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Philosopher who supports legal abortion joins Vatican pro-life academy


A view of St Peters Basilica in Vatican City Jan 25 2015. Photo credit: Bohumil Petrik CNA 3 CNA 1 26 15

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Vatican City, Jun 13, 2017 CNA.- Philosopher Nigel Biggar, who backs legal abortion, is among the 45 new appointments to the Pontifical Academy for Life, according to a statement on the Vatican website.

 

Biggar, the Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford, has said that he supports legal abortion up to 18 weeks.

 

In a 2011 dialogue with Peter Singer, a philosopher who supports infanticide, Biggar said: “I would be inclined to draw the line for abortion at 18 weeks after conception, which is roughly about the earliest time when there is some evidence of brain activity, and therefore of consciousness. In terms of maintaining a strong social commitment to preserving human life in hindered forms, and in terms of not becoming too casual about killing human life, we need to draw the line much more conservatively.”

 

He added: “It’s not clear that a human foetus is the same kind of thing as an adult or a mature human being, and therefore deserves quite the same treatment. It then becomes a question of where we draw the line, and there is no absolutely cogent reason for drawing it in one place over another.”

 

Biggar has also opposed the legalization of assisted suicide, and written in defense of just war.

 

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