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Is humanity’s survival really that important?
  1. Richard B Gibson
  1. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Richard B Gibson, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, USA; rbgibson{at}

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In her paper, Robinson asserts that if one is convinced by the arguments assigning personhood according to a threshold criterion, one should also be open to the potential for a secondary personhood threshold, satisfied when one is pregnant, which confers temporary enhanced moral status. Rather than grounding such a claim on a fetus’s possession, or lack thereof, of personhood, Robinson argues that the pregnant person’s status as a ‘unique being’ is enough to satisfy the requirements of such an additional personhood classification.1 She justifies her claim via three arguments: (1) that the pregnant person is, in fact, more than a singular individual; (2) that pregnant people play a critical role in the human race’s continuation and (3) that the significant harms and burdens to which pregnant people have been exposed to historically and contemporary requires counterbalancing with enhanced protections. Unfortunately, despite Robinson’s best efforts, she does not provide a robust foundation for these justifications, which is most notable with the second one.

According to Robinson, because pregnant people’s critical role within society of gestating new individuals …

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