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I challenge the idea that the argument from potential (AFP) represents a valid moral objection to abortion. I consider the form of AFP that was defended by Hare, which holds that abortion is against the interests of the potential person who is prevented from existing. My reply is that AFP, though not unsound by itself, does not apply to the issue of abortion. The reason is that AFP only works in the cases of so-called same number and same people choices, but it falsely presupposes that abortion is such a kind of choice. This refutation of AFP implies that (1) abortion is not only morally permissible but sometimes even morally mandatory and (2) abortion is morally permissible even when the potential person's life is foreseen to be worth living.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/jmp/jhr053

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Med Philos

Publication Date

02/2012

Volume

37

Pages

49 - 59

Keywords

Abortion, Induced, Human Rights, Humans, Morals, Philosophy, Medical, Value of Life