Debate: Should a Fetus Have the Same Rights as a Human (Should a Fetus be Granted Personhood Status)?

By Jake and Glenn

Have you ever been dining at the local Red Robbin restaurant and all of a sudden a large argument about abortion breaks out?  It has happened to me as many times as I have dined at a Red Robin--two.  Mississippi is taking this argument to the next logical level: trying to pass a law in order to give fetuses “personhood rights.”  This would make a doctor who performs an abortion guilty of the “future crime” of murder and put fetuses on a level legal playing field with our readers and the Mississippi State University rugby team.

Jake:  A fetus growing inside a human person is the just punishment after an evening of sexual sinnery.  It is as if nature has put handcuffs around your wrists and you will now be serving 18 years to life.  If one can just go to a doctor who specializes in slapping nature in the face, they currently can have this fetus removed and flushed down the toilet like so many of my deceased pet goldfish.  There is no topic that is as personal or elicits such feverish responses as abortion.  To abort or not to abort, that is the question--but not the question of this debate.  Should a fetus have the same rights as a real human?  You better believe it, Jack.  These rights include: the right to not be killed via coat hanger or vacuum, the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent.  If I have these rights, then why not give them to an unborn baby?  It just does not make sense.

Glenn:  The one thing I immediately agree on is that civil rights should be sensible.  That is why I opposed granting amnesty to telecommunications companies, supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and am firmly opposed to granting fetuses the same rights we all take for granted every day.  Can you imagine waiting HOURS to cast a vote for a third party candidate in 2012 and you have to stand behind a fetus, dripping with amniotic fluid and still umbilicalled to its mother?  Or imagine an expectant mother driving in the carpool lane while you sit in highway traffic listening to podcasts from Radio Free Europe and trying to figure out how you can help the people of Uzbekistan.  American fetuses will soon have more rights than political dissidents all over the world and that’s just wrong.  “Humans First!” is my motto and half human/reptile fetuses second.

Jake:  A fetus could one day become president or walk on the surface of the moon.  Now, I know how you feel about space exploration, but for a minute do not let your personal feelings toward NASA cloud your judgment.  A fetus might not be a person, but some of the best people I know are fetuses.  Has a fetus ever stolen your girlfriend?  Has a fetus ever been involved a hit and run accident?  Has a fetus ever tried to enforce “Chinese cuts” on the person in front of you in the lunch line?  No, a fetus would never do such a thing.  Before we go around spouting catchphrases like “Humans first!” we should take a second to think of a few humans that we would be putting first: Adolf Hitler, Billy Crystal, O.J. Simpson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Wayne Gacy, Jr. and Robin Williams.  I would put a fetus before any of history’s greatest monsters and I think they should have the same rights as any of them.

Glenn:  Although references to Billy Crystal might give you credibility with the indie rock crowd, your assertion that a fetus would never do things like steal your girlfriend or steal a newspaper off your front lawn is absurd.  The contours of the fetal race is just as varied as humans, apes and canines.  Some fetuses are are wonderful and others would just as soon strangle you with their umbilical cords.  

The main point I think we are forgetting about here is that if fetuses are granted personhood abortion will be considered murder instead of an acceptable form of population control.  The very popular game of Clue will have to be pulled off the shelf and retooled so that it can end with scenarios like “Dr. Tiller in the operating room with the suction catheter.”  Our prisons will be full of pregnant women and doctors instead of what they should contain: non-violent drug offenders.  This is a nightmare scenario that even a fetus would hate to dream - and we know feti can dream from the movie “A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child.”

Jake:  Your last sentence about the fantastic film “A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child” raises a very interesting point.  If a fetus can dream, then is it just a fetus or is it a person?  I would have to say that it is still just a fetus, but there are people out there who would argue otherwise.  Sure, one could write them off as being fanatical religious types or brain damaged, but does that make their opinion count less?  Shouldn’t people with severe brain damage be allowed to make our laws?  Are they less than people just because their brains do not function on the same level as ours?  No, and the same goes for a fetus.  I say we grant fetuses personhood, and if you don’t want to have the baby to term, then have it implanted into the womb of a “pro-life” person.  Problem solved.

Glenn:  Two song lyrics come to mind: “If he can’t sleep how will he ever dream again?” from “Unemployable” by Pearl Jam and “You might sleep BUT YOU WILL NEVER DREAM” from “Suffer Little Children” by the Smiths.  I love both these songs but not as much as I love my own freedom to vote, file a wrongful death law suit against Best Buy or protest outside of Blockbuster Video.  I lost most of these freedoms when Barack Obama became President and I’ll lose the rest if feti are granted personhood.  For you see, there is a pie of freedoms and rights that’s only so big.  If you carve out a new slice it means mine gets even smaller.  Fetuses are not clamoring for personhood rights and for all we know enjoy the warmth of the womb until they are forced to enter this rotten world.  If a fetus wants the same rights I have, it should burst forth from a woman’s stomach, grab my neck and demand them.  Until then, stay in the womb and be thankful you don’t have to deal with the responsibility of overthrowing our corrupt capitalist caliphate.


  1. In the dimension from which I came, all males are infertile. The only way to reproduce is via cloning. It's been over 60 years since a woman has given birth.

  2. Im sorry. I badly want to put forth a silly comment but the simple fact that ANYONE suggested the idea of fetuses having the same rights as, well, REAL people, well, it's just a bit humiliating for all actual humans. I guess I'm a fetusist. Time to rehabilitate.