|My friend and colleague Catherine Wurts in|
conversation with a protester from Stop
Sometimes someone will reply that the unborn don't have equal rights to us -- they can't drive or vote. But this is a confusion of legal rights and natural rights. Natural rights are rights that you have based on your natural kind (i.e. that you are human). These include the rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence above. Legal rights are rights that are granted by the government and usually are given based on your developmental maturity. These include the right to drive or vote. The right to drive or vote are not natural rights because cars and societies don't occur in nature.
Since the unborn are human just like we are, they deserve equal rights to us. As Christopher Kaczor points out in his book, The Ethics of Abortion, considering how we now understand that denying equal human rights to groups of people was wrong and we now consider them equal, can we really state with any certainty that this is the only time in human history we've ever been right about doing so?
This article also appeared at the Secular Pro-Life blog.