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Human equality and the impermissibility of abortion: a response to Bozzo
  1. Calum Miller
  1. Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Calum Miller, Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK; c.miller{at}


I have recently offered a defence of human equality, and consequently an argument against abortion. This has been objected to by Bozzo, on the grounds that my account of human equality is unclear and could be grounded in utilitarian or Kantian ethics, that my account struggles to ground the permissibility of therapeutic abortions, and that my proposed foundation for human equality itself is parasitic on a scalar property which generates the same difficulties I am attempting to solve. I provide an account of human equality which cannot easily be grounded in utilitarianism or Kantianism, offer a variety of defences of therapeutic abortion consistent with treating the mother and child equally, and show that even if the value of humanness is ultimately grounded in a scalar quality, my argument succeeds.

  • Embryos and Fetuses
  • Abortion - Induced
  • Human Rights

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  • Contributors CM is the sole author.

  • 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.

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

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