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Protection of Human Life in Its Early Stage

Intellectual Foundations and Legal Means

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Edited By Alexander Stepkowski

The book consists of thirteen studies examining different aspects of human life protection in the early stage of its development. The contributions are arranged in three parts. Part I focuses on theoretical problems and examines the main issues of contemporary jurisprudence. The foundation of human rights, different approaches to sovereignty, the relation between law and science, the legitimacy of judicial power, and the nature of legal authority are discussed. Part II presents the issues within the national contexts of the USA, Germany, Austria and Poland. In a wider perspective, Part III examines the issue of the protection of human life in the prenatal phase on three different levels: within the EU, within the European Court of Human Rights case law and the UN system.
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The Crisis of Reason in Western Jurisprudence and the Weakening of Life Protection

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Nikolas T. Nikasy*

I. Introduction

The practice of human abortion, the intentional termination of the life of an unborn child in utero at the behest of one or more people who see the child as a burden or unwanted, is undoubtedly one of the most profound issues affecting Western Civilization1 today. Whether abortion2 should be sanctioned, or, if already legalized, should be prohibited, is a crucial policy question that implicates science, morality and, ultimately, law. Since the science of human embryology establishes that a ← 81 | 82 → unique human being comes into existence at the “moment of sperm-egg fusion,”3 and because most countries denominated Western still give at least a superficial nod to the moral claim that the innocent should be protected4, the issue of abortion as a legal question takes on critical importance.

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