A human is a human — debating when life starts is a moot point

Kathryn Hogg’s Feb. 25 column, “Government, ‘anti-choice’ activists fail to recognize women’s rights,” shows a grave (and prevalent) misunderstanding of the entire abortion issue. Behind all the emotional arguments and images of coat hangers used as scare tactics by pro-abortion activists is one simple question: What is the unborn?

If the unborn is simply a mass of tissue, it has no more rights than a tumor. If, however, the unborn is a member of the human family, it has the same rights as a newborn, a teenager, an adult or any other member of humanity. How could it be otherwise?

That a fetus is human is such an elementary bit of knowledge that anyone who has had the most basic biology course is aware of this fact. If the fetus were not human, what, then, would it be? A frog? A goat? Of course it would be impossible for one species to produce another.

Pro-abortion activists are aware of this fact, so they have — as Kathryn Hogg writes — moved from arguing against the humanity of the unborn to arguing against the personhood of the unborn. That is, they accept that a fetus is a member of the human species, but they deny that this fetal human is endowed with personhood.

I would say that making a distinction between being a human and being a person is an absolute novelty in the history of mankind; however, that would not be true. In fact, this distinction has been made many times before. White slave owners made the distinction between humanity and personhood when it came to blacks. Sure, they were humans, but not persons, they claimed. German Nazis made the same distinction when it came to Jews. And so, we see pro-abortion activists making the same false distinction today when it comes to those members of humanity living within their mother’s womb.

Pro-abortion activists would do well to study the history of genocide and perhaps take a course or two in human biology. They would soon find the answer to the question, “What is the unborn?” The unborn is, undoubtedly, a human person. After all, I’ve never met a human who wasn’t a person, have you?

Daniel Holthouse

2007 journalism alumnus