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This book takes a critical conceptual approach to the jurisprudence of pregnancy, examining how the three concepts of conflict, personhood and property are key to the legal analysis and decision-making surrounding pregnancy. The book begins by questioning the ‘conflict model’ which is often assumed to capture the essence of legal debates on maternal/foetal issues, asking why it exerts such discursive power despite the lack of a genuine conflict of interest in the legal sense.
The book goes on to critically examine the concept of personhood, questioning its usefulness. Mary Ford argues that legal personhood lack justificatory force while the philosophical concept of moral personhood is fundamentally unsound, so that the concept of personhood is insufficient in this context. The book finally moves to examine the concept of property, analysing whether embryos could or should be regarded as property. It is argued that the avoidance of property does the jurisprudence of pregnancy few favours, and that an engagement with the neglected concept of property has the potential to refresh our thinking about pregnancy, and about the way we frame our legal debates about maternal / foetal issues.