Fetuses could be granted constitutional rights under measure approved by Missouri House


Only two weeks before the legislature is scheduled to adjourn, so perhaps this will not make it all the way. However, it passed the first vote in the Missouri House by a wide margin, and if the Senate also approves it, the measure will not need the governor’s support.

Under the measure, voters would be asked if the state constitution should be amended to “protect pregnant women and unborn children by recognizing that an unborn child is a person with a right to life which cannot be deprived by state or private action without due process and equal protection of law.”

Opponents said the resolution was the most extreme abortion-related proposal the Legislature has taken up this year, potentially outlawing abortion in cases of rape or when the life of a mother is in jeopardy. They also said it could make contraception illegal in the state.



So human beings would get rights before birth…


I guess I have a few questions on how that would work. When would one register a pregnancy? Who with? The government, like a birth certificate? And does that pregnancy count in formal census, family, insurance records, etc. What if that pregnancy is ended for some reason? Is that considered murder? Is then there a death certificate?




Well, perhaps after this they will be going to define marriage as a “civil legal union between two persons of two different genders?”


You know that life begins AT CONCEPTION, right?


So, essentially, your point is that acknowledging that a preborn human being is a human being/person would create challenges for bureaucrats?

Interesting side note: My spell checker wants to change ‘bureaucrats’ into ‘bureau rats.’ 'Nuff said.

I wonder if the Rational Rat Pack should be informed about this?


This is what should have been done by the US Congress. If personhood is sensibly defined as beginning at conception Roe v. Wade would be be undone. That isn’t to say the black robes can’t invent some other justification. They aren’t limited by consistency or honor.

Who says you need to register a pregnancy? But such registration wouldn’t be inconsistent with the justification for existing power of the state.


Life begins then, but even the Church says we cannot know when that life gains an immortal soul.

And no, that’s not an argument for abortion, just an argument against giving anyone unborn a birth certificate.


I would think it would outlaw any abortion or contraception. If the fetus is declared to be a person with rights, then it would be criminal to kill it, and I’m just talking about the civil law.


Celebration is more than a little premature. It hasn’t been approved by the House, and even if it is, I’m sure it’d immediately be contested. I have no idea what the outcome would be.


Why would it outlaw contraception?

If human life begins at conception, then whatever there is before conception (i.e. a sperm and an egg) is not a human life.


You do realize that your use of the word “anyone” in “anyone unborn” is a tacit admission that the “anyone” who is unborn IS a person. Which means you give yourself away by your self-refuting language.

Yes, the Church does not claim to know when, precisely, the life receives an immortal soul, but that does not amount to a denial that that ‘ensoulment’ event is very early in that life nor is it an argument that we should, therefore, take license with destroying that life anytime we decide.

Surely, our uncertainty is an argument for not being cavalier in that decision. An overcoat laying on the road that may be only an overcoat but could be an overcoat with someone inside does not justify running over the overcoat BECAUSE we aren’t sure if a person is inside of it. Our uncertainty ought to make us decide to err on the side of caution, no?


The Church teaches God creates the soul immediately. The Church also teaches that life must be protected from conception–which means it is a full person at that point.


I would think it would be very problematic to issue any kind of formal document giving status to an embryo or zygote. For one thing, pregnancies can be hidden, or even unknown, for many months. Another thing, I read in some document that over half of all US pregnancies do not grow to term, either because of abortion or spontaneous abortion. And that number doesn’t reflect spontaneous abortions that women don’t know happened.

So if you make an embryo a legal person, you would have to do some very complicated lawmaking to enforce protection for that embryo. AND I would think it would be the government’s responsibility to track its development, because it would have to enforce the law in case the pregnancy failed.


Some contraceptive act as abortifacients. Those couldn’t be used. I suppose the ones that don’t act as abortifacients could be used.


I don’t give myself away that I believe all fetuses are persons. I do give myself away in that I don’t proofread and take the care with language that I take with school papers, for example.

I did say that it wasn’t an argument for or against abortion.


We’ve been through this before. “Immediately,” sure, but when does that “immediately” occur. The Church does not teach that it is at conception, implantation, viability, or any other time. I would certainly think it would be by viability.



The Church would not teach that life is to be protected from natural conception if it did not assume that “immediately” means conception. Without a soul, the human body is nothing but a bunch of living cells–same as a tree really.


I agree.

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