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Dr_Dredd's avatar

Is this the logical extension of fetal "personhood" laws?

Asked by Dr_Dredd (10491 points ) March 3rd, 2010

A pregnant woman in Nicaragua is being denied aggressive treatment for her cancer because of her pregnancy. Nicaragua has a total ban on abortion, even in cases where a woman’s life is in danger. Girls and women who seek an abortion, and health professionals who provide health services associated with abortion, face jail. Doctors are therefore afraid to treat this woman’s cancer because the treatment may endanger the fetus and cause a miscarriage/spontaneous abortion.

Here in the United States, several states are proposing fetal “personhood” laws or state constitutional amendments. This type of legislation would declare that human life begins at conception, and therefore fetuses should have all the same rights that adult humans have. If these laws pass, is a case like the one in Nicaragua inevitable? If a fetus is treated the same as an adult under the law, what will be the result of conflicts pitting a woman against her fetus?

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13 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

Thanks for the great argument against such nonsense.

davidbetterman's avatar

Gee, if they don’t treat her cancer, both the mother and child might die?

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@davidbetterman Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter. What is paramount in Nicaragua is making sure that no human action causes abortion. Doctors are justifiably afraid of prosecution if they prescribe any potentially harmful treatment, and chemo definitely qualifies.

RareDenver's avatar

Yes it is the ‘logical’ extension of ‘illogical’ laws

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

It is anything but a LOGICAL extension of these laws. Even in Vatican City and Jerusalem, the life of the mother takes precedence over the life of the unborn.
.

davidbetterman's avatar

Yes @Dr_Dredd, but they may well kill the unborn child by not saving the mother.
Catch 22, eh!?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

This makes me angry, as always.

TooBlue's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Me too. Things like this remind me that society, particularly 3rd world countries, have a LONG way to go…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@TooBlue absolutely…and we’ve got plenty ‘to go’ here too

downtide's avatar

This is just insane.

Seek's avatar

Thank you. This is the same argument I use in favor of my own “Pro-Choice” stance.

If you grant the foetus the “right to life” you create a conflict of interest.

If they did pass such a law granting foetal “personhood”, with a “to save mother’s life” clause, you’d have myriad lawsuits against doctors who refused to abort to save the mother for fear of persecution from some government agency overseeing the “legal” abortions who determines the risk to the mother was not justified in killing the foetus.

It just won’t work.

Pazza's avatar

Some might say that cancer is a curable disease, and with the right natural treatment like natural cyanide aka amygdalin, that this argument is redundant?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

This makes me too angry to form a coherent response. Retroactive abortion for those who legislate this crap?

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