Ryan Chartrand

How do you define abortion? (March 13)

I think that the abortion display on campus did an excellent job defining the debate! The dialog must be asking the question, “is the fetus human?” Too often have we Americans sidestepped this.

Logically, if one accepts that the fetus is human, then he or she has as much right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as does the mother. It is easy to see that people who accept this would say that it is the parents’ obligation to provide for any children whom they conceive, even if they don’t think they are ready.

On the other hand, if one accepts that the fetus is merely the mother’s tissue, it makes perfect sense that she can do with it as she wishes since she is not hurting another individual by having an abortion.

From a scientific perspective, eight and a half months before my daughter was born, she had a beating heart. Nine months before she was born she has her own DNA, unique from both of us. Even at the moment of conception, can we really argue that she was just part of my wife’s tissue?

Perhaps we can argue that only once she was capable of living outside of the uterus was she “enough like us” to be considered human and have the rights of one. Do we value people based on what they have accomplished (ability to live outside the womb, be wealthy, etc.) or based upon whom they are, a human?

Matthew Gilbert
Forestry and natural resources senior

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