The Moral Anonymity of Embryos

Anja J. Karnein

in A Theory of Unborn Life

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199782475
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933297 | DOI:
The Moral Anonymity of Embryos

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This Chapter explores to what extent the Personhood Dependent Principle (PDP) as it is developed in Chapter One is an attractive solution for pro-choice advocates and supporters of research that involves the destruction of embryos in the U.S. One might think that both have something at stake in continuing to bracket the question of when life begins. However, this attitude is prone not to appreciate the importance of insuring that some embryos are protected, i.e., those that will become persons. A look at tort and criminal law, however, shows that it is indeed possible for pro-choice advocates to endorse a principle such as the PDP without having to give up on their commitment to protecting women’s right to self-determination. The same is true for supporters of technologies that involve the destruction of embryos such as PGD or stem cell research. They too can endorse a principle that mandates the protection of embryos that will be born while holding on to their commitment that there is nothing wrong with destroying embryos or using them for research purposes.

Keywords: Roe v. Wade; supreme court; abortion; prenatal injury cases; fetal manslaughter laws; pro-choice advocates; stem cell research; artificial reproductive technologies; PGD

Chapter.  10909 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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