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Monday, January 30, 2012

The clash of rights between the fetus and the mother

Joyce Arthur, the Executive Director of Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, has written an excellent article about why fetuses cannot be given the status of persons, a response to MP Woodworth's statement that the fetus must be given personhood. Please read it  in full here, in the Guelph Mercury. I would like to excerpt what I find to be the most vital piece here:

"As it happens, the Criminal Code’s definition of human being that defines personhood at birth is even more correct today than it was 400 years ago under common law. Women now have established constitutional rights in Canada under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including the right to life, liberty, bodily security, conscience, and equality, all of which are directly implicated in women’s decisions around pregnancy. In contrast, fetuses do not have legal rights and cannot be given any, since two beings occupying the same body would result in a serious clash of rights. In fact, if fetuses had legal personhood, pregnant women would lose theirs."

Thank you to Joyce Arthur for finding a way to put this so accurately and succinctly.

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