Wouldn’t I Still Be Me?
By Greg Koukl
Those who play the personhood card argue that there is a difference between being a human and being a person. There are, they say, human beings that don’t qualify as persons, and therefore should have no legal protection as persons. The unborn is an example of a human who is not a person.
When asked “What’s the difference between a mere human and a human person,” which is a fair question to ask, there are three possible answers. First, an unborn child doesn’t look like other bonafide human persons who are at different stages of development. “After all,” they say, “an acorn isn’t an oak.” Second, an unborn child doesn’t do like other bonafide human persons who are at different stages of development.
You recall the unfortunate case of baby Theresa in Florida who was born without a cerebral cortex. What was the argument there? She’s not a person because she can’t think like other babies think (this was used as an argument for infanticide in Florida). She can’t do what other real persons do. The law implicitly offers a third distinction. The unborn child isn’t located at the right place as are other human persons who are at the same stage of development.
In summary, some human beings aren’t worthy of human rights because they don’t look like the rest of us, they can’t do what the rest of us can do, or they’re in the wrong location. My question simply is this: Are any of these factors truly relevant to the issue of human rights? I am presuming here that all unborn children are in fact humans. It cannot possibly be otherwise because they are separate beings in themselves produced by two other human beings, a mother and a father human being; and according to the law of biogenesis, which has been around for a long time in science, all beings reproduce after their own kind…
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