Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
can only be secured by a state strictly separated from religion

02 October 2008

Fabricating Rights for Fertilized Eggs

By Diana Hsieh

My letter to the editor in response to this column on Amendment 48 was published in the Grand Junction Sentinel on September 30th:

Amendment 48 would fabricate rights for fertilized eggs

Henrietta Hay is right about the dangers of Amendment 48. By granting the legal rights of persons to fertilized eggs, the measure would not just usher in a ban on abortion but create unimaginable legal chaos. ("On a packed election ballot, Amendment 48 is most dangerous," Sept 25)

However, the basis of abortion rights is not Joe Biden's appeal to disagreements between religious faiths that she cites. Laws ought not be based on religious faith at all. They ought to be based on the objective requirements of human survival and flourishing in society -- namely each person's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

So is an embryo or fetus a person with those rights? Absolutely not. An embryo or fetus is wholly dependent on the woman for its basic life-functions. It goes where she goes, eats what she eats, and breathes what she breathes. It lives as an extension of her body, contained within and dependent on her for its survival. It is only a potential person, not an actual person.

That situation changes radically at birth. The newborn baby exists as a distinct organism, separate from his mother. Although still very needy, he lives his own life. He is a person, and his life must be protected as a matter of right.

So when a woman chooses to terminate a pregnancy she does not violate the rights of any person. Instead, she is properly exercising her own rights over her own body in pursuit of her own happiness.

By fabricating rights for fertilized eggs, Amendment 48 would grossly violate the rights of the women of Colorado. Please vote "No."

DIANA HSIEH
Sedalia

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