Monday, January 30, 2006

It seems one of the biggest debates concerning abortion is the matter of deciding when is a fetus is a person. The rights listed and described in the U.S. Constitution address persons already born and are citizens either by birth or by oath later, and it is those who are already born who are protected under the laws of the land. I find nowhere in the Constitution where this includes unborn zygotes, embryos and fetuses.

If our government considered unborn zygotes, embryos and fetuses to be human beings with the same rights as "persons" already born, then why can't we claim tax deductions for these zygotes, embryos and fetuses from the minute of conception? Why can't people collect government welfare, and any other benefits for that child-to-be from the moment it is conceived? So, in other words, our government does not recognize unborn zygotes, embryos and fetuses to be human beings with the same rights as those already born.

Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to "person." The first, in defining "citizens," speaks of "persons born or naturalized in the United States." The word also appears both in the Due Process Clause and in the Equal Protection Clause. "Person" is used in other places in the Constitution: in the listing of qualifications for Representatives and Senators, Art. I, § 2, cl. 2, and § 3, cl. 3; in the Apportionment Clause, Art. I, § 2, cl. 3; in the Migration and Importation provision, Art. I, § 9, cl. 1; in the Emolument Clause, Art. I, § 9, cl. 8; in the Electors provisions, Art. II, § 1, cl. 2, and the superseded cl. 3; in the provision outlining qualifications for the office of President, Art. II, § 1, cl. 5; in the Extradition provisions, Art. IV, § 2, cl. 2, and the superseded Fugitive Slave Clause 3; and in the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-second Amendments, as well as in §§ 2 and 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only postnatally. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application.

Decision for Roe vs. Wade was based on the 14th Amendment: Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

There is no provision that I can find in the U.S. Constitution for the protection of zygotes and embryos...or even fetuses for that matter. Once the child is born, he or she becomes a legal citizen of this country and bound and protected by its laws and may receive benefits and services as need be.

Any changes in the Constitution to rewrite into it protections of the unborn is something that the christian right would probably love to be able to do. We must keep on top of this issue before women's rights are totally undone and we are sent back into the dark ages. I would love to see this zealousness to help the abused, starving, neglected children who are already born and suffering in this world.

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