Unjustified Asymmetry: Positive Claims of Conscience and Heartbeat Bills

American Journal of Bioethics:1-20 (forthcoming)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In 2019, several US states passed “heartbeat” bills. Should such bills go into effect, they would outlaw abortion once an embryonic heartbeat can be detected, thereby severely limiting an individual’s access to abortion. Many states allow health care professionals to refuse to provide an abortion for reasons of conscience. Yet heartbeat bills do not include a positive conscience clause that would allow health care professionals to provide an abortion for reasons of conscience. I argue that this asymmetry is unjustified. The same criteria that justify protecting conscientious refusals to provide abortion also justify protecting positive conscientious appeals regarding abortion. Thus, if the law provides legal exemptions for health care professionals who, as a matter of conscience, refuse to provide abortions where it is legal, it should also provide exemptions for health care professionals who, as a matter of conscience, feel obligated to provide abortions where it is illegal.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
FRIUAP
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-01-07
View other versions
Added to PP index
2021-01-06

Total views
15 ( #55,852 of 55,785 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
15 ( #40,689 of 55,785 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.