Personhood rights transcend personal rights

Cecily Shaber, Staff Writer

Every person has a fundamental, undeniable, and bottom-line right to live. In general, this is a truth that people agree on. Actually, one would be hard-pressed to find a person who believes there are people who should be denied the privilege of life. However, this truth is often dishonored and altogether ignored when the topic of abortion comes into play.

[N]o person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but this fact is not reflected in the nation’s abortion laws.”

— Staff Writer Cecily Shaber

According to the U.S. Constitution, no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but this fact is not reflected in the nation’s abortion laws.

The popular pro-choice argument “my body, my choice” is not applicable because from the moment of conception, a woman’s body becomes the vessel of another human being. 

A person is a person, beginning at conception. There is no identifiable point in a fetus’ life at which it suddenly becomes a person who holds the same right to life as you or I. Instead, human life is exactly that beginning at the moment of conception. 

At conception, half the DNA comes from the egg and half from the sperm, to form the zygote, the beginning of a new human life. 

This zygote now has a unique set of DNA possessed by nobody else, causing the zygote to be its own human person, separate from the mother. Abortion is not a choice made in regards to one’s own body. Rather, it is the decision to take the life of the person your body is hosting.

A heartbeat does not constitute the existence of a human person in the womb. It is merely another milestone in the biological development of a person.

Nor does the fetus become a person only after a certain length of time. With the rationale that a fetus becomes a person after nine weeks, for example, then what is the fetus 30 seconds before that duration is reached? There is no switch that is flipped to “activate” the fetus’ personhood, and this is to reiterate that personhood is established at conception.

No difference exists between taking a child’s life outside of the womb and taking a child’s life inside the womb.

Considering that a fetus is a person from the moment of conception, then abortion really is a first-degree murder that needs to be classified as such. The legal definition of a first-degree murder is one that has been premeditated. By making the decision and scheduling an appointment ahead of time for an abortion, the operation falls into this category. Murder is illegal, and abortion is murder. Therefore, abortion demands illegality.

The conditions one is born into do not determine the value of his or her life.”

— Staff Writer Cecily Shaber

In attempts to justify abortion, many call to mind the cases in which the child is going to be born into unfortunate or burdensome circumstances. These may include parents who are ill-equipped to care for the child, poverty, genetic abnormalities, or having to be placed for adoption. Here, we must recall that it is not the responsibility of anybody else to determine the value or potential of another’s life. 

It is up to every individual person to determine the trajectory of his or her own life, regardless of the given circumstances. The conditions one is born into do not determine the value of his or her life.

This does not, however, diminish the reality of a mother’s suffering. Unsought pregnancies cause significant hardship for mothers, especially in the rare, legitimate, cases of pregnancies resulting from rape, or pregnancies that jeopardize the mother’s health.

I sympathize with all those who have endured the unimaginable strife, abandonment, or even shame that may accompany an unplanned pregnancy. Still, no amount of suffering, no matter how severe, trumps a person’s right to life. A pregnant mother is gifted with the life of another human being and is obligated to offer that person the best possible life.

Life is a gift that every person is entitled to, but unborn children are not capable of defending themselves. Accordingly, our society has a responsibility to safeguard the lives of the vulnerable, and this needs to be reflected in the laws we have in place.