In this fantastic analysis, Erin Gloria Ryan talks about the implications of defining fertilized eggs as “persons” and granting them the same rights as all persons. She applies the Bill of Rights to a fetus with thoughtful results. The First Amendement, for example:
I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. My theoretical fetal cobody inhabitor (or, in the future dystopian world we inhabit: “Interior Person“) would be free to practice the religion he or she chose, but would the government be required to remove the biological barriers to exercising those rights? And developing technology so that we could glean what that zygote’s desire is? I would hate to force my uterine stowaway to attend services at a Catholic Church when the lil’ munchkin is actually more of a Buddhist. And what if my zygote is a member of a suicide cult and my refusing to abort is actually directly in contrast with its beliefs? WHAT THEN?
We don’t even consider undocumented workers, or “illegal immigrants” to be citizens, yet these people want to make a fetus a person protected under the Bill of Rights?
As a person, will we put a newborn on trial for manslaughter if the mother dies in childbirth? Can we try him or her for assault if all that womb-wriggling causes any kind of pain to the mother, or the sore back, sore ankles? Maybe biological warfare charges, for all of the vomiting, farting, and frequent pee stops?
Responsibility comes with citizenship. This is a damn democracy. When I had to decide what route to take when I found myself knocked up, my 7 week old zygote did not participate in the vote. So I won 1-0, that it had to go.
Sidenote: The only upside to those harried couple months, was that I now know that when I am ready to have children, I probably will have no problem. My insignificant other at the time had dislodged my NuvaRing at some point during the week I conceived and not told me, and my regularly scheduling ovulation went on the air without a hitch.