Embryo-Destructive Research and Abortion: Are They Different Moral Issues?

Research on human embryos and embryonic stem cells appears to offer great health benefits for the future. At the same time, controversy over embryo destructive research is reminiscent of the disputes over abortion. What should we think about the moral and political permissibility of research and medical technology that destroys human embryos? And is this controversy really the same as the abortion controversy? In this paper, I discuss the moral and political questions surrounding embryo research, and the ways in which this research is different from, and similar to, abortion. BIO: Dr. Christopher Tollefsen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina. He was a 2004-05 Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. He has authored over forty articles or book chapters on bioethics, meta-ethics, and jurisprudence, and he is the author of two recently published books, Biomedical Research and Beyond: Expanding the Ethics of Inquiry and Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, co-authored with Robert P. George. He is the editor of the Springer book series Catholic Studies in Bioethics, and is both James Madison Fellow, and a Fellow of Witherspoon Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University.