James Franco Questions Princeton Professor’s Attempts to Excuse Early-Stage Abortion

Washington Free Beacon | 8/9/2017 | Andrew Kugle
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BY: Andrew Kugle

Princeton University professor Elizabeth Harman gave a perplexing answer to a question about abortion from "Spider Man 3" co-star James Franco.

Harman - Episode - Philosophy - Time - YouTube

Harman appeared in an episode of Philosophy Time, a YouTube series where James Franco and philosophy professor Eliot Michaelson have conversations with academics about a variety of topics. Harman was discussing her support for early stage abortion and why she believes nothing morally bad happens when it occurs. In her explanation, Harman argued that fetuses that are aborted early on have not lived long enough to have a "moral status," because moral status depends on the future.

Harman's argument whether a fetus has "moral status" is dependent upon if the fetus has a future.

Work - Position - Abortion - View - Nothing

In some of my work I defend a liberal position about early abortion. I defend the view that there is nothing morally bad about early abortion. So, a lot of people think, ‘well it's permissible to have an abortion, but something bad happens when the fetus dies.' And I think if a fetus hasn't ever been conscious, it hasn't ever had any experiences, and we aborted it at that stage actually nothing morally bad happens. And this view might seem unattractive because it might seem that it dictates a cold attitude towards all early fetuses. But, what I think is actually among early fetuses there are two very different kinds of beings. So James, when you were an early fetus, and Eliot, when you were an early fetus, all of us I think we already did have moral status then. But we had moral status in virtue of our futures. And future of fact that we were beginnings stages of persons. But some early fetuses will die in early pregnancy due to abortion or miscarriage. And in my view that is a very different kind...
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