an After abortion

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Thursday, June 19, 2003

Ned Rice at NRO says that this summer's renewed interest in the fetus creates an opportunity for compromise:

"It would seem that some compromise between the two sides will have to be forged in order for the peculiar institution known as abortion to be retained. One in which the unborn fetus is not granted full personhood, which would preclude its termination, but rather some fraction of legal personhood in recognition of its right to gestate in relative safety until such time as its mother either A) gives birth or B) terminates the pregnancy. This would seem to satisfy abortion abolitionists and abortion proponents to the fullest extent possible within current law.

For the sake of simplicity, let us agree upon some arbitrary fraction of full personhood — say, three-fifths — to be assigned to each unborn fetus. This should ensure that the unborn — and can we please start calling them 'pre-persons'? — will be able to exist relatively free from the deleterious effects of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, amusement-park rides, X-rays, and wayward haymakers from common-law dads-to-be with half a bag on. By the same token, what reasonable person could object to the termination of a living entity which, however adorable, is a mere three-fifths of a potentially reasonable person?"

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