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Feyisayo Anjorin

Freelance Director, Afro-Carribean Media Group


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Is a Fetus a Person?

The debate over whether abortion should be considered as murder often focuses on the question of whether the fetus is a person or not.
Here the issue of culture and religion comes in.
But what does it take to identify a fetus as a person? There are thinkers today with the belief that a fetus can be called a human being, but should not be called a person because it takes more to be a person than just having genetic material.

Philosopher Mary Ann Warren argues that in order to be considered a person, a being should have the following characteristics:

1. A developed capacity for reasoning.
2. Self awareness
3.Consciousness and ability to feel pain
4. Self motivated activity
5. Capacity to comminicate messages of an indefinite variety of types.

It would seem as if even new born babies may not be considered as persons according to the aforementioned school of thought.

No doubt infanticide has always got widespread condemnation, but abortion has always been a controversial issue.
So, what do you think? Is a fetus a person?


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    Oct 17 2012: To be honest, I don't know whether it is a person or not, but if you would allow me to stray a bit from the original topic, I'd like to add that a two-month-premature baby shouldn't be the same age as a baby born at full term on the same day, as the latter is effectively 2 months older and more developed.
    I guess we all are 9 months (or 7 or 8) older than our ID states, especially if we consider a fetus a person, although it would be kind of difficult to establish the exact day of conception.
    Well, just a thought.

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