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A moral defence of late abortion


In a new essay Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS, urges faltering pro-choice campaigners to rediscover their respect for women’s moral autonomy. 

Furedi writes:

‘The heated character of the debate around “late” abortion is curious, given that “early” abortion is almost beyond controversy. Most developed countries now accept that women should be able to access abortions up to gestations of 10 or 12 weeks – the first trimester of pregnancy – with little debate or stigma around such procedures. 

‘But, paradoxically, as early abortion has become more accepted, later procedures have attracted increasing concern. And even some of those associated with the pro-choice movement have begun to express doubts openly about whether a woman should be able to choose to end her pregnancy once her fetus begins more closely to resemble a baby.

‘How do we account for this shifting approach to the parameters of choice?...’

A Moral Defence of Late Abortion has been published as a special edition of Abortion Review. Download it for free here.

Furedi’s essay was first published on spiked