Is a fetus a ‘person’? A fringe idea could be the next post-Roe v. Wade chapter | Editorial
Opinion by the Miami Herald Editorial Board, Miami Herald – Yesterday 11:56 AM
*** begin quote ***
A pregnant woman walks into an emergency room experiencing a miscarriage, or she gives birth to a stillborn. Someone becomes suspicious and notifies police. They want to know: Is the woman at fault? Everything she’s done during her pregnancy comes under scrutiny. Did she take any drugs or medication? Did she research abortions on the internet?
A “pro-life” prosecutor decides to make her a pariah. She might face criminal charges, child endangerment or, worst-case scenario, manslaughter or murder if prosecutors believe she intended to end her pregnancy.
This is a dystopian scenario — what could happen if anti-abortion zealots take their positions to an extreme. And it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
Abortion-rights groups fear the next frontier in the fight to take away reproductive rights is to grant fetuses “personhood” status. Anti-abortion groups such as Americans United for Life are pushing for a federal executive order that would recognize “preborn persons as constitutional ‘persons’ ” entitled to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Florida’s U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio recently introduced the ‘‘Unborn Child Support Act,” which would grant child-support payments to women “at any stage of development” of a pregnancy. The legislation appears to be a way to make fetal personhood more palatable to Americans.
*** end quote ***
The Bible goes even further to explain that the unborn life is valuable because he or she has been uniquely created by God. Paul declares, “He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25).
There is evidence of the “remarkable “flash” at the moment of fertilization”.
However, from a scientific standpoint, at the moment of fertilization of the egg by the sperm, a completely new organism is present. The organism is not a part of the mother’s body although he or she is located within the mother’s body. Half of the time, the organism is a boy. The genetic complement of the new human being is unique and different from that of the mother.
The argument that this unique human being present in the mother’s womb from the moment of fertilization is a part of the mother’s body until sometime later in gestation is, from a scientific viewpoint, bizarre. What this argument would imply is that human beings reproduce by a process of budding, which is a process by which a new individual organism forms from a part of the mother’s body. This is the means of reproduction of some species of worms but it is most certainly not a means of reproduction by human beings.
So, then the question becomes when does a human being deserve the rights that we believe every human being has?
It really doesn’t matter what milestone that society designates. The only one that is “logical” is conception, imho.