Sanctity of Life Sunday–Personhood
As a result of the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, abortions became legal in all states throughout all phases of the woman’s pregnancy. States were allowed some authority to regulate abortions in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, and some restrictions on late-term abortions are in place in some states. (WI restricts abortion in various ways after 20 weeks of gestation). In spite of those restrictions, legal abortion still takes the lives of upwards of 1M babies every year here in the US. It is estimated that about 58.5M abortions have been performed in the US since 1973.
The question of abortion revolves around the legal status of the pre-born baby. Is that embryo or fetus a person in the legal sense of the term? According to the SCOTUS, the answer is “no.” The pre-born baby is not a legally-recognized person. It has potential to be a person, but the court was unwilling to recognize a baby in the womb as a person with legal rights. A potential person has no rights. According to the Court, a living person has the legal right to kill a potential person.
Since the issue revolves around our definition of “person,” it would be well for us to consider what the Bible says about being a person.