This is an open letter to all those who argue the personhood of the American fetus. You win! I’ll go ahead and pretend to believe, unequivocally, that a fetus is a person and has a person’s rights.
I still have the legal and ethical right to get an abortion if I become pregnant.
Oh, how can that be! I hear you cry. She’s talking out of her ass! You add (in my colorful imagination). Guess what? I’m right. And I’ll put it in clear-cut terms so you can understand precisely where one person’s rights begin and another person’s end.
Let’s say you’re dying of kidney failure. You need one kidney to be replaced in order to survive. I have a kidney that’s THE perfect match for you. Can you make me give you that “extra” kidney of mine? Can you make me give you that kidney if the person who needs it is your child, your spouse, or your mom?
Nope. You cannot. If you try to threaten or intimidate me into giving you my extra kidney, you will be breaking the law. I can have you arrested. I can prosecute you. You can get medical care, you can seek help and try your best to find a match, but you cannot force me or anyone else to give you that kidney.
Let’s look at an even less dramatic scenario. I’ve been hit by a car shaped like a giant baby. I’ve lost a ton of blood and need a transfusion ASAP. You happen to have my exact blood type! You’re healthy, you’re the perfect candidate to be a blood donor!
Can I demand that you give me some of your blood? Can I attack you, threaten you, or harass you into giving me some blood? Nope! I’d be arrested. You could sue me. I cannot demand that you or anyone else sit down and give me even one drop of your blood.
In this situation, your personhood means that you have the right to deny me the use of your body. Hell, I can’t force you to piss on me if I happen to be on fire! That’s called bodily autonomy, my friend, and it is the most foundational right Americans have. All other rights depend on it.
Even if you hit me with your baby-shaped car, I still can’t make you donate blood to save my life. Even if I injected your kidney with pure nuclear waste, you still can’t force me to donate even a few cells from my sovereign…