To the editor:
Once again, shenanigans and smokescreens arise in the abortion debate, distracting us from the core questions. Leonard Pitts’ recent column highlights the concerns that threw some voters toward the pro-choice referendum on the failed Mississippi amendment banning abortion. The measure would have defined the fertilized egg as a person and thus would have allowed no room for abortions in cases of rape or incest.
In truth however, Pitts would not be in favor of giving a rape victim the option of killing her 2-month-old baby, should she decide that raising the child would be too much for her. (He would likely say he has “moral clarity” on that question.) The thought would be abominable to him, but why? The circumstances are equally tragic and might be just as difficult for the mother. The reason Pitts would be opposed is because he operates under the premise that a newborn is a person with human rights, and the unborn is not. This reveals the question at hand, and how a child comes into this world, whether from circumstances abominable or benign is not the issue in evaluating personhood and human rights.
Personhood is not a matter of subjective preference but rather objective fact, and no parent’s crime has a bearing on one’s value. The abortion question demands we dispense with smokescreens and rigorously debate the real issues at hand. The stakes are too high to do any less.