From: Action Life
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 2:15 PM
Subject: A Fetus is not a person – may 03, 2010
Professor Mercer acknowledges that abortion kills a human being but advances it must be allowed because the fetus is not a person. He defines a person as one who is “richly aware of its environment, and full of beliefs and desires, a self-aware locus of experience”. He writes that “most likely, in the fullness of time”, the fetus will become a person. When exactly does this happen? Newborn babies are not full of beliefs, desires, or self-aware locuses of experience. May we kill them too? If other human beings are lacking in beliefs, desires and are not richly aware of their environment, may we kill them also? Today, an unborn child is considered a non-person while in the womb, but this same human being once delivered transforms into a person. Yet this human being has not changed: only his or her place of residence has changed. One minute before birth, a non-person, the next, a person.
It is not beliefs or desires or self-awareness that makes us persons. We are persons at all times because we are human. Abortion doesn’t kill potential persons, it kills actual persons. The fetus, the child in the womb is a person as is every human being because it is human. It is that simple. The life of the fetus should not depend on meeting some arbitrary qualifications of personhood set by others.