Ectogestation involves the gestation of a fetus in an ex utero environment. The possibility of this technology raises a significant question for the abortion debate: Does a woman’s right to end her pregnancy entail that she has a right to the death of the fetus when ectogestation is possible? Some have argued that it does not Mathison & Davis (Bioeth 31:313–320, 2017). Others claim that, while a woman alone does not possess an individual right to the death of the fetus, the genetic parents have a collective right to its death Räsänen (Bioeth 31:697–702, 2017). In this paper, I argue that the possibility of ectogestation will radically transform the problem of abortion. The argument that I defend purports to show that, even if it is not a person, there is no right to the death of a fetus that could be safely removed from a human womb and gestated in an artificial womb, because there are competent people who are willing to care for and raise the fetus as it grows into a person. Thus, given the possibility of ectogestation, the moral status of the fetus plays no substantial role in determining whether there is a right to its death.
Philosophy & Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2020