The year is 2035. Roe v. Wade is the unquestioned law of the land. Pregnant women can abort their fetus in any state, for any (or no) reason, paid for by their health care provider. Abortion opponents have been reduced to a quiet, rapidly-shrinking group of ranters as the practice is socially accepted all over the nation. However, within this pro-choice utopia, five news items pop up on Americans' personal information modules:
1. A woman is impregnated by her boyfriend. She wants to abort the fetus: he wants to father the child. Although they're not married, he offers to assume full financial responsibilities for the baby as well as for the woman's pre- and postnatal health care. The woman has no reason to abort the child other than the fact she doesn't want to have a child. Since this particular fetus could not have been conceived without his genetic contribution, should he have any say in the woman's choice to abort the fetus?
2. A small group of obstetricians and gynecologists decide the Hippocratic Oath bars them from performing abortions on healthy fetuses (except if the mother was a victim of rape and incest, or in order to save the life of the mother). Should doctors have the right to refuse to perform an abortion if their patient desires one?
3. A fetus's genome can now be instantly mapped through simply scanning a pregnant woman's uterus. A eugenics cult is devoted to building a "genetically perfect" society. All pregnant women in this compound are scanned and, if their fetuses are not to The Leader's liking, they are immediately aborted. Assuming the women are supporters of this cult and its philosophy, should this sort of abortion be tolerated?
4. A drug company discovers a compound that could cure attention deficit disorder. However, one of its chemicals can only found in fetal tissue, specifically tissue from the brain of a six-month old fetus. All attempts to recreate the chemical in the lab have failed. Desperate to get this cure to market, the drug company offers a sum of money to women who deliberately impregnate themselves and allow the company to harvest their fetuses after six months. Thousands of women, mostly poorer women, sign up. Should women be allowed to abort their otherwise healthy fetuses for money, and should a drug company have the right to make the offer?
5. Large-breasted women make a huge splash in the fashion magazines. In the midst of this "double-D" fad, a false rumor hits high schools throughout the country: if you get pregnant, not only do your breasts get bigger, but if you abort the fetus before you start to show (and thus get caught), your boobs will remain that size forever. Tens of thousands of flat-chested teenage girls, determined to acquire an augmented bust but loath to ask their parents for plastic surgery, attempt to get themselves knocked up. Blogs written by these girls, detailing their progress, pop up all over (what we still call) the internet. Should doctors who perform these abortions be allowed to alert the girls' parents? Should this practice remain legal?