Is a Fetal Human Being a Person?

Amy explains why all humans are also persons.


Some people will tell you that the baby

that's developing inside you is not a person, so let's look at whether or not

that's true. The science of embryology says that when

your baby was conceived, the moment the egg and sperm came together, a new human

being was created with his or her own unique DNA. That DNA will direct their

development throughout their entire life through every stage of human development

from embryo, to fetus, to newborn, to toddler, to teenager, to adult. There's no

question that your baby is human. Human parents create human children, so why do

some people say that human beings who are still in the womb aren't persons?

Here's what they're really saying: They're not denying that your baby is a

human being. They're denying that he or she has the same rights and value as

every other born human being. They're separating human beings into two groups

and saying these human beings are valuable and these aren't. Now, we've seen

people divide human beings this way before in history, and it has always led

to serious human rights violations. Think about slavery. People argued that some

human beings were not persons because of the color of their skin, and that gave

them the right to enslave them. Or think about the Holocaust. The Nazis argued

that since Jewish people were not persons like they were, they had the

right to kill them. In other words, people deny that human beings are persons when

they want to unjustly discriminate against them. And we can look back now

and see that every time people divided human beings into persons and

non-persons, they were wrong, and valuable human beings suffered and died because of

it. Human beings don't have to earn their rights or their value by having the

correct race, or gender, or size, or ability, or age. We don't become persons,

we are persons. So what is it that we all have in common that's the source of our

value and personhood if it isn't things like our size, or our level of development,

or even our ability to live without depending on others? There's only one

thing we all have in common and that is being human. And your baby is

a human person who shares this valuable quality equally with every single born

human being who has ever lived.

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Amy K. Hall