When a woman's distress is extreme, cannot abortion be considered a lesser evil?
a) Common morality and good sense have a maxim that between two unavoidable evils, one must choose the lesser evil, and that the end does not justify the means, (which is to say, one may never do evil so that good will result from it.) This simple maxim is certainly applicable here. One cannot kill an infant with the hope of ameliorating the situation of its mother or of society.
b) Neither does the argument that there would be a conflict of values apply. Life is, in effect, the first of all goods, the first of all values that is the pre-condition of one's access to all others. The infant's right to life precedes all the rights that its mother has relative to other values.
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