Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Unborn Rights

While pro-life advocates love to pontificate about the rights of the unborn, I have often asked myself "what would things be like if we were to consider the unborn to actually have rights?" Parents have so many rights over what they do to their kids (short of abuse) so does granting a child, even an unborn child, some form of rights make this relationship more egalitarian. Or not? Is a child a person or not a person, and is a fetus a person or not a person? And if both child and fetus are full legal people, then does that mean they should have more rights in family affairs? Or should they be able to vote? This is the kind of messy picture that emerges when you import rights-talk (which is generally counterproductive in almost any situation) into complicated questions like the legal status of children or fetuses. And then there's the biggest question: what does Tom Cruise tell us about whether the unborn or children should have rights? Walter Kirn (guestblogging) thinks it tells us a lot.