Letters Motion 312 Section 223

Letter to Editor from Alex Matan

Published on December 30, 2012 in The Record

Re: Let’s talk about the rights of the unborn child — Dec 23

Consider this: Five seconds after a child emerges into the world, she has the same legal rights as any other kid. Five seconds before she emerges, she can be legally killed by a lethal injection and nobody could say a thing. That’s a pretty arbitrary deadline.

Now, nobody would actually do such a thing, but how about 15 seconds before birth? A minute? A month? At 22 weeks gestation, when premature babies have survived and grew up normally? When she starts to look human? Act human? Look cute? Defined organs? When she has unique DNA?

If and when is it OK, at what age should we acquire human rights and equal protection under the law? Should a 15-year-old be able to get a same-day abortion without parental knowledge or consent when society doesn’t trust her judgment to drive, buy alcohol, quit school, or get a tattoo?