Case Analysis of Mentally Disabled Pregnant Woman

Case Analysis of Mentally Disabled Pregnant Woman



Mary Lucille Mislansky


Presentation: 3:00-4:15, Kennedy Union Ballroom



In the UK, a 20-year-old pregnant woman with the mental capacity of a 6-9 year old is ordered by the court to have an abortion. The cause of her pregnancy is unknown and currently under police investigation. She and her mother do not wish for her to receive an abortion. In this case analysis, I will use the moral theories and moral norms of respect for patient autonomy, the natural law theory, and the ethics of care, to argue that the mother and her daughter should be permitted to keep the fetus and give birth to the child. In addition, the mother and the pregnant woman have the right to continue the pregnancy as there is no evidence the fetus will be mentally disabled and the mother has offered to care for the child with her daughter. The last line of reasoning against abortion is based on the idea of fetal personhood. Mary Anne Warren argues that a fetus is not a person because it does not have consciousness, reasoning, self-motivated activity, capacity to communicate, and presence of self-concepts. However, this does not mean an abortion needs to be performed. In this case, the mother and the pregnant woman want to have this baby. I will conclude that it is not morally right for the judge to court order that this woman receive an abortion.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project - PHL 315 H1

Primary Advisor

Viorel Paslaru

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals


Case Analysis of Mentally Disabled Pregnant Woman