What Is Personhood?
Professor Layne protests that she is appalled by the horrible death of Laci and Conner. But she objects to a law which grants full personhood to a fetus still in the womb.
She argues that a preborn child’s status depends upon the choices made by the mother. If the woman chooses to develop a relationship with her baby while he is in the womb – then the “process” of personhood begins. In fact, she actually uses the phrase, “begins the work of constructing a person.” She goes on to say that this involves changing personal habits, telling others that she is pregnant, seeking medical care – maybe giving the baby a name. People who support her – like strangers who greet the baby in grocery stores – also participate in this “construction” process.
She argues that it is only upon birth that this “construction of personhood” is complete. Until then, the baby is not a separate entity, is “not yet an individual”.
High-sounding academic analysis. But if you think about it – this explanation of humanity is just plain incoherent. There is nothing inherent in the human being which entitles her to respect or legal protection. No notion of natural rights which spring from God’s special attention to the human being. Our very nature is now a matter of whim; some of us are human persons, some not – depending upon the private choices of the mother and those around her.
Unfortunately for America, some version of Professor Layne’s view now dominates our legal system. Leftist judges have blithely deconstructed the founding philosophical and moral principles which gave rise to an American Republic. There is no God, and therefore, no such thing as “natural rights”. This means that our rights have become a matter of legal whim, of judicial edict.
That is a dangerous world, one far different from the one in which our Founding Fathers labored.