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The Right to Life

Science is meant to lend weight to social arguments, which in turn are meant to lend weight to science: "The legitimacy of an abortion operation is more than merely a medical decision; it involves legal, moral, ethical, philosophical, theological, sociological and psychological considerations. These realities cannot be brushed aside merely by calling the problem 'medical'" (RA 542). How nonmedical considerations are to be conceptualized in RTL argumentation shows the overarching stake in social mores in Roe and Webster RTL briefs. Meanwhile, RB declares that medical science having established fetal humanity, there follows "a duty" to save the unborn "from indiscriminate extermination" (RB 416-7).

Strong advocacy bias and the intransigence of antichoice opinion seem latent in RTL medical and arguments, and it has the effect of exposing the briefs to logically contradictory positions. RB notes that a doctor who recognizes that a pregnancy presents him(!) with two separate patients "has no difficulty applying his skill for the benefit of child and mother" (RB 440); that rather begs the question what all the fuss is about in Roe. Other logical inconsistencies are evident as well. When RA wants to prove the discrete status of the fetus from the mother, science is said to have advanced beyond what it used to be and to have proven that the child in the womb is not part of its mother but a discrete being (RA 504; 525). But medical expertise becomes irrelevant when RA wants to prove the irrelevance of the mother's preference for abortion vis-a-vis the rights of the child in the womb; RA deplores a "physician's unreviewable moral-medical judgment that his [the fetus's] life is less important than his mother's state of mind. . . . Moreover, the primary training and function of physicians is to diagnose and heal, not to adjudicate" (RA 542). Similarly, RB makes much of what it sees as the largely unrecognized medical and psychological haz...

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The Right to Life. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:00, August 20, 2017, from
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