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Phenomenology 2010

Volume 5, Issue Part 1, 2010

Selected Essays from North America Part 1

Caroline Rebecca Lundquist
Pages 401-428

Recover the Tragic
Exploring the Ethical Dimensions of Rape-Related Pregnancy

There are few phenomena more tragic than rape-resultant pregnancy; faced with such pregnancies, rape victims are forced to make incredibly difficult and often heart-rending decisions. Yet both public and academic discourse on rape-pregnancy fails to acknowledge the profoundly tragic nature of these decisions, and also tends to implicitly or explicitly blame victims who opt for abortion or adoption. This paper critiques the use of praise and blame in relation to rape-resultant pregnancies, emphasizing the harmful effects of moral judgments on pregnant rape victims, and calls instead for a new ethical paradigm that acknowledges the deeply tragic nature of this phenomenon.

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