Sunday, August 26, 2012

Does a Fetus Have Rights?

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I believe a fetus should have rights because of my culture, religion, and

experience. If you are responsible enough to have sex, you should be responsible for your actions. A fetus has a heartbeat, legs and arms, fingers and toes, and eyes at eight weeks after conception. The fetus may only be an inch long but it is still a human life. I believe there should be rights to protect a fetus. I grew up in south Florida and it seemed every year younger and younger kids were having sex. I had a steady boyfriend through high school and a very open relationship with my mother. She talked to me about sex, contraception, and the consequences of my actions. Sex education can play a very positive role a teenager’s life, I know it did in mine. I was raised as a Catholic and the church had a strong influence on my beliefs. When I was in eighth grade I attended CCD or Sunday school. The church showed us a video of an abortion procedure, after the fetus was taken out of the mother it was tossed in a trash can. In the trash can you could see other fetus and blood. I remember crying throughout the whole video. The Catholic Church sure knows how to brainwash. Now I’m more educated and know not all I was told as a child was necessarily true. From the time I was thirteen until now I have had a quite a few friends become pregnant. Some of the girls decided on abortion and others chose to have the baby. I support my friends, but who supports the fetus? If a fetus did have rights who would speak for it? If the government spoke for the fetus then it would depend on the opinions of the President, Congress, and the courts. If religious groups spoke for the fetus there would be no abortions. There would need to be a neutral person(s) to speak for the fetus.

The first article I came across on the internet supported my beliefs. It was an article from The Christian Science Monitor titled “South Carolina tests the bounds of a fetus’s rights.” In this article the courts of South Carolina are deciding if the state can press charges against drug abusing pregnant mothers. A woman in South Carolina gave birth to a still born baby with high levels of cocaine in its bloodstream. The courts are deciding if she should be charged with child abuse or murder. The states are cracking down on drug abusive mothers. “As a result of this trend, some 00 women in 0 states have been charged for violating some kind of ‘fetal rights’” (The Christian Science Monitor). I found this article to use opinion based evidence because it took place in South Carolina and they have more laws and opinions about “fetal rights.” The evidence is obviously biased because not all women are being prosecuted and not all states are supporting it.

The other article I found to support my belief was from the Catholic Educator’s Resource Center. I found this article to also be bias because the author is a pro-life supporter and philosopher. The article is called “The Apple Argument Against Abortion” and it states thirteen principles or steps to prove fetus should have rights. The author exaggerates by saying babies all over are being slaughtered. “Traditional common sense and morality say all humans are persons and have rights” (Kreeft). the author asks a pro-choicer to stand up and prove that a fetus is not a person. Some of Kreeft’s thirteen principles are observational evidence, but some of the principles are strongly opinionated.

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The next article I read went against my belief that a fetus should have rights. The article, “Abortion When do rights begin?” was written in the Capitalism Magazine. The author says individual rights begin at birth, but a fetus is only part of the mother. A fetus before five months can not survive on its own so how can it be given rights? The author believes only the mother has rights and her rights include the right to control her body; before, during, and her pregnancy. “Those who assert that a woman has no right to an abortion are willing to condemn her and her husband to the responsibilities of parenthood, as a duty, rather than as a chosen value” (Lewis). The evidence found in this article is obviously opinionated because the whole article is based on the author’s opinion with no observational evidence. I also believe this article is biased because it doesn’t show another point of view.

The last article I read was also against my belief. “Students Clash Over Bill that would Protect Fetus’ Rights” was written in The New York Times College section. The article is about Laci Petterson and her unborn son Connor Petterson. Laci and Connor’s bodies were found along a shoreline after they had gone missing for four months. Now Congress is trying to pass a law called the “Laci and Connor’s Law” stating that anyone charged with murdering a pregnant women shall be charged with both crimes. Abortion-rights activist say that it is unconstitutional to punish the murderer twice. “There are better alternatives to punishing criminals who commit violent crimes against pregnant women, a majority of the states already have laws established to punish criminal acts that result in harm to pregnancy” (Bear). I thought this article used opinion based evidence because the author is an abortion-rights activist and the entire article is based on her opinions. The evidence used in this article if free because the court shows the steps in Laci and Connor’s court case.

There are situations that could have an impact on my belief that a fetus should have rights. If I (or anyone) was raped and became pregnant I would consider abortion as an option. I would want the right to have the option. I feel having the baby would be a horrible experience for the baby and myself. I would have to look at my child everyday and remember that horrendous crime. I would also consider abortion if my life was in jeopardy. If I could not deliver my baby and survive, again I would like to have the option. Another experience that would challenge my belief would be if my teenage daughter came home pregnant. I would hope I could educate her about the importance of sex and contraception. I would have to know in my heart that she could make right decision, but it would be important that she have options. I feel there are certain situations that abortion may be the right choice, but I disapprove of people using abortion as a form of birth control. In conclusion, a fetus should have rights but a mother should have rights also.

Works Cited

Bear, Jennifer. “Students Clash Over Bill That Would Protect Fetus’ Rights.” New York Times 1 May 00. http//www.nytimes.com/uwire/uwire_FNYP05100770168.html

Kreeft, Peter. “The Apple Argument Against Abortion.” Catholic Educators Resource Center 000. httpwww.catholiceducation.org/articles/abortion/ab0045.html

Lewis, Andrew. “Abortion When do rights begin?” 14 Feb. 000. http//www.capmag.com/article.asp?id=7.html

“South Carolina tests the bounds of a fetus’ rights.” The Christian Science Monitor 8 June 001. http//scmonitor.com/durable/001/06/8/fp1s1.csm.shtml

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