Abortion: The Persistent Debate and Its Implications for Stem-Cell Research


More than thirty-four years after the United States Supreme Court initially recognized a woman's constitutional right to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy (at least within the first two trimesters) in its landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade, the issue of whether women ought to have this right continues to affect public debate. Presidential candidates are asked about the issue, and potential Supreme Court nominees and their prior judicial decisions, academic writings, and speeches are thoroughly scrutinized for any inkling of how they would likely rule in a future case on the issue. Perhaps even more important is the way the debate over this issue has impacted federal funding for stem cell research in the United States. Because of moral concerns regarding the personhood status and level of dignity owed to the human embryo as a form of human life, in September of 1999, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission recommended against providing federal funding for the use and derivation of embryonic stem (ES) cells and embryonic germ (EG) cells except when obtained from "cadaveric fetal tissue" or "embryos remaining after infertility treatment." In this article, I will suggest that the abortion debate and its offshoots into embryonic medical research persist because of a failure to properly separate human personhood from human biology. I will argue further that a proper analysis of the problem will not only enlighten the abortion and fetal tissue research debate, but will have implications for end-of-life issues as well.  
How to Cite
. Abortion: The Persistent Debate and Its Implications for Stem-Cell Research. Journal of Law and Family Studies, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 1, feb. 2009. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/jlfs/article/view/89>. Date accessed: 19 nov. 2018.