What impact could a legal opinion that personhood begins at conception have?
In my state the likelihood of such an amendment has always been small, but recent political events make even the strangest probabilities possible.
Let’s consider the text of the Colorado proposed amendment of 2014, which was voted down.
Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution protecting pregnant women and unborn children by defining “person” and “child” in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado wrongful death act to include unborn human beings?
Every Unsuccessful Pregnancy
That means every unsuccessful pregnancy could be a wrongful death which requires explanation.
- A rape victim would be required to bear her violator’s child to birth
- A fetal miscarriage could result in criminal charges
- The unborn infant’s rights would trump the mother’s right to her own life
- A stillborn child would have to be investigated as a wrongful death
Every Birth Defect
Also, every birth defect could be a harm against the unborn infant which must be explored. Fetal alcohol syndrome
Women, Doctor, Bartender, and Corporation
When an in-vitro procedure goes awry, the medical personnel and offices must be prepared to answer wrongful death questions.
The bartender who serves a drink to an expectant mother may be guilty of contributing to fetal alcohol syndrome.
The corporation which pollutes the stream that flows into the water supply must answer for spontaneous abortions caused by their effluents.
Personhood at conception is a step backward. It would give rights for the might-be-born that supersede the rights of those-who-are-living.