OPINION

Both sides are wrong in abortion debate | Opinion

Gary Whittenberger
Your Turn
Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, leads the crowd in chants of abortion is healthcare, Florida Capitol, September 21, 2021

The Supreme Court of the United States has now heard the Mississippi abortion case.  Hopefully the court will find the middle ground between the pro-life and pro-choice camps which are both wrong.

The pro-choicers are wrong to hang their hats on viability and privacy.  Viability is unreliable since it depends so much on medical technology, medical personnel, and geography. 

At the time of Roe v. Wade, the point of viability was considered to be 26 weeks.  We just recently saw a fetus born at 21 weeks and still thriving, and viability will continue to go downward.  

Privacy is also bogus since nobody should have the right to hide an unethical or illegal act in private, and sometimes killing a fetus is like that.

The pro-lifers are wrong because they give an answer to the wrong question, i.e. “When does life begin?”  That is totally irrelevant, and we already know that the zygote is alive. The relevant question is “When should the fetus be considered a person and assigned basic human rights?”

A human fetus cannot be a person until its brain matures to the point that it acquires the capacity for consciousness, and according to the best science, this occurs at the end of the 24th week post-conception.

I think the SCOTUS should overturn Roe v. Wade and place abortion rights on a firm rational foundation.  It could easily do this by defining the beginning of personhood at 24 weeks post conception, when consciousness is acquired by the fetal brain. 

Will the court take this rational approach?  Probably not.

Gary Whittenberger

Gary Whittenberger is a retired psychologist, former long-time resident of Tallahassee, and may be reached at whittfamily76@gmail.com

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