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I. Glenn Cohen, "Abortion Exceptions for Rape and Incest in Secular Law and the Abrahamic Faiths"

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Religion and medicine have historically gone hand in hand, but increasingly have come into conflict in the U.S. as health care has become both more secular and more heavily regulated. Law has a dual role here, simultaneously generating conflict between religion and health care, for example through new coverage mandates or legally permissible medical interventions that violate religious norms, while also acting as a tool for religious accommodation and protection of conscience.

This conference identified the various ways in which law intersects with religion and health care in the United States, examined the role of law in creating or mediating conflict between religion and health care, and explored potential legal solutions to allow religion and health care to simultaneously flourish in a culturally diverse nation.

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I. Glenn Cohen, "Abortion Exceptions for Rape and Incest in Secular Law and the Abrahamic Faiths"

  1. 1. Abortion Exceptions for Rape and Incest in Secular Law and the Abrahamic Faiths I. Glenn Cohen, JD! Professor, Harvard Law School! Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics! igcohen@law.harvard.edu!
  2. 2. w The Secular! ! w Judaism! ! w Christianity! ! w Islam! Agenda
  3. 3. w Presence of these Exceptions in Law and Politics! w Problems with these Exceptions! w Pro-Life Premises it Prima Facie Conflicts! 1.  Fetuses are persons and/or get some of the rights of persons from early on in their development, particularly the right of inviolability! 2.  Whatever interest the mother has in protecting her bodily integrity, protecting her reproductive autonomy, etc., does not outweigh her fetus’ right of inviolability! The Secular
  4. 4. w Distinction between Jews and non- Jews (Noahide law)! w Arguments from Maternal Suffering! w Arguments from Innocent Persecutor (pursuer, rodef)! ! Judaism
  5. 5. w Sources: Exodus 21:22, Isaiah 44:2, Imago Dei, Neighborly Love ! ! w Arguments from Experience! w Arguments from Personhood! NB: Neither of these argument titles are great.! Christianity
  6. 6. w Controversy over Point of Ensoulment (40, 80, 120 days?)! w Post-Ensoulment Only Life of Mother! w Pre-ensoulment is Place for Exceptions! w Arguments from Honor! w Arguments from Avoidable Harm! Islam

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