A Relational Approach to Moral Decision‐making: The Majority Opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Format of Original
Taylor & Francis
Quarterly Journal of Speech
Advocates supporting and opposing abortion rights were disappointed by the United Stales Supreme Court ruling on the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The majority opinion upheld a “fundamental” right to abortion prior to fetal viability but also affirmed a State's right to regulate, abortions. Thus, in establishing a middle ground, the Court rejected simplistic approaches to moral reasoning and acknowledged the complex web of relationships involved in abortion decision‐making. This essay defines a relational approach to moral reasoning and analyzes the Casey decision as an exemplar of that approach. The case study suggests that rhetoricians should “revision” the art of persuasion and argument, in particular, to place more emphasis on relational values.