The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth

Screen_Shot_2016-02-25_at_21.42.06The Ascomb Bioethics Center (UK) has announced the publication of The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth: Exploring Moral Choices in Childbearing by Dr Helen Watt, Senior Research Fellow at the center. This book addresses the unique moral questions raised by pregnancy and its intimate bodily nature. From assisted reproduction to abortion and ‘vital conflict’ resolution to more everyday concerns of the pregnant woman, the book argues for pregnancy as a close human relationship with the woman as guardian or custodian. If the status of the fetus is conclusive for at least some moral questions raised by pregnancy, so too are facts about its bodily relationship with, and presence in, the woman who supports it. The pregnant woman is not a mere ‘neighbor’ or helpful stranger to the fetus but is rather already in a real familial relationship bringing real familial rights and obligations. 

Copies are on sale at the center and also on Amazon, where you may also purchase an electronic/Kindle copy. To request a review copy, please contact the publisher at amy.guest@tandf.co.uk mentioning the journal/publication for which you would like to write a review.

Book endorsements

“Helen Watt’s book is the most thorough attempt to understand pregnancy available. It speaks particularly to the issue, whether we should understand pregnancy as a normal episode in the life of a woman, or some sort of alien intrusion…Anyone interested in the abortion issue, or any of the other biomedical and social issues surrounding human reproduction, should read it carefully.” – Philip Devine, Providence College, USA

“Helen Watt has written a brave and provocative book—one sure to shake up many people’s closely held ‘certainties’ about the ethical issues surrounding pregnancy. In a style that is at once both accessible and rigorous, Watt addresses dimensions of human reproduction and pregnancy that have been heretofore ignored or shortchanged. One may disagree with some of Watt’s conclusions, but she has shown us what it will take to develop a morally consistent and thorough view about the complexities of our social and mammalian nature.” – Susan Dwyer, University of Maryland, USA

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