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The Moral Case for Abortion
  1. Sandy Goldbeck-Wood
  1. Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, London, UK, and Clinical Lead for Abortion Services, Cambridge University Hospitals, Cambridge, UK;

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Ann Furedi. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1-137-41118-1. Price: £19.99. Pages: 165 (hardcover)

The cover is shabby – like a wrinkled, stained, smudged and mended plain wrapper – signalling the abjection and dirtiness with which abortion has often been associated. But Ann Furedi’s The Moral Case for Abortion is an attempt to rehabilitate abortion, as an idea and a practice, from the ethical, philosophical gutter. It is, in the author’s words, an “assault on the moral high ground.”

Going beyond familiar, utilitarian justifications for abortion as an unavoidable fact of life better performed safely than dangerously, Furedi builds a careful and largely convincing moral philosophical arguments for abortion as an actively humanitarian service. Drawing on relevant philosophical and theological argument, alongside medical and cultural ones, she places herself in a “strong, post-enlightenment philosophical tradition”, refusing the “attractive certainties” …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.