Don’t get me wrong, I love animals (I’ve got two adorable and ridiculous westies of my own), but a recent article in Slate presents the issue of framing the abortion debate around consciousness. This presents the obvious problem of removing human exceptionalism. An ape who is self-conscious comes to have more rights than 22-week unborn baby who isn’t yet self-aware. A dog’s rights trump a newborn baby’s. Unfortunately, this idea isn’t new. Bioethicists such as Peter Singer have taken this idea to the extreme and, for decades, have been making arguments that animals are, in fact, persons and some humans are not, such as newborn babies and disabled people. I think it’s important that we not let other people frame the debate for us, but that we take control of it. Humans, whether they are unborn or born, disabled or perfectly healthy deserve to live for the simple fact that they are human.by
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