Incest and Abortion

Abortion, Hard Cases, Rape, Incest, Deformities, Defects, Pregnancy, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life

When discussing abortion with pro-choice advocates, the argument of the “hard cases” for abortion is often brought up.

Some people argue that, in cases of incest, compassion requires us to allow abortion.

However, even in these instances, going through with the pregnancy is the better option for both the preborn baby and his or her mother. In this article, we are referring to consensual incest. In these cases, one of the main concerns is that the child may have a genetic defect.

Is it justifiable to kill another human being because of a primary characteristic that he or she cannot help?

The obvious answer is no.

In a free and just society, all human beings’ natural rights are respected, and we don’t get to kill people simply because they have characteristics that we don’t like or were conceived in a way that we don’t like.

In fact, some researchers have called into question whether or not incest really leads to as high of an incidence of birth defects as many people think [1].

This of course is not an endorsement of incest, but rather a response to the idea that children conceived in incest are doomed to have defects.

The most important point to remember in these situations is that whatever we may think of incest itself, the child that is created as a result of it should never be punished for the activities of its parents.

The innocent preborn child is every bit as deserving of life as anyone else.



[1] Bennett, Robin. et al. (2002). “Genetic Counseling and Screening of Consanguineous.” Journal of Genetic Counseling 11.2 (2002): 97-119. Web. 3 Jul 2011.


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