If a fetus could be safely and simply removed from a woman and put in an artificial womb where it could grow normally, would a woman have a right to kill it instead?

  • Welcome to Philosophy SE,Yuri. I'm pretty sure you realise you've raised an emotionally charged subject, but I'd rather focus on the question of rights. Rights are effectively granted by your political system, not by your conscience. While a good government respects the role that a persons own morality and sense of ethics play, they are not generally required to do so. I suspect that the question you're really asking is whether it would be moral or ethical to do so, rather than whether or not it's a right. If so, please clarify your post.
    – Tim B II
    Jan 23, 2018 at 1:14
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    Unborn children have always been recognized as human beings until someone wants to kill them, so it's an abuse of words for people to claim that they somehow have a "right" to do so. Contrary to what @TimB says, political systems are not the source of our right to life; rather, it is endowed to us by our Creator as unalienable, so no government has the authority to deprive us of it without due process of law.
    – user3017
    Jan 23, 2018 at 1:36
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    Based on what system of morality? At present the question can only attract personal and emotionally charged opinions which we do not need here. Under Christian style ethics no, under many secular ones yes with caveats. It all depends on the ethical status of the fetus and how it enters into weighing pros and cons.
    – Conifold
    Jan 23, 2018 at 4:45
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    Maybe there is a conflict between different rights and their "owners": the (alleged) right of the fetus vs the right of the mother that "bear" the fetus. Jan 23, 2018 at 9:50
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    @TimB. The phrase "due process of law" does not, by any means, imply that governments have the right to enact whatever law they want. Governments are bound to act within the authority that God gives them whether you choose to acknowledge His existence or not. I don't need to assume a "ubiquitous belief" because our beliefs don't in any way alter the fact of the matter.
    – user3017
    Jan 23, 2018 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


Science tells us that a human fetus is a distinct human being. Abortion ends the life of that human being. Therefore, a right to abortion entails the right to end a human life.

  • This does not answer the question. He is talking about abortion in a context where you could let the fetus grow in an artificial womb. He is asking about the ethical and moral implications of this, not your edgy opinion. Jan 23, 2018 at 11:12
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    "Science tells us that a human fetus is a distinct human being." Can you provide a source for this claim? What is a human being in this context and how is it measured emperically? If a fetus is a human being then there must be a point where an embryo crosses the line into being a human being rather than cells. It would be helpful if you can provide where this demarcation is unless you are suggesting that cells are also a human being in which case I'd like to see a source for this too.
    – syntonicC
    Jan 23, 2018 at 12:28
  • AK_is_curious ... is right. This does not answer the question but it should be allowed to stand because it makes the exact question contrastively even clearer.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Jan 23, 2018 at 12:35
  • Science does not even have an exact idea about what "a human being" exactly is (as in: there is no scientific concept that is unproblematic). There are books full of arguments against the very possibility of such a concept. And you simply claim here that science tells us a fetus is one? This is not how StackExchange works. You need sources to back up your claims.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Jan 23, 2018 at 13:31
  • @PhilipKlöcking. Do you have any reason to believe that you're a human being?
    – user3017
    Jan 23, 2018 at 14:31

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