Fertilization-Assigned Personhood [FAP]

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, May 11, 2014.

  1. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    22,087
    We're back... "baby"

    Ironically, this was what I asked you. Your response:

    Well, we mustn't forget that my stance on a revised ontogenetic deadline without personhood - as a more reasoned position than DF - was dragged into this debate by the thread starters and tacked up to PAF. There's been an ongoing attempt to make the two things equivalent, or to make my deadline proposition misogynistic, or murderous, or the like. I still haven't got an admission that this isn't so; and it is in the midst of this that you joined the fray. A consequence of the process of debate, no doubt. Ah well.

    Well, I could start by pointing out that a fetus is already two of the above: alive and undeniably a member of Homo sapiens sapiens. Why does the physical location rank so highly? Is this a case of property rights or trespass or something? Surely the fetus' lawyers could file for tort in such an instance, unless you're a tacit supporter of Stand Your Womb, which I have to admit in seriousness has a certain resemblance to DF. I think we might do better to establish a better, more reasoned threshold. Even Bells appears to recognise a kind of personal limit for abortion, although based on the aesthetics of the typical mother.

    I answer you with your own words here re blank assertion:

    My observation was this:
    You're taking up a personhood argument here yourself. I leave the danger of that to yourself, but I don't think the argument really requires it.

    That the thing inside or outside the living human being is another living human being. How is the newly-born fetus itself different from that prior to or much past birth? In what way is it different?

    Possibly. But I don't think we need to dredge up personhood simply to have an intermediate deadline. Case in point:

    If one wants to call that an aesthetic, then so be it: choose a new one based on a rational appreciation of mutual maternal-fetal welfare, but don't forget that this presumable aesthetic did serve to protect women for quite some time.
     
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  3. Bells Staff Member

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    Why does it need to?

    The simple reason personhood measures fail, is because it is not Constitutional. It cannot be. So why does a new one need to be chosen?

    And how do you ensure equal protection for the mother and the fetus if you do? And how would it then account for simple biology?

    What about twins, for example? What if one is struggling? And you need to abort one to make sure the other one survives? How do you do that if it is legally recognised as a person and thus, has all the protections that come with said protections? How do you then deny one 'person' their basic and fundamental human rights by killing it so that another 'person' can then live? How is this reconciled legally? There are no laws that deal with the deliberate killing of people out of medical necessity to ensure the survival of another - with the exception of organ donation when one has no brain activity whatsoever. But how would you legislate for this? In the case of twins, for example, at what point does one stop being classified as a person if it is sick and dying? Because stuff like this, it will need to be legislated. So how do you go about doing that so that the mother does not lose any of her rights?
     
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    It does indeed. It acknowledges that SOME of the rights of the fetus - like the right to life - can be decided by states. In other words, a state can decide that the life of the fetus (one of the rights of personhood) can be granted over the preferences of the mother, and that is allowed by the BoR in the Constitution.

    Now, if you are going to define personhood as "having every right most adults have" then a fetus is indeed not granted personhood. Since the article you reference is careful to point out that the term “person” is a "term of art" you are free to play those games. (Of course, by that definition, neither are pregnant women beyond 26 weeks, the senile or children, but hey, it's more important to win an abortion argument than make sense. And states like Texas are following your lead.)
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Same way you separate conjoined twins if one is going to die. Done regularly, and no one puts the doctor in jail because they are murderers.
    See above. Done regularly.
    She does lose some of her rights.
     
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Aesthetic here refers to what I imagine Tiassa would call the emotional rather than logical synthesis that created present abortion limits, not personhood. (Mind you, I don't necessarily consider present limits to be aesthetically-derived; this is just my supposition of Tiassa's position on present abortion limitations based on his earlier posts.) I'm not asking for a new definition of personhood (or indeed any definition of personhood), but for the choice of a different deadline with sound biological support if the present deadlines were in fact to be demonstrably 'aesthetic'. I don't consider personhood necessary to the discussion. My apologies for the confusion.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    29,382
    Good Lord.

    I'm just going to leave that, quoted and highlighted, as the best explanation of why assigning personhood to a developing embryo, or fetus, is as big a deal as it is.

    Property rights? Trespass? Apparently if any fetus is ever declared a person, women are expected to have the same rights of defense and control over their bodies as they do over their car's garage.

    That is not the same as assigning personhood - which in reality comes with a minimum set of rights - to that fetus. And the Supreme Court was careful not to do that, for very good reason.

    Preferences are not rights. Under Roe vs Wade, she loses no rights in conflict with the fetus (all conflicts between the life of the fetus and that of the mother are settled in favor of the mother, etc). That will change if the fetus is declared a person.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    16,330
    OK, here we go with the "it's not personhood unless it has a set of X rights" thing again. What are those rights? The right not to be murdered? Fetuses have that right via fetal homicide laws. The right to not be aborted? Fetuses have a _limited_ right to that based on the risk to the mother. Is it "natural personhood” or “juridical personhood" as mentioned in the article you posted?

    Once you define what YOUR definition of personhood is, it will be easier to discuss it.

    It is legal to remove her right to choose after viability, per Roe v Wade. Thus if that's how you define personhood, the fetus has it now.
     

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