The Conversation: 50 years after Roe, many ethics questions shape the abortion debate

UC medical ethicist Elizabeth Lanphier cited in media for opinion on abortion rights

In an article in "The Conversation", Elizabeth Lanphier, a moral philosopher and bioethicist at the University of Cincinnati, weighs in on the “my body, my choice” catchphrase that has become the mantra of the right to choose movement. 

Elizabeth Lanphier

Elizabeth Lanphier, PhD. Photo/UC Marketing + Brand

But “my body, my choice” doesn’t fully capture the key ideas, Lanphier argued, stating that reproductive rights aren’t just about a lack of interference, what philosophers call “negative liberty.” Abortion is also about the right to access health care.

“My research suggests ‘my body, my choice’ was a crucial idea at the time of Roe to emphasize ownership over bodily and health care decisions,” Lanphier concluded. “But I believe the debate has since moved on – reproductive justice is about more than owning your body and your choice; it is about a right to health care.”

Lanphiers views are among a wide range of experts cited in the article, as Jan. 22, 2023, marks the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that recognized a constitutional right to abortion. That stood for nearly half a century, until a majority of justices reversed it in June 2022’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision.

Read the article

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