In this text book Rosalind Hursthouse examines the complex questions surrounding the morality of abortion. Beginning by discussing the moral status of the foetus, she outlines and criticizes the main philosophical liberal positions on abortion, discussing alsl their bearing on the related issues of ifanticide, foetal research, surrogacy, murder and our treatment of animals. In place of the currently prevailing positions, the author offers a novel approach to these issues based on the recently revived theory of neo-Aristotelianism which emphasizes moral virtues and vices.
A central element of Beginning Lives is its emphasis on the special nature of abortion: its unique relation to the facts of women's pregnancies and hence to our attitudes to childbearing, motherhood, maturity and sexual relations.
1. The status of the fetus ; 2. Women's rights arguments ; 3. Trying to prove the fetus lacks rights ; 4. Abandoning the sanctity of life ; 5. Grounds for personal decisions ; 6. Some general conclusions