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Jean Reith Schroedel
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At first glance, all three issues seem similar -- all ask the question of how the state should respond to actions that threaten or destroy fetal life. But the response of state and society to each has been very different: while the highly charged debate over abortion fights rages unabated, the other two issues engender no such social or political divisions. And while drug use and third-party fetal killings are universally condemned, "fetal abuse" is a term used only to describe harm that a pregnant woman brings to her own fetus, and not harm brought to it by a third party. Similarly, a great deal of media attention has been paid to such "fetal abuse", while the question of third-party harm has been all but ignored.
Is the Fetus a Person? analyzes fetal personhood by examining all of the major areas of the law that could implicitly or explicitly award the fetus such status. Jean Reith Schroedel presents a comprehensive history of fetal protection ideas and policies in America, considering the moral and legal underpinnings of existing laws while paying particular attention to the influence of gender and power relations on their formation.
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