Life Before Birth: The Moral and Legal Status of Embryos and Fetuses

This book provides a framework for thinking clearly anbd coherently about the unborn. The book's thesis, the interest view , states that all and only beings who have interests have moral standing, and only beings who possess conscious awareness have interests. The chapters apply the interest view, and explore the moral and legal aspects of a wide range of issues. These centre on the inconsistency of the status of fetuses. Are they part of the pregnant woman, or are they persons? Women have been criminally charged with abusing their fetuses by using drugs during pregnancy, and yet abortion is legal. Readers will be able to resolve these contradictions in our current thinking about the unborn, and approach new issues in a clear and rational manner.