Abortion and the Concept of Personhood

Analysis of the concept of “personhood” and its significance to the abortion debate.

The abortion debate in North America is frequently emotional, even violent. Rational consideration of it often focuses on the concept of personhood. If the foetus is a person, abortion is murder. If it is not, abortion is not murder. Jane English argues that personhood cannot be adequately defined at all. This essay analyses the role of personhood in the abortion debate emphasizing Jane English’s critique of its validity.