Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (4):414-430 (2021)

David B. Hershenov
State University of New York, Buffalo
Philip Reed
Canisius College
It is sometimes proposed that killing or harming abortion providers is the only logically consistent position available to opponents of abortion. Since lethal violence against morally responsible attackers is normally viewed as justified in order to defend innocent parties, pro-lifers should also think so in the case of the abortion doctor and so they should act to defend the unborn. In our paper, we defend the mainstream pro-life view against killing abortion doctors. We argue that the pro-life view can, in various ways, reject the assumption that defensive violence to save innocent individuals is always permissible. Now even if that assumption is accepted, we contend that defensive violence against abortion doctors still is not justified. Drawing on Frances Kamm’s work, we contend that there are structural similarities between abortion and letting someone die who needs your help to stay alive; and we argue that it is impermissible to kill those who kill in order to avoid giving life-saving aid.
Keywords abortion  self-defense  letting die  violence  Frances Kamm
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhab011
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
Life's Dominion.Melissa Lane & Ronald Dworkin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (176):413.

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Citations of this work BETA

Internal Morality of Medicine and Physician Autonomy.Stephen McAndrew - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (3):198-203.
On Anti‐Abortion Violence.Jeremy Williams - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):273-296.

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