Abortion and Infanticide: a Radical Libertarian Defence

8 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2019

Date Written: October 16, 2019


This essay’s main argument is in two parts. First, even on the assumption of personhood, there need be no overall inflicted harm with abortion and infanticide including when there is direct killing. Second, it is paradoxical to suppose that there is a moral obligation to do more than avoid inflicting overall harm. However, there is also a defence of the thesis that unborn and infant humans are not persons in the intellectual sense that has special moral value. Various relevant criticisms are responded to throughout and at the end, with reference to property rights and contracts where appropriate.

Keywords: abortion, infanticide, libertarianism, personhood, Don Marquis, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Mary Anne Warren

Suggested Citation

Lester, J. C., Abortion and Infanticide: a Radical Libertarian Defence (October 16, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3470655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3470655

J. C. Lester (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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