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International Journal of the Jurisprudence of the Family




This Article explores a little-noticed dimension of abortion and assisted suicide (or voluntary euthanasia): how choosing to reject those options can have a negative impact on the legally authorized choosers. Women who refuse abortion may be blamed for their choice by boyfriends, neighbors, employers, and others. Similarly, infirm or dying persons may find family and other caregivers upset by their refusal to agree to assisted suicide when voluntary death seems the sensible option. Finally, the author questions whether a life chosen as an option can ever have the dignity of a life simply accepted, i.e., whether the child a mother once chose not to abort suffers from her having been able to choose otherwise, and whether the severely disabled but suicide-rejecting person suffers from having to justify her continued existence.