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University of Toronto Scarborough
Cathal O Madagain

PHLB09 2011 Lecture 6 Harris recap o In rape, father has no right against mother that she abstain from abortion: Because of rape, father has no morally legitimate interest in fetus o In casual sex, father has no right against mother that she abstain from abortion: Because father abandoned sperm, and so has no claim to the product of the sperm o In case 3, mother and father married, mother knows father wants babies doesnt tall him she doesnt; becomes pregnant, aborts Mother wrongs father (says Harris) because she violates his autonomy (negligence) o In case 4, mother tells father she wants babies because she thinks he needs to hear this to stay around; becomes pregnant, aborts o Case 5: Anne tells Mark explicitly that she wants babies, convinces him to reorganize his life for them etc.; becomes pregnant, and aborts Violation of autonomy o Case 3 & 4: no contract! o Basic moral imperative: never violate anothers autonomy (Kant) o Its wrong even if you dont agree to it explicitly Problems for Property Model o Problems in Harriss model: No contractual obligations to carry fetus to term Can you abandon a sperm? Is the crime violation of autonomy, or abortion? Harris claims mother has obligation to carry fetus to term o But: not impossible to force person to fulfill contract (tantamount to slavery) o The most that could be enforced would be a fine for emotional damagefinancial damage o Under these circumstances, the question of morality in late-term abortion isnt really answered Can you abandon sperm? o Harris says once you abandon sperm, you relinquish rights to it, and responsibilities toward it o So biological father cant demand abortion, cant demand birth, but also has no duties toward offspring* Laws of abandonment very tricky: o What counts as abandoning something? o Leaving it for a long time o What if you come back and say I always intended to come back Also, its not clear that you relinquish duties toward anything you abandon
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