You Can't Always Get What You Want: A Gewirthian Model of Rational Autonomy in Reproduction

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


    The law regulating the availability of abortion is problematic both legally and morally. It is dogmatic in its requirements of women and doctors and ignorant of would-be fathers. Practically, its usage is liberal - with s1(1)(a) Abortion Act 1967 treated as a ‘catch all’ ground - it allows abortion on demand. Yet this is not reflected in the ‘law’. Against this outdated legislation I propose a model of autonomy which seeks to tether our moral concerns with a new legal approach to abortion. I do so by maintaining that a legal conception of autonomy is derivable from the categorical imperative resulting from Gewirth’s argument to the Principle of Generic Consistency: Act in accordance with the generic rights of your recipients as well as of yourself. This model of Gewirthian Rational Autonomy, I suggest, provides a guide for both public and private notions of autonomy and how our autonomous interests can be balanced across social structures in order to legitimately empower choice. I claim, ultimately, that relevant rights in the context of abortion are derivable from this model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventHEAL Seminar Series - University of Southampton, Southampton
    Duration: 11 Nov 2015 → …


    SeminarHEAL Seminar Series
    Period11/11/15 → …


    Dive into the research topics of 'You Can't Always Get What You Want: A Gewirthian Model of Rational Autonomy in Reproduction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this