Sunday, December 30, 2012

Abortion Rights, Or Not

Abortion rights, or not, according to my interpretation of Amendment Fourteen of the U.S. Constitution.

The first paragraph of Amendment Fourteen states:

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

“All persons born or naturalized” – this says to me that to be considered a person someone should be born.

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” – this one should be perfectly clear to everyone.

“nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property” – this says any person, person having already being defined as someone that has been born.

Simply put, no State shall make ANY law that deprives any PERSON of life, liberty, or property.

Nothing is said about embryos or fetuses.

But to deny an abortion to someone who's life is endangered by not having the abortion is tantamount to depriving that person of life.

Denying an abortion is also depriving a woman of her liberty by denying her the right to do with her body as she wishes.

In addition to my assumed definition of person found in Amendment Fourteen I will provide definitions of person from three different sources. I found all three via Google search.

According to these definitions a person must have a rational nature, be a thinking intelligent being. A person is a man, woman or child. An individual capable of free choice. A self-conscious or rational being. Have an individual personality.

None of these definitions include fetus or embryo. All require birth to be a prerequisite of personhood.

Therefore one must have been born for the right to life, according to the U.S. Constitution, to apply.

If you, for whatever reason, think laws should be made to protect fetuses and embryos from abortions, which still will not guarantee them life, you should be trying to get the U.S. Constitution amended to deprive life and liberty to women that need or want abortions.

Definitions of Person:

1828 edition of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language:

PERSON, n. per'sn. [L. persona; said to be compounded of per, through or by, and sonus, sound; a Latin word signifying primarily a mask used by actors on the state.]
1. An individual human being consisting of body and soul. We apply the word to living beings only, possessed of a rational nature; the body when dead is not called a person. It is applied alike to a man, woman or child.
A person is a thinking intelligent being.
2. A man, woman or child, considered as opposed to things, or distinct from them.
A zeal for persons is far more easy to be perverted, than a zeal for things.
3. A human being, considered with respect to the living body or corporeal existence only. The form of her person is elegant.
You'll find her person difficult to gain.

Webster used the Christian Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

CARM – Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry:


A variety of definitions can be offered from a human being to a legal organization with rights. In biblical reference it is generically a fleshly individual capable of free choice. In reference to the Trinity as three persons, the word refers to the attributes of personhood: self-awareness, choice, can reason, love, possessing a will and consciousness, etc. Humans possess these attributes as well.


noun [pur-suh n]

1.a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.

2.a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.

3. Sociology . an individual human being, especially with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture.

4. Philosophy . a self-conscious or rational being.

5. the actual self or individual personality of a human being: You ought not to generalize, but to consider the person you are dealing with.

6. the body of a living human being, sometimes including the clothes being worn: He had no money on his person.

7. the body in its external aspect: an attractive person to look at.

8. a character, part, or role, as in a play or story.

9. an individual of distinction or importance.

10. a person not entitled to social recognition or respect.

11. Law. a human being (natural person) or a group of human beings, a corporation, a partnership, an estate, or other legal entity (artificial person or juristic person) recognized by law as having rights and duties.

12. Grammar. a category found in many languages that is used to distinguish between the speaker of an utterance and those to or about whom he or she is speaking. In English there are three persons in the pronouns, the first represented by I and we, the second by you, and the third by he, she, it, and they. Most verbs have distinct third person singular forms in the present tense, as writes; the verb be has, in addition, a first person singular form am.

13. Theology. any of the three hypostases or modes of being in the Trinity, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

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