Radio Q&A: 19 August 2012, Question 2
I answered a question on sex-selective abortions on 19 August 2012. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Are sex-selective abortions wrong? In Canada, some hospitals refuse to tell prospective parents the sex of their fetus when discovered in a second-trimester ultrasound, because the members of many immigrant groups will selectively abort girls. Apparently, such sex-selective abortions are common enough that the birth demographics in some areas are clearly skewed. Are such abortions wrong? Should doctors withhold information about the sex of a fetus in an effort to stop the practice? Could a doctor legitimately choose to perform abortions for any reason at 8 weeks, but refuse to do so at 21 weeks simply because the parents don't want a girl? If so, what's the moral difference between those two situations?
My Answer, In Brief: The problem with sex-selective abortions is not the abortion per se, but rather with the deep sexism of cultures that don't value girls and women.
- Duration: 15:05
- Download: MP3 Segment (5.2 MB)
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- The 'Personhood' Movement Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters that Rights Begin at Birth, Not Conception by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh
- The Objective Standard: The Assault on Abortion Rights Undermines All Our Liberties by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh
- Wikipedia: Sex-selective Abortion
- Can fetuses feel pain?
- Radio Liberty: China: A Future With A Shortage Of Brides, An Abundance Of Elderly
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on most Sunday mornings and some Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or discuss a topic of interest.
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