Jonathan Herring, ‘Ethics of Care and The Public Good of Abortion’ (2019) U of OxHRH J 1


This article makes the case for seeing abortion as a public good. It does so using an ethics of care analysis. At the heart of the argument is that ethics of care requires us to promote relationships which are marked by care and mutual flourishing and to terminate relationships which are not so marked. Applying this in the context of pregnancy it is argued that the law should protect and promote wanted pregnancies as profoundly caring relationships, but that law must offer a termination of unwanted pregnancies. By providing abortion the law can end a non-caring relationship and free women to enter other caring relationships. I argue that this approach chimes with the reasons women typically give for seeking termination (to free them to undertake other caring responsibilities). It also provides a reason why unwanted termination of pregnancy, for example by miscarriage or criminal acts, can be recognised as serious wrongs, without challenging a liberal abortion law.


**The first edition of the U of OxHRH J can be found here**