In this video a Princeton philosophy professor argues that a fetus does not have moral status and that is why it is not wrong to abort it during the early stages of pregnancy. The reason why it does not have moral status? Because it was destined to be aborted. Yes, that’s the argument in a nutshell, and actually the full argument literally fits in a nutshell anyway.
The Princeton professor, Liz Harman, was lucky enough to sit down with James Franco in a funky little project of his called Philosophy Time. James Franco is an odd dude, but no one can claim that he is not creative, educated, and industrious. He is well known for his acting career where he has played a variety of diverse characters – a goofy drug dealer in Pineapple Express to the real life hiker who cut off his own arm to survive in 127 Hours. But few may also know that he is a PhD student in English at Yale, has degrees from UCLA and Colombia, and has taught English and Film classes at several universities. He is involved in many other projects and charities as well. He doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously and just propels himself in life doing things that are interesting to him and that usually turn out very good, and frequently are pretty funny.
In this Youtube Philosophy Time episode, Franco only asks a question or two, but the professor is unimpressive. Her argument is circular – that if a life would end in abortion or miscarriage – in the early stages of pregnancy, the life gained no moral status and that’s why abortion is not wrong. However, she states that her life, and James Franco’s life do have moral status because of what they were to become. Because their mothers did not have an intent to abort, they are worthwhile.