Medical professionals routinely offer prenatal genetic testing services to their expecting patients. Some bioethicists believe that when these professionals promote the use of such testing for abortion on grounds of disability, they express a devaluing message to and about extant disabled people. Supporters of this expressivist objection further maintain that, in expressing such a message, medical professionals reinforce negative attitudes about extant disabled people and thereby further stigmatize them. But while the expressivist objection has received quite a bit of support from disability rights theorists—in part because of its intuitive appeal—its current formulation suffers from various shortcomings that render it implausible. By invoking tools from the philosophy of language, I present the expressivist objection*: an improved and distinctive formulation of the expressivist objection that preserves some of its core insights. According to this improved formulation, the promotion of prenatal testing for selective abortion can at least sometimes be wrong.


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pp. 71-109
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