Cover image for Preventing birth : contemporary methods and related moral controversies
Preventing birth : contemporary methods and related moral controversies
Knight, James W., 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Salt Lake City : University of Utah Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xviii, 358 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RG136 .K595 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



An overview survey of current understanding of the scientific and social aspects of contemporary birth control methods and the moral issues related to those methods. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A comprehensive, state-of-the-art presentation of the biological facts and ethical issues involved in contemporary birth control methods. Knight and Callahan begin with an excellent historical overview of the subject matter, followed by a detailed description of human reproductive anatomy and physiology. An exhaustive discussion of contraceptive and abortion techniques and a chapter on the morality of abortion is followed by a discussion of the biology and ethical issues involving mutagenicity and teratogenicity. The book concludes with a discussion of the dismal prospects for the discovery and development of a safe, reversible, and effective male contraceptive. Although some less scientifically minded readers may find more detail on reproductive biology than they might like, the book is nonetheless very clearly written and well organized. The ethics sections are beautifully argued. The discussions of the morality of abortion and the morality of compelling pregnant women to undergo medical treatment for the benefit of the fetus are outstanding. Callahan and Knight defend strongly "pro choice" positions on both issues. While maintaining that terminating life by abortion always requires justification, they make a provocative case for the view that a serious right to life begins only with birth. A must for any library. Recommended without reservation. -R. B. Scott Jr., William Woods College