Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-x

This book has both a practical and a theoretical aim. On the one hand it joins the continuing public debate concerning the morality of abortion and the choice of an abortion policy. That debate has become polarized around two equally prominent and extreme positions: the liberal view advanced by most feminist organizations and the conservative view promoted by "prolife" groups. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

Work on this book was supported principally by a Canada Council Leave Fellowship for the academic year 1977-1978, but also by a University of Toronto Research Leave Grant (1977-1978) and a University of Toronto Humanities and Social Sciences Grant (1979-1980). ...

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Chapter One: The Abortion Debate

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pp. 3-39

As late as two decades ago abortion was nowhere a prominent public issue. In virtually every nation of the world, performing an abortion was, under all but the rarest of circumstances, a criminal act. Abortions were done none the less, whether in the penumbra of the law where they could be disguised as orthodox medical procedures or in the backstreets, ...

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Chapter Two: The Liberal View

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pp. 40-81

The liberal's defense of a permissive abortion policy rests on the claim that abortion is a private activity, which rests in turn on denying moral standing to the fetus. To be denied moral standing is to be reduced to the status of a mere thing that may be manipulated as the needs of others dictate. ...

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Chapter Three: The Conservative View

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pp. 82-123

The conservative's defense of a restrictive abortion policy rests on the claim that abortion is (or involves) one sort of homicide, which rests in turn on ascribing full moral standing to the fetus. To attribute full moral standing to a creature is to award that creature the same right to life as is possessed by the paradigm of a mature and normal human being. ...

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Chapter Four: A Third Way

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pp. 124-160

The established views have failed on both the intuitive and theoretical levels. Their conceptions of the moral status of the fetus, if they are not shallow and arbitrary, violate widely shared moral convictions concerning contraception and infanticide. ...

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Chapter Five: Morality and Utility

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pp. 161-194

A credible third option in the abortion debate must be a moderate, differential view of abortion. No other view can be made to cohere with considered and reasonable judgments on connected moral issues. A view of abortion requires, however, more than merely intuitive support. ...

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Chapter Six: Life and Death

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pp. 195-228

A direct utilitarian theory of the good conjoined with an indirect theory of the right can serve as the deep structure for moral rules that allocate particular rights and duties. The remaining task is to show that it can also serve as the deep structure of a moderate view of abortion. ...

List of Works Cited

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pp. 229-240

Index

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pp. 241-246