Rethinking Roe v. Wade: defending the abortion right in the face of contemporary opposition

Am J Bioeth. 2010 Dec;10(12):33-46. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2010.528508.


In 2008, many states sought to pass Human Life Amendments, which would extend the definition of personhood to encompass newly fertilized eggs. If such an amendment were to pass, Roe v. Wade, as currently defended by the Supreme Court, may be repealed. Consequently, it is necessary to defend the right to an abortion in a manner that succeeds even if a Human Life Amendment successfully passes. J.J. Thomson's argument in "A Defense of Abortion" successfully achieves this. Her argument is especially strong when one considers that her central thesis-that one person's right to life does not entail the right to use another's person's body for continued sustenance-is pervasive in legal policies in the U.S.A.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Legal / ethics*
  • Abortion, Legal / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Beginning of Human Life* / ethics
  • Choice Behavior / ethics*
  • Coitus
  • Ethical Theory
  • Female
  • Feminism
  • Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Legislation as Topic / trends
  • Legislation, Medical / trends*
  • Moral Obligations
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Personhood
  • Poverty
  • Pregnancy
  • Public Opinion
  • Supreme Court Decisions*
  • United States
  • Value of Life
  • Women's Rights / ethics
  • Women's Rights / legislation & jurisprudence