Bioethics 30 (6):433-439 (2016)

Eze Paez
Universidade do Minho
Emergency contraceptives may sometimes prevent implantation, thereby causing the death of the embryo. According to some positions contrary to abortion, because the embryo is a human animal, there are usually decisive moral reasons not to use them. In this article, I will show that objecting to the use of emergency contraceptives on those grounds is unjustified. If organisms are real existents, then according to the most plausible conception of what is required for a group of cells to compose one, the embryo cannot qualify as a single organism. On the other hand, if organisms are virtual objects, then whether or not the embryo qualifies as one is morally irrelevant. I conclude that even if those positions are right about the morality of abortion, they are not entitled to oppose the use of emergency contraceptives.
Keywords organisms  human animals  abortion  zygote  emergency contraceptives  embryo
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12242
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