Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
This essay argues that the polarization of our public debate over embryo-destructive research may be due, to a large extent, not to different valuations of individual human life but to different conceptions of the process of gestation, with one group treating the process as a making or construction and the other treating it as a development. These two incompatible models of reproduction are shown to explain the various positions commonly encountered in this debate over the treatment of embryos, and to a significant degree those encountered in the debate over abortion as well. Finally, the historical, theoretical, and intuitive strengths of each model are examined.
Richard Stith, Construction vs. Development: Polarizing Models of Human Gestation, 24 Kennedy Inst. of Ethics J. 345 (2014).