Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair Minded Words
A Conference on Life and Choice in the Abortion Debate
Princeton University – October 15 & 16, 2010
University Center for Human Values & James Madison Program, Princeton University; Department of Theology, Fordham University; Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
Charles Camosy, Fordham University, Frances Kissling, University of Pennsylvania
Jennifer Miller, Bioethics International, Peter Singer, Princeton University
Inspired by President Obama’s address at Notre Dame in which he called on those on different sides of the abortion issue not only to work together where we agree, but lso to engage in ‘vigorous debate’ with open hearts, open minds, and fair minded words.
Plenary: The Moral Status of the Fetus.
Different perspectives on the moral status of the fetus deeply
divide those who favor and those who oppose legal abortion. Proponents
of different views will present and discuss their perspectives.
• Moderator: Arthur Caplan, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
• John Finnis, University of Oxford
• Margaret Little, Georgetown University
• Peter Singer, Princeton University
Plenary: A Woman’s Moral Duty to the Fetus?
This panel will bypass the moral status of the fetus and instead ask
the following question: if we were to grant that the fetus has moral
status, does it follow that there is a moral obligation on the part of
a woman to bring her pregnancy to term?
• Moderator: Jennifer Miller, Bioethics International
• Charles Camosy, Fordham University and Ruth Macklin, Einstein College of Medicine
Plenary: From Morality to Public Policy.
This panel will debate the complex and important public policy
questions remaining even after drawing conclusions about the topics of
the previous two panels. For instance, if we were to agree that
abortion is morally wrong, does this mean that we should prohibit it?
Is it legally or practically possible to significantly restrict
• Helen Alvare, George Mason University
• David Garrow, University of Cambridge
• Cathleen Kaveny, University of Notre Dame
• Dorothy Roberts, Northwestern University
Plenary: Opening Hearts and Minds on Abortion. Is Common Ground Possible?
This panel will explore efforts to increase understanding, reduce
conflict and find common ground among those who hold different views on
abortion. In addition to analyzing past efforts, it will explore the
current efforts of the Obama administration and make suggestions for
improving that work.
• Panelists include: David Gushee, Mercer and Rachel Laser, Third Way
Plenary: Abortion in America, Should it be a Constitutional Question?
The United States and South Africa are the only two countries where abortion’s legality has been determined on the basis of a constitutional right. In the US this approach has been applauded and criticized on both legal and ethical grounds. This panel will ask whether it is sound public policy to rely on the courts, rather than the legislatures, to settle abortion policy.
Do Some Reasons for Abortion Exacerbate Discrimination against Persons?
Preventing Unintended Pregnancies
When Might a Fetus Feel Pain and What Should We Do about It?
How Far Does the Right of Conscientious Refusal Extend?
Providing Support for Continuing Pregnancy
To receive early notification when registration opens, please contact:
Kim Girman, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University