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Abortion and deprivation: a reply to Marquis
  1. Anna Christensen
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anna Christensen, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Central College, Pella, IA 50219, USA; christensena{at}


In ‘Why Abortion is Immoral’, Don Marquis argues that abortion is wrong for the same reason that murder is wrong, namely, that it deprives a human being of an FLO, a ‘future like ours,’ which is a future full of value and the experience of life. Marquis’ argument rests on the assumption that the human being is somehow deprived by suffering an early death. I argue that Marquis’ argument faces the ‘Epicurean Challenge’. The concept of ‘deprivation’ requires that some discernible individual exists who can be deprived. But if death involves total annihilation, then no discernible individual exists to be so deprived. I argue that the Epicurean Challenge must be addressed before it can be proven that Marquis is correct to claim that abortion and murder are wrong because they deprive someone of an FLO.

  • abortion
  • ethics
  • death

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  • Contributors AC is the sole author and contributor of this essay.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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