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Self-ownership, abortion and infanticide.
  1. E F Paul,
  2. J Paul


    Doctors have been placed in an anomalous position by abortion laws which sanction the termination of a fetus while in a woman's womb, yet call it murder when a physician attempts to end the life of a fetus which has somehow survived such a procedure. This predicament, the doctors' dilemma, can be resolved by adopting a strategy which posits the right to ownership of one's own body for human beings. Such an approach will generate a consistent policy prescription, one that sanctions the right of all pregnant women to abortions, yet grants the fetus, after it becomes viable as a potentially independent person, a right to its own body. The doctors' dilemma is surmounted, then, by requiring that abortions of viable fetuses be performed in a manner that will produce a live delivery. Hence, infanticide and termination of viable fetuses are proscribed.

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