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Fetal Personhood

by James W. Prescott

Letter to the editor of The Ithaca Journal, published January 13, 2005

Paul K. McMasters overlooked one of the greatest religious battles that has deeply polarized this nation and threatens open religious warfare (Jan. 6, Opinion Page).

The constitutional rights of women to be mothers by choice and to escape compulsory motherhood has never been more greatly threatened than by The Fetal Personhood Law (Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, H.R. 1997).

This law defines the fertilized ovum, embryo and fetus as an "unborn child" that is "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb."

This law thus grants "personhood" to these life forms in violation of the 14th Amendment that defines citizens as "persons born" and violates the First Amendment that prohibits legislation of any theological/religious doctrine where fetal personhood theology is rejected by other religious faiths, which is now imposed upon all Americans.

The fetal personhood law establishes "fetal rights" that are placed in conflict with "maternal rights," which creates a state of warfare between mother and her unborn life.

States will pass more draconian laws of "fetal personhood" that will permit the state to seize the pregnant woman to protect "fetal rights" that are being "endangered" and violated by the mother, analogous to the state seizing a child from the mother under the child endangerment statutes.

The Constitutional and human rights of women to be free from compulsory motherhood demand that the 109th Congress act to nullify the Fetal Personhood Law.

James W. Prescott


Republished with the kind permission of James W. Prescott. HTML by Joel Schlosberg. Please inform us about any errors you find. If you want to write a translation, please contact Erik Möller.