On finding yourself in a state of nature: A Kantian account of abortion and voluntary motherhood

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 5 (3) (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I defend the right to an abortion at any stage of pregnancy by drawing on a Kantian account of consent and innate right. I examine how pregnant women are positioned in moral and legal debates about abortion, and develop a Kanitan account of bodily autonomy in order to pregnant women’s epistemic authority over the experience of pregnancy. Second, I show how Kant's distinction between innate and private right offers an excellent legal framework for embodied rights, including abortion and sexual consent, and I draw on the legal definition of sexual consent in order to show how abortion discourse undermines women's innate right. I then explore Kant’s treatment of the infanticidal mother, and draw out the parallels between this case and contemporary abortion rights in order to develop a distinctly Kantian framework of reproductive rights in non-ideal conditions. Finally, I explore the implications of this non-ideal approach for contemporary abortion discourse, arguing that debates about the legality of abortion should more broadly engage the barbaric conditions of reproductive injustice.

Author's Profile

Jordan Pascoe
Manhattan College


Added to PP

1,243 (#6,882)

6 months
414 (#1,969)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?