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‘After-birth abortion’ and arguments from potential
  1. Justin Oakley

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Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva reject arguments from claims that fetuses and newborn infants are potential persons, because they argue that potential persons cannot be harmed.1 But whether or not potential persons can be harmed, is it clear that potential persons are entirely lacking in moral status, of a kind that could count as a (pro tanto) reason against bringing about their demise? We do not generally regard potential as entirely lacking in moral value until it is actualised. For example, parents who believe they have identified in their child an emerging musical talent commonly see this potential as having some (not necessarily moral) value, however small, which would count as a reason against destroying that …

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