HEAL UoS

HEAL Seminar Series: 4-5pm Wednesday 25 November 2015, with Jack Clayton Thompson speaking on ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want: A Gewirthian Model Of Rational Autonomy In Abortion’.

In 2015, Meetings on November 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

On Wednesday 25 November 2015 we have the fourth session in the 2015/16 HEAL seminar series, with Jack Clayton Thompson, a lecturer in Law at the University of Westminster, speaking on ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want: A Gewirthian Model Of Rational Autonomy In Abortion’. The seminar will run from 4-5pm in room 2007/4 (Law). All welcome.

Abstract

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 Against this outdated legislation I propose a model of autonomy which seeks to tether our moral concerns with a new legal approach to abortion.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.

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