Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights by Sherry F. Colb, Michael C. Dorf

By Sherry F. Colb, Michael C. Dorf

How can somebody who condemns looking, animal farming, and animal experimentation additionally desire criminal abortion, that is the planned destruction of a human fetus? The authors of thrashing Hearts target to reconcile this obvious clash and look at the unusually related strategic and tactical questions confronted via activists within the pro-life and animal rights movements.

"Beating Hearts" keeps that sentience, or the facility to have subjective stories, grounds a being's entitlement to ethical crisis. The authors argue that just about all human exploitation of animals is unjustified. Early abortions don't contradict the sentience precept simply because they precede fetal sentience, and "Beating Heart"s explains why the mere strength for sentience doesn't create ethical entitlements. overdue abortions do bring up severe ethical questions, yet forcing a lady to hold a baby to time period is complicated as a kind of gender-based exploitation. those moral explorations result in a much wider dialogue of the concepts deployed via the pro-life and animal rights activities. should still criminal reforms precede or persist with attitudinal alterations? Do gory photographs win over or alienate supporters? Is violence ever principled? by means of probing the connections among debates approximately abortion and animal rights, "Beating Hearts" makes use of every one hugely contested set of inquiries to make clear the opposite.

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Extra resources for Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights

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There is something at least partly right about Niman’s view. Some of our duties do vary based on our relationships. If a custodial parent fails to feed, clothe, or shelter his or her own children, the parent acts immorally and commits the crime of neglect, whereas if that same person fails to feed, clothe, or shelter a random stranger’s children, he or she commits neither a moral wrong nor a legal wrong. To be sure, a person who voluntarily provides aid to the children of strangers acts nobly, but what makes such conduct noble is precisely the fact that it goes beyond the call of 38 ETHICS duty.

They rely instead on the humanity of the zygote, embryo, or fetus, and for that reason, these arguments tend to cut against recognition of animal rights. Why do most people who oppose abortion think that humanity, rather than sentience, establishes that zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are worthy of moral concern? For some, no doubt the answer is that sentience cannot ground moral concern for zygotes, embryos, and early fetuses because most of them are not sentient. These abortion opponents begin with the conviction that human zygotes deserve moral concern, and they then search for a criterion that justifies that conviction.

But this fact cannot be sufficient to establish that a zygote already is a human being. If it were, then each of the cells of your body would also already be a distinct human being (rather than simply a microscopic part of the human being that you are). After all, technology that has already been used to clone mammals such as sheep could soon enable doctors to remove the nucleus of a somatic (that is, an ordinary) cell, inject it into a denucleated egg cell, and program it to grow into a human being: a clone.

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