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Phenomenology of pregnancy and the ethics of abortion
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8973-8591
2017 (English)In: Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, ISSN 1386-7423, E-ISSN 1572-8633Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In this article I investigate the ways in which phenomenology could guide our views on the rights and/or wrongs of abortion. To my knowledge very few phenomenologists have directed their attention toward this issue, although quite a few have strived to better understand and articulate the strongly related themes of pregnancy and birth, most often in the context of feminist philosophy. After introducing the ethical and political contemporary debate concerning abortion, I introduce phenomenology in the context of medicine and the way phenomenologists have understood the human body to be lived and experienced by its owner. I then turn to the issue of pregnancy and discuss how the embryo or foetus could appear for us, particularly from the perspective of the pregnant woman, and what such showing up may mean from an ethical perspective. The way medical technology has changed the experience of pregnancy-for the pregnant woman as well as for the father and/or other close ones-is discussed, particularly the implementation of early obstetric ultra-sound screening and blood tests (NIPT) for Down's syndrome and other medical defects. I conclude the article by suggesting that phenomenology can help us to negotiate an upper time limit for legal abortion and, also, provide ways to determine what embryo-foetus defects to look for and in which cases these should be looked upon as good reasons for performing an abortion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Ethics of abortion, Lived body, NIPT, Obstetric ultrasound, Phenomenology, Pregnancy, Quickening
National Category
Medical Ethics Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33027DOI: 10.1007/s11019-017-9786-xPubMedID: 28669128OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-33027DiVA: diva2:1120665
Available from: 2017-07-06 Created: 2017-07-06 Last updated: 2017-07-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf