Does a fetus have more rights than a fully grown, living woman?

In Ireland, a 17-year-old woman (dubbed Miss D) in the care of the state’s Health Service Executive wants to have an abortion. Although the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy are not discussed, one thing is clear. The young woman did not choose to terminate her 4-month pregnancy on a mere whim. The fetus was diagnosed with a serious abnormality that would result in the child being born without part of the skull and brain (see anencaphaly). Anencaphalous babies normally die within a few hours to three days of birth.

Because Ireland is a Catholic country, abortion is illegal except in cases when the pregnant woman is suicidal. Unlike the law in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland makes no exceptions for cases like Miss D’s in which the fetus has an abnormality. For this reason, thousands of Irish women travel to England for abortions. Miss D too is appealing for the right to travel to England to terminate her pregnancy.

According to today’s BBC World Service, a campaign has sprung up around the fetus’ right to be born. A lawyer has even been hired on behalf of the fetus!! What the hell is going on here??!! This fetus is not a person and has no existence independent of the woman in whose uterus it is growing!!! If a living woman chooses to terminate her pregnancy, the “fetal rights” of an unborn person should not be used to deny hers.

The anti-abortion argument hinges on the belief that a woman is mainly a vesssel. How else can someone understand anti-abortion laws? Why are there no laws compelling women to go to college? Why is the age of sexual consent in the teens in most places? Because at the end of the day, the people who make laws value women most for their ability to get pregnant and deliver children.

I wonder how Ireland’s lawmakers (especially the male ones) would feel if they were forced to carry a pregnancy to term (that’s nine long months!), go through labor and delivery only to watch a deformed fetus die immediately or shortly afterwards? I know I would hate every moment of that horrifying and demeaning experience. I can only hope that Miss D can get permission to travel and forego this horrific ordeal.


4 thoughts on “Does a fetus have more rights than a fully grown, living woman?

  1. Pingback: Irish teen abortion case revisited. « T’ings ‘n Times

  2. I’m not sure what “abortion on demand” is but I assume it refers to abortions that are done not to save the life of the mother (or to terminate an unviable fetus)? I think an adult woman should be able to do whatever she pleases, especially with something inside her body. Thankfully, the majority of industrialized nations agrees. And I don’t see what sense it makes to compare an abortion to killing a 2-year-old.

    As for 50 million more people being here today, I think migration to the U.S. is taking care of that. 🙂


  3. I couldn’t understand why you were asking “The anti-abortion argument hinges on the belief that a woman is mainly a vessel. How else can someone understand anti-abortion laws?” until I re-read your post and found this line:

    “The fetus is not a person and has no existence independent of the woman in whose uterus is is growing!”

    This stament you make truly is the crux of the whole argument. Anti-abortion laws exist because of the truth that the baby in utero is very much a person that exists! Those for abortion have tried to distort their own thinking to soothe their conscience by likening the growing baby to a parasite, but that is dishonest and quite frankly idiotic. Any rational-thinking person can see that the baby is just a small person in the early stages of life. If you can’t see that, I can’t help you.

    The anti-abortion laws are designed to protect the life of the baby from his/her mother who may be inclined to kill him/her! It has nothing to do with thinkning less of the mother as some kind of vessel.

    I’m not talking about saving the life of the mother, by the way. I’m talking about abortion on demand. To say that a woman has the right to an abortion for whatever reason she wants should then imply that a woman can kill her two-year-old son or daughter for whatever reason she wants!

    (By the way, if the U.S. never created abortion on demand in 1973, there would be 50 million more people here today.)

    So to answer you post’s title question: No, a BABY does not have MORE rights than a full-grown living woman, he/she has the SAME rights as the woman, the first and foremost being the RIGHT TO LIVE!


  4. The basic premise of the anti abortion movement is that women are property, breeding machines who are the property of the male State. Their wishes don’t count because women are not real people. Jesus wept.


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