Tak­ing on a life of its own

Austin American-Statesman - - OPINION -

A let­ter writer’s cri­tique (June 12, “A liv­ing be­ing is a life”) of my pre­vi­ous let­ter (about the nun’s ex­com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­cause of her as­sent­ing to a pa­tient’s abor­tion) needs a re­sponse.

A zy­gote and em­bryo are no more hu­man be­ings than an acorn is an oak tree. Yes, a fully de­vel­oped fe­tus as well as new­borns are hu­man ba­bies and are due the rights spec­i­fied by Roe v. Wade.

The def­i­ni­tion of hu­man be­ings de­scribed in dic­tio­nar­ies and philo­soph­i­cal texts (ra­tio­nal­ity, moral sense, re­la­tional abil­ity and free will) still stands. De­vel­oped fe­tuses — new­borns as well as chil­dren and ado­les­cents — have rights but not those of full adults. Note our laws on vot­ing, driv­ing and own­er­ship of prop­erty. Phys­i­cally and men­tally im­paired adults are kept alive be­cause of com­pas­sion and the laws stem­ming from com­pas­sion­ate adults.

I re­peat that giv­ing a po­ten­tial adult (hu­man be­ing) a life pri­or­ity over a fully de­vel­oped hu­man is both il­log­i­cal and in­hu­mane.

Ge­orGe m. riCker gm­ricker@ya­hoo.com

austin

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