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Under a more just worldview, however, we would consider the mother’s claims and those of her fetus on the merits of those claims.Weighing these claims against each other constitutes that grand act of calibrating the scales of justice.
We therefore extend rights to formerly excluded persons, such as infants, the mentally deficient, and the severely disabled, and, for that matter, any sentient being, including many animals.
Nevertheless, even after expanding the concept of moral considerability, pro-life advocates still have no ground on which to dismiss the objection of fetal insentience.
Since humans tend to value rationality, autonomy, and sentience, out ethical theories tend to disfavor animals and “lesser beings”.
Anthropocentric bias therefore limits our capacity to judge beings unlike us, and may lead us to assign unfair values to non-humans, which may be valuable independently of such assignation.
To this extent, pro-life advocates must broaden the criteria for moral considerability to include “potential” persons, or, more generally, potentially sentient beings.
Pro-choice advocates may object to the argument from potentiality on the grounds that what a thing is and what a thing can be are importantly and logically distinct.Unless otherwise stated, this is original content, released under CC-BY-SA 3.0 or any later version. Feel free to make comments on the talk page, which will probably be far more interesting, and might reflect a broader range of Rational Wiki editors' thoughts.I submit this "essay" to revise until it becomes palatable enough for pro-choice advocates to accept these sections on the pro-life page, which currently lacks any pro-life arguments at all. The right to life argument posits that, by virtue of being a living “being”, a fetus inherently possesses the right to life.Such would also be the case for the less gifted and even the marginally retarded.Once more by the universalizability criterion, we should extend moral considerability to cases of potentiality, with greater weight assigned to more probable potentialities.If we define a human being as rational and autonomous, a fetus is therefore not human.If we moreover maintain that only rational, autonomous beings can bear rights, a fetus cannot possibly bear rights.Such a conclusion, however, defies the common use of language and modern moral sensibilities, particularly as relate to the Disability Rights Movement.The question naturally arises whether a being must possess rationality or autonomy to bear rights, the answer to which we may predicate on the above observations.Loose guidelines may be prescribed to determine, given isolated variables or smaller clusters of variables, which rights should take precedence in which conditions.Such guidelines will all factor into the moral calculus of the decision of whether or not to abort.