November 13, 2019

Marija Petrović Implications of the Use of Artificial Wombs for the Bioethical Debate on Abortion

Although the use of artificial wombs for gestating human fetuses is still not a part our reality, the advancement of these technologies and the possibility of using them in the near future require that we examine how they will affect the abortion debate. Today, the decision to terminate a pregnancy (at least until the 23rd week of gestation) inevitably entails termination of fetal life. The use of artificial wombs would change this, making it possible to, at the same time, terminate the pregnancy and allow the fetus to continue to develop in the artificial environment. This possibility leads us to reinterpret the very concept of “abortion”. When choosing to have an abortion, what is it that is being aborted, only pregnancy or the life of a fetus as well? Can we say that an abortion that does not result in fetal death is a successful one, or would that be some kind of childbirth?

Marija Petrović (1990) is a research assistant at the Institute of Philosophy and a Ph.D student at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. She is a graduate teaching assistant who teaches Introduction to Philosophy. Currently, she is writing a PhD thesis on The Problem of the Moral Status of Abortion from the Perspective of Reproductive Rights.

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