Y., Zhang, X., Li, W., Song, F., Dai, H., Wang, J., … Chen, K. (2014). A Meta-Analysis of the Association between Induced Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk among Chinese Females. Cancer Causes & Control, 25(2), 227236.
Jabeen, S., et al. (2013). Breast Cancer and Some Epidemiological Risk Factors: A Hospital Based Study. Journal of Dhaka Medical College, 22(1), 6166.
Joffe, C. E. (1995). Doctors of Conscience: The Struggle to Provide Abortion before and after Roe v. Wade. Boston: Beacon Press.
Kaczor, C. (2009). The Ethics of Ectopic Pregnancy: A Critical Reconsideration of Salpingostomy and Methotrexate. Linacre Quarterly: A Journal of the Philosophy and Ethics of Medical Practice, 76(3), 265282.
Kaczor, C. (2013). A Defense of Dignity: Creating Life, Destroying Life, and Protecting the Rights of Conscience. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
Kaczor, C. (2015). The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice, 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.
Kagan, S. (2016). What’s Wrong with Speciesism? (Society for Applied Philosophy Annual Lecture 2015). Journal of Applied Philosophy, 33(1), 121.
Kamm, F. (1992). Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Keown, J. (2002a). Abortion, Doctors and the Law: Some Aspects of the Legal Regulation of Abortion in England from 1803 to 1982. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Keown, J. (2002b). Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy: An Argument against Legalisation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kittay, E. F. (2009). The Personal Is Philosophical Is Political: A Philosopher and Mother of a Cognitively Disabled Person Sends Notes from the Battlefield. Metaphilosophy, 40(3–4), 606627.
Knapton, S. (2016, May 4, 2016). Human Embryos Kept Alive in Lab for Unprecedented 13 Days So Scientists Can Watch Development. The Telegraph. Retrieved from
Kreeft, P. (2005). Socratic Logic, 2nd ed. South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press.
Lawani, O. L., Anozie, O. B., and Ezeonu, P. O. (2013). Ectopic Pregnancy: A Life-Threatening Gynecological Emergency. International Journal of Women’s Health, 5, 515521.
Lecarpentier, J., et al. (2012). Variation in Breast Cancer Risk Associated with Factors Related to Pregnancies according to Truncating Mutation Location in the French National BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations Carrier Cohort (GENEPSO). Breast Cancer Research, 14(4), R99.
Lee, P. (2013). The Basis for Being a Subject of Rights: The Natural Law Position. In Keown, J. and George, R. P. (eds.), Reason, Morality, and Law: The Philosophy of John Finnis (pp. 236248). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lee, P., and George, R. P. (2007). Body–Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Liao, S. M. (2007). Time-Relative Interests and Abortion. Journal of Moral Philosophy, 4(2), 242256.
Little, M. O. (1999). Abortion, Intimacy, and the Duty to Gestate. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 2(3), 295312.
Littleton, L., and Engebretson, J. (2005). Maternity Nursing Care. New York: Thomson.
Lovering, R. (2014). The Substance View: A Critique (Part 2). Bioethics, 28(7), 378386.
MacKinnon, C. A. (1991). Reflections on Sex Equality under Law. Yale Law Journal, 100(5), 12811328.
Major, B., Cozzarelli, C., Cooper, M., et al. (2000). Psychological Responses of Women after First-Trimester Abortion. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57(8), 777784.
Manninen, B. A. (2010). Rethinking Roe v. Wade: Defending the Abortion Right in the Face of Contemporary Opposition. American Journal of Bioethics, 10(12), 3346.
Manninen, B. A. (2014). Pro-Life, Pro-Choice: Shared Values in the Abortion Debate. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.
Marquis, D. (1989). Why Abortion Is Immoral. Journal of Philosophy, 86(4), 183202.
Marquis, D. (1991). Four Versions of Double Effect. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 16(5), 515544.
Marquis, D. (1998). A Future like Ours and the Concept of Person: A Reply to McInerney and Paske. In Pojman, L. P. and Beckwith, F. J. (eds.), The Abortion Controversy: A Reader, 2nd ed. (pp. 372385). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Marquis, D. (2007). Abortion Revisited. In Steinbock, B. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics (pp. 395415). New York: Oxford.
Marquis, D. (2010). Manninen’s Defense of Abortion Rights Is Unsuccessful. American Journal of Bioethics, 10(12), 5657.
McMahan, J. (2002). The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McMahan, J. (2005). Our Fellow Creatures. Journal of Ethics, 9(3–4), 353380.
McMahan, J. (2007). Infanticide. Utilitas, 19(2), 131159.
McMahan, J. (2013). Infanticide and Moral Consistency. Journal of Medical Ethics, 39(5), 273280.
McMahan, J. (2016). On “Modal Personism.” Journal of Applied Philosophy, 33(1), 2630.
Meltzoff, A. N., and Moore, M. K. (1977). Imitation of Facial and Manual Gestures by Human Neonates. Science, 198(4312), 7578.
Morowitz, H. J., and Terfil, J. S. (1992). The Facts of Life: Science and the Abortion Controversy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mulhall, S. (2002). Fearful Thoughts. London Review of Books, 24(16), 1618.
Nathanson, B. N., and Ostline, R. N. (1979). Aborting America. Toronto: Life Cycle Books.
Nichols, P. (2012). Abortion, Time-Relative Interests, and Futures like Ours. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 15(4), 493506.
Nozick, R. (1974). Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.
O’Brien, D. (2011). Can We Talk about Abortion? Commonweal Magazine,. 138(16), 1219.
O’Rahilly, R. R., and Müller, F. (2001). Human Embryology and Teratology. New York: Wiley-Liss.
Obama, B. (2008, June 8). Obama’s Father’s Day Remarks. New York Times. Retrieved from
Obama, B. (2009, May 17, 2009). Transcript: Obama’s Notre Dame Speech. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from
Olson, E. T. (2004). Animalism and the Corpse Problem. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 82(2), 265274.
Ord, T. (2008). The Scourge: Moral Implications of Natural Embryo Loss. American Journal of Bioethics, 8(7), 1219.
Pakuluk, M. (1991). Other Selves: Philosophers on Friendship. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett.
Paul, L. A. (2014). Transformative Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Peach, A. (2007). Late- vs. Early Term Abortion: A Thomistic Analysis. The Thomist, 71(1), 113141.
Pinker, S. (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York: Penguin.
Raymond, E. G., and Grimes, D. A. (2012). The Comparative Safety of Legal Induced Abortion and Childbirth in the United States. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 119(2 Pt. 1), 215219.
Reardon, D. (1987). Aborted Women: Silent No More. Chicago: Loyola University Press.
Reardon, D. (1996). Making Abortion Rare: A Healing Strategy for a Divided Nation. Springfield, IL: Acorn Books.
Rochat, P. (2003). Five Levels of Self-Awareness as They Unfold early in Life. Conscious and Cognition, 12(4), 717731.
Roy, A., et al. (2014). Association of Lifestyle Variables with the Novel Mutation of BRCA1 Gene in Breast Cancer. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 3(6), 12131226.
Royal College of Gynaecologists. (2008). Briefing Note: Scientific Information on Abortion. Retrieved from
Royal College of Gynaecologists (2015). Best Practice in Comprehensive Abortion Care. Retrieved from
Sanger, C. (2008). Seeing and Believing: Mandatory Ultrasound and the Path to a Protected Choice. UCLA Law Review, 56, 351408.
Savulescu, J. (2002). Abortion, Embryo Destruction and the Future of Value Argumen. Journal of Medical Ethics, 25(3), 133135.
Sherwin, S. (1991). Abortion through a Feminist Ethics Lens. Dialogue, 30(3), 327342.
Siegel, R. B. (2008). The Right’s Reasons: Constitutional Conflict and the Spread of Woman-Protective Anti-Abortion Argument. Duke Law Journal, 57, 16411692.
Singer, P. (1975). Animal Liberation. New York: HarperCollins.
Singer, P. (1993). Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Singer, P. (1994). Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Singer, P. (2000). Writings on an Ethical Life. New York: Ecco Press.
Singer, P. (2016). Why Speciesism Is Wrong: A Response to Kagan. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 33(1), 3135.
Stone, J. (1987). Why Potentiality Matters. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 17(4), 815829.
Stretton, D. (2008). Critical Notice – Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice by Francis J. Beckwith. Journal of Medical Ethics, 34(11), 793797.
Susan, R., Estrich, S. R., and Sullivan, K. M. (1989). Abortion Politics: Writing for an Audience of One. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 138, 119155
Swope, P. (1998). Abortion: A Failure to Communicate. First Things (82), 3135.
Thomson, J. J. (1971). A Defense of Abortion. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1(1), 4766.
Tooley, M. (1972). Abortion and Infanticide. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2(1), 3765.
Tooley, M. (1999). Abortion and Infanticide. In Kuhse, R. H. and Singer, P. (eds.), Bioethics: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Tooley, M., Wolf-Devine, C., Devine, P. E., and Jaggar, A. M. (2009). Abortion: Three Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tribe, L. H. (1997). Constitutional Analysis of “Partial Birth Abortion” Ban. Retrieved from
UK Department of Health. (2016). Abortion Statistics, England and Wales, 2015. Retrieved from
Velleman, J. D. (2005). Family History. Philosophical Papers, 34(3), 357378.
Waldron, J. (1981). A Right to Do Wrong. Ethics, 92(1), 2139.
Waldron, J. (2002). God, Locke and Equality: Christian Foundations of Locke’s Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wallace, R. J. (2013). The View from Here: On Affirmation, Attachment, and the Limits of Regret. New York: Oxford University Press.
Warren, M. A. (1973). On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion. The Monist, 57(1), 4361.
Warren, M. A. (1989). The Moral Significance of Birth. Hypatia, 4(3), 4665.
Warren, M. A. (1998). Abortion. In Kuhse, H. and Singer, P. (eds.), A Companion to Bioethics. Oxford: Blackwell.
Weaver, J. (2011). Social before Birth: Twins First Interact with Each Other as Fetuses: Twins Interact Purposefully in the Womb. Scientific American Mind, 21(6), 13.
Wolterstorff, N. (2007). Justice: Rights and Wrongs. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.