When it comes to abortion, the foundation of the entire debate is the killing of a human being. The dispute rests on this underlying argument and not on social consequences. In the U.S., the killing of a human being is against the law, but the killing of many other living organisms is not. So, it is crucial that we determine when a fetus becomes a human being, because when it does, it deserves all the inalienable rights of a human being (life, liberty, etc.). So, what is it to be human and have human rights? I think the most fundamental aspect of humanity is thought. Human thought is what separates our species from all others on this planet. In that case, let us look at medical sciences to determine when, if at any time, a fetus gains the ability to think, for surely when a zygote is created there is no thought process, their isn’t even a brain. However, if we can determine when this fetus has the ablilty to think, it can then be defined as human, and it should then be illegal to take away its life. While science may never know when a fetus can think, it can estimate the time in which a functional fetus brain is fundamentally different from any other fetal brains of other species. It was suggested by a friend who has a Ph.D. in zoology that this is probably about four months into brain development. Since brain development begins at about 38-40 days after conception, it is not until after the fifth month of pregnancy that we can call the fetus human. Therefore, if the fundamental problem is the killing of a human, agreement on the time in which a fetus separates itself from all other species is crucial. It shows that abortion after that time is killing a human being, and an abortion prior to that time is killing an organism that has no human rights.

Becky Glasgow

Kinesiology sophomore

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