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KIE Director selected as Hastings Center expert contact

KIE Director Maggie Little was recently added as an expert contact on an updated chapter on Abortion in “The Hastings Center Bioethics Briefings,” a free online compendium of bioethics-related issues for journalists, policymakers, and educators. Little is cited in the resources at the end of the chapter, which was written by fellow bioethicist Dr. Bonnie Steinbock. Little is also cited within the chapter regarding an argument she put forth in a paper titled The Morality of Abortion.

From the paper by Steinbock:

In 2003, Margaret Little argued that while abortion is not murder, neither is it necessarily moral. A pregnant woman and her fetus are not strangers; she is biologically its mother. However, she may have conflicts of duties. For example, a woman’s relationship to her children who have been born goes beyond mere biological connection and imposes stronger obligations. For this reason, their interests may trump those of the fetus. At the same time, even if the fetus is not a person, it is a “burgeoning human life,” and as such is worthy of respect. Many women believe that bringing a child into the world when they are not able to nurture it would be disrespectful of human life. The main reason women choose abortion, according to Little, is that they think it would be wrong to have a child when they are not capable of being good mothers.

Little also serves as a Hastings Center Fellow, one of an elected group of individuals of outstanding accomplishment, whose work has informed scholarship and/or public understanding of complex ethical issues in health, health care, life sciences research and the environment. Hastings Center Fellows may be academic bioethicists, scholars from other disciplines, scientists, journalists, lawyers, novelists, artists or highly accomplished persons from other spheres. Their common distinguishing feature is uncommon insight and impact in areas of critical concern to the Center – how best to understand and manage the inevitable values questions, moral uncertainties and societal effects that arise as a consequence of advances in the life sciences, the need to improve health and health care for people of all ages, and mitigation of human impact on the natural world.

Read the full chapter here »