Elective abandonment: a male counterpart to abortion

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Two of the most influential arguments in favour of the permissibility of abortion were put forward in the latter half of the twentieth century by Judith Jarvis Thomson and Mary Anne Warren. The implications of these arguments for unwilling putative fathers have largely not been considered. Some have argued that Thomson's defence of abortion might allow a man under certain circumstances to terminate his parental responsibilities and rights. To my knowledge, nobody has considered the implications of Warren's argument for men. I will consider the implications of both arguments for men. I will argue that if they are successful defences of abortion then they are also successful in justifying a male counterpart to abortion which I label ‘elective abandonment’. I will not be defending or attacking these arguments as defences of abortion, but will defend the claim that they apply as well to elective abandonment as they do to abortion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
Number of pages12
JournalThe New Bioethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


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