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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 24, Issue 2, Fall 2010

E.M. Dadlez, William L. Andrews
Pages 169-184
DOI: 10.5840/ijap201024216

Federally Funded Elective Abortion
They Can Run, but They Can’t Hyde

In this paper we will argue in favor of federal funding of elective abortion, more specifically in support of Medicaid funding. To do so, we will address the restrictions on public funding presently in place and demonstrate that the various justifications offered in their defense are in­adequate. We will then suggest that the ‘failure to enable’ represented by a ban on Federal funding is morally equivalent to an outright prohibition on abortion for the target population. Just as a moral equivalence can be established between killing and letting die in symmetrical cases, like criteria for equivalence can be established that help to identify those failures to make possible that are morally indistinguishable from proscriptions. On this basis, it can be shown that restrictions on Federal funding in such contexts can be thought to carry the same moral liability as prohibitions.

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