Breaking the Abortion Deadlock : From Choice to Consent.

McDonagh, Eileen.
Cary : Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 1996.
1 online resource (295 pages)

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Other records:
Abortion -- Government policy -- United States.
Abortion -- Law and legislation -- United States.
Abortion -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Human reproduction -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Pregnancy -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Women's rights -- United States.
Electronic books.
For over twenty years the abortion debate has raged, with each side entrenched in unyielding positions. This book breaks the impasse by using pro-life premises to reach pro-choice conclusions. While it is commonly assumed that state protection of the fetus as a form of human life undermines women's reproductive rights, McDonagh instead illuminates how it is exactly such state protection of the fetus that strengthens, rather than weakens, not only women's right to an abortion, but even more significantly, women's ability to call on the state for abortion funding. McDonagh's approach, by bridging the divide between pro-life and pro-choice advocates, revolutionizes the abortion debate in a way that opens up a whole new avenue for resolving the abortion conflict and advancing women's rights. McDonagh reframes the abortion debate by locating the missing piece of the puzzle: the fetus as the cause of pregnancy. After exposing the myths on this subject, her exacting analysis presents the scientific and legal evidence that the ultimate source of pregnancy is the fetus. The central issue then becomes what the fetus, as an active agent, does to a woman's body during pregnancy, whether that pregnancy is wanted or not. McDonagh graphically describes the massive changes produced by the fetus when it takes over a woman's body. As such, pregnancy is best depicted not as a condition that women have a right to choose but rather as a condition to which they must have a right to consent. Abortion, therefore, does not rest on the intensely debated principle, stated in Roe, that women have a right to be free from state interference when choosing privately what to do with their own bodies. Instead, as McDonagh's book explains, abortion rights flow inevitably from women's more established right to consent to what another agent does to their body. Specifically, women
have a right to resist an unwanted intrusion by a fetus as well as to receive help from the state to stop such an intrusion. Moving abortion rights from choice to consent has broad legal and cultural ramifications tapping into the very cornerstone of the American political system: consent. McDonagh unravels the consequences of extending to pregnant women the same guarantees of bodily integrity and liberty possessed by others in our society. Specifically, she shows why a woman who does not consent to be made pregnant by a fetus, not only has a right to terminate pregnancy, but why the state violates constitutional due process and equal protection guarantees when it fails to provide her with the same protections against nonconsensual intrusions by a fetus as it provides against nonconsensual intrusions by other parties. This book pivotally strengthens, therefore, not only women's right to abortion but also abortion funding. By providing new grounds both for the public funding of abortion and for the removal of government restrictions on abortions, it lays the foundation for enhancing women's rights through major policy changes in legislatures and courts.
1 Where Do We Go From Here?
Intrusion Confusion
Having Your Cake and Eating It Too
Reasons versus Justification for Abortion
Ethical Models
The Use of Deadly Force
How to Get from Here to There
From Legal Formalism to Policy Outcome
Self-defense versus Self-sacrifice
2 Immaculate Pregnancy
Women as Vessels
Fetal Development
Sex Causes Pregnancy
Burdensome Condition
Value to Society
Policy Consequences of Cultural Codification
The Fertilized Ovum
The Fetus as Agent
Consent to Fetal Intrusion
3 Separating Sex from Pregnancy
The Legal Cause of Pregnancy
The Medical Cause of Pregnancy
Fetus as a Separate Entity
Risk versus Consequences
Resistance to Separating Sex from Pregnancy
Different Types of Parenthood
4 Consent to Pregnancy
Consent to Fetal Intrusion
Consent to Quantitative Intrusion
Consent to Qualitative Intrusion
Consent to Absolute Intrusion
Duty of Care
Consent to Altruism
5 Wrongful Pregnancy
Wrongful Pregnancy as Serious Injury
Normal Pregnancy as Serious Injury
Two Modes of Privacy
Latitude for Self-defense
Innocent and Weak?
Freedom from State Intrusion
Freedom from Private Intrusion
Stranded in a State of Nature
6 Abortion Funding and Due Process
No State Obstacles
Abortion Is Different
Due Process and State Action
From Private Action to State Action
State Sanction of Private Injury
7 From Due Process to Equal Protection
Concrete Intrusion
Absolute versus Contingent Affirmative Rights
Unconstitutional Means
Losing Rights at Birth
Equal Protection of Women's Physical Security
From Sex Discrimination to Fundamental Rights
Application to the Fetus
Affirmative State Action
Abortion Funding in a Minimalist State.
Grounds for Abortion Funding
8 Right to Bodily Access
Domestic Violence
From Rule of Thumb to Rule of Law
The Congressional Alternative
Congressional Metaphors
9 The Politics of Consent
Good, Bad, and Captive Samaritans
A Minimalist View
Women's Victimization
Self-defense or Self-sacrifice
A Utilitarian Basis for Abortion Rights
A Relational Basis for Abortion Rights
Risks of Changing the Debate
Betty Crocker versus Little Red Riding Hood
Self-defense and the Antimother
From Choice to Consent
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Local notes:
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2021. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries.
Other format:
Print version: McDonagh, Eileen Breaking the Abortion Deadlock