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The personhood factor

In most debates I have with pro-abortionists, one item that always finds its way into the discussion is personhood. One quick online search for ‘personhood’ and a number of definitions come up, all of which follow the same principle, namely that personhood is defined as “describing the quality or condition of being an individual person”.

The term has been around since the 1960s and continues to offer major challenges when used in any debate. It poses several questions, and although it is recognised socially and legally, its interpretation varies cross-culturally, demonstrating that notions of personhood are not universal.

So why do pro-abortionists use this term? As explained in my earlier piece titled ‘To kill or not to kill’ (December 1), abortion requires no more than a simple strategy to justify but demands focus and scientific research to demystify.

Using the term ‘personhood’, a pro-abortionist sets discussion completely off track and places any debater in a realm of confusion, perception and subjective interpretation, making it almost impossible to sustain an argument using even the most basic scientific facts. One must appreciate that a pro-abortionist cannot use hard facts to justify the termination of human life. All their arguments exist only in social, political and cultural realms. No pro-abortionist will ever put forth scientific evidence to sustain one single word of what they claim.

The task of debunking this aspect of any abortion debate may seem daunting at first, however responding to the personhood case is one of the simplest tasks. Effectively dissolving it takes no more than simply replacing the subjective terms with undeniably correct terminology.

Let’s take an example: “An unborn is not a person. The foetus has no constitutional rights and has no right to vote. It has no way of surviving on its own and is not a viable life form, therefore, terminating a pregnancy does not constitute a killing or murder. Abortion is simply removing a parasitic mass of cells from a host and pretty much disposing of it in a bin.”

The above statement is almost an entire discussion on its own and covers just about most of the pro-abortionist’s views.

Replace the above conglomeration of opinions with scientifically based and correct terms and the result would be: “An unborn human being is not a person. The unborn human life has no constitutional rights and has no right to vote. They have no way of surviving on their own and simply cannot sustain their development as an individual without their mother. Therefore, terminating their life does not constitute killing or murder. Abortion is simply the act of removing a dependent developing human being from its biological mother and pretty much disposing of it in a bin.”

Abortion is blatantly discriminatory, comparable only to some of the most horrific episodes of genocide in the history of mankind

Most readers will now have many more questions than answers. A reader will probably have become angry, feeling that replacing the terms has brought so much highly objectionable material into the argument that abortion should not even be considered open to debate.

With the correct terminology, the statement itself has absolutely no place in a progressive, liberal society and should not even feature in any agenda.

Had such an ideology been put into a legal framework, it would simply bring down all human rights legislation. It would be regarded as discriminating against human beings who in any way need assistance to live.

It would place the medical world in total chaos and would require all ethical rules to be rewritten.

Just think about what such legislation would mean to humans suffering from disabilities and those requiring constant care and medical attention.

The Geneva declaration in use by the medical profession states that no medical professional will “permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between duty and patient”.

By signing the declaration, no medical professional can perform abortions and maintain their pledge to the oath.

Abortion is, in fact, a blatantly discriminatory action, comparable only to some of the most horrific episodes of genocide in the history of mankind.

It is indeed the most aggressive form of discrimination against those who are most vulnerable. Many countries are realising this, and attempts are being made to remedy the situation.

Malta is still in time to ensure that such discrimination is never entrenched in any of our legislation. This is being truly progressive and liberal.

Steve Pace is a company director and ICT consultant.

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