Foetus Is Not a Human Being

Topics: Human rights, United States Declaration of Independence, Law Pages: 7 (2805 words) Published: March 13, 2013
The issue regarding foetus as a human being is controversial among scholars. Two schools of thought have been postulated, some in support of a foetus as a person by giving biblical references (Psalms 139 verse 13-15) hence they regard foetus as a human being which falls under section 12 of the Zimbabwean constitution. A foetus has also been protected and included in article 6.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that it has the right to life and the right shall be protected by law and no one shall be arbitrarily be deprived of his life. However a band of scholars do not share this same argument of regarding a foetus as a human being and it will not fall under section 12 of the constitution. They regard foetus as a potential person not an actual person and freedom of a human being are given after birth. The debate remain hanging since section 12 of the constitution of Zimbabwe states that, no person shall be deprived of his life intentionally. Foetus is regarded as a human being therefore it has the right of life according to section 12 of the constitution. To kill a foetus is to murder a human person. According to Pope Pius IX1869, he argued that a foetus is a human person from conception and therefore abortion is murder. This claim is supported by the fact that all necessary genetic material is present at conception and the foetus continues development from conception until born as a human being. Taking Zimbabwe as a Christian country, biblically (Exodus 20:18), it stated that, “do not kill” which is a quotation used by many Christians in opposition of abortion. However this verse might seems as only applying to a “person” and the issue of when the foetus becomes a person crops up again. In response to this Christians went on to argue that the bible teaches that is a human as it is stated in (Jeremiah1:5) “before I formed you in the womb…when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there, you saw me before I was growing there in secret, you know I was there, too saw me before I was born. (Psalms 139:13-15). This does seem to imply that someone is human before birth. The bible also postulates in (Exodus 21: 22-25) that it is a person injuries a pregnant woman, causing miscarriage, compensation must be paid. This suggest that life of the unborn child has both significance and value. However at the same time in (Exodus 21:22-25) it is said that if the mother dies then a life for life policy applies. Which suggest that the unborn child does not have the same significance and values as the mother ? Even the birth and role of Jesus Christ is mapped out before birth. During the period of 6 months, foetus develop into the extent that eyes will open, all systems has to be balanced against the rights of the mother. According to Don Marquis, is of the view that killing anything in general is wrong (section 12) because it deprives an individual of the future, which contains value. Most abortions therefore are immoral since they deprive foetus of the future containing value. The foetus then has the right to life. Marquis went on arguing that, ”since it is wrong to kill rational and morally significant persons in principle it would be permissible to kill infants, do we then allow abortion because they are not rational?” There is also the issue of ensoulment, which means having a soul attached to something. This idea suggest that a foetus is a human being and therefore ought to be protected by the right of law. It is based on religious ideas which argue that the most important aspect of being human is having a soul therefore a foetus becomes human at the time the soul is attached. According to Augustine, he postulates that the soul is implemented in 46 days although he further condemns abortion at any stage. Considering foetus as a human being, there is the issue of physical signs. This school of thought argue that a foetus should be considered human when there are physical signs, thus the heart...
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