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The Abortion Controversy 25 Years After Roe vs. Wade

The Abortion Controversy (second edition) is a superb anthology in which all the major viewpoints on abortion are well represented. Highlights include Michael Tooley’s latest formulation of his argument against foetal personhood, Judith Jarvis Thomson’s classic “A Defense of Abortion”, David Boonin-Vail’s brilliant 1997 defense of what he calls the “Responsibility Objection” to Thomson’s argument, and Keith Pavlischek’s interesting 1998 critique of Thomson and Boonin-Vail. Pavlischek essentially admits that Boonin-Vail’s arguments succeed, but points out (correctly, I think) that those arguments entail that if a woman becomes pregnant to a man who wishes to play no part in the child’s life, then that man, the father, is not morally obliged to pay child-support to the mother. Pavlischek thinks that many pro-choicers would find this implication unacceptable. I would add that on the other hand, many pro-choicers would regard this implication as perfectly just, so that Boonin-Vail’s defense of Thomson is (for them at least) ultima facie sound. These are just some of the interesting issues covered in the book; there are many more. Since no other anthology is as wide-ranging, up-to-date and authoritative as this one, “The Abortion Controversy” is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the philosophical debate over abortion. ~ Dean Stretton at Amazon.com

Table of Contents

    • Preface.
    • Introduction.
  • PART I. BREAKING THROUGH THE STEREOTYPES.
    • Introduction.
    • 1. Breaking Through the Stereotypes, Daniel Callahan & Sidney Callahan.
    • For Further Reading.
  • PART II. THE MAJOR SUPREME COURT DECISIONS.
    • Introduction.
    • 2. Roe v. Wade (1973).
    • 3. Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).
    • For Further Reading.
  • PART III. EVALUATIONS OF ROE V. WADE.
    • Introduction.
    • 4. Roe v. Wade: No Basis in the Law, Logic, or History, Dennis J. Horan & Thomas J. Balch.
    • 5. Roe v. Wade: A Study in Male Ideology, Catharine MacKinnon.
    • 6. Some Thoughts on Autonomy and Equality in Relation to Roe v. Wade, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
    • For Further Reading.
  • PART IV. ARGUMENTS FROM A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO HER BODY.
    • Introduction.
    • 7. A Defense of Abortion, Judith Jarvis Thomson.
    • 8. Arguments from Bodily Rights: A Critical Analysis, Francis J. Beckwith.
    • 9. A Defense of “A Defense of Abortion”: On the Responsibility Objection to Thomson’s Argument, David Boonin-Vail.
    • 10. Abortion Logic and Paternal Responsibilities: One More Look at Judith Thomson’s Argument and a Critique of David Boonin-Vail’s Defense of It, Keith Pavlischek.
    • For Further Reading.
  • PART V. PERSONHOOD ARGUMENTS ON ABORTION.
    • Introduction.
    • 11. Abortion Is Morally Wrong, John T. Noonan, Jr.
    • 12. In Defense of Abortion and Infanticide, Michael Tooley.
    • 13. The Scope of the Prohibition against Killing, Philip Devine.
    • 14. Personhood Begins at Conception, Stephen Schwarz.
    • 15. Abortion: A Defense of the Personhood Argument, Louis P. Pojman.
    • 16. Abortion and Human Rights, Norman Gillespie.
    • 17. A Defense of the Moderate Position. L.W. Sumner.
    • For Further Reading.
  • PART VI. BEYOND THE PERSONHOOD ARGUEMENT.
    • Introduction.
    • 18. Abortion: Beyond thePersonhood Argument, Jane English.
    • 19. The Golden Rule Argument against Abortion, Harry J. Gensler.
    • 20. Why Abortion is Immoral, Don Marquis.
    • 21. Does a Fetus Already Have a Future-Like-Ours? Peter K. McInerney.
    • 22. Abortion and the Neo-Natal Right to Life: A Critique of Marquis’s Futurist Argument, Gerald H. Paske.
    • 23. A Future Like Ours and the Concept of Person: A Reply to McInerney and Paske, Don Marquis.
    • For Further Reading.
  • PART VII. FEMINIST ARGUMENTS ON ABORTION.
    • Introduction.
    • 24. A Feminist Defense of Abortion, Sally Markowitz.
    • 25. Our Bodies, Our Souls, Naomi Wolf.
    • 26. Abortion and the “Feminine Voice,” Celia Wolf-Devine.
    • 27. Taking Women Seriously as People: The Moral Implications for Abortion, Caroline Whitbeck.
  • PART VIII. ABORTION, FAITH AND STATE NEUTRALITY.
    • Introduction.
    • 28. Pluralism, Tolerance, and Abortion Rights, Francis J. Beckwith
    • 29. Abortion, the Court, and the State Neutrality, Ronald Dworkin.
    • For Further Reading.