Is the unborn child a human being?

Even the laws liberalizing abortion begin by declaring the human character of the being whose killing in certain cases they are nevertheless authorizing. Article I of the Veil-Pelletier Law in France displays typical incoherence in this regard:

"The law guarantees respect for every human being from the beginning of life. This principle must not be breached except in the case of necessity according to conditions defined by this present law."

This procedure is sometimes called "tactic of dispensation": it declares a principle incontrovertible only to proceed immediately to enumerate the conditions or circumstances in which the law determines it does not apply. We find this tactic regularly in the projects and legal propositions concerning euthanasia.

In the case of a conceived infant, it is precisely because it is a human being that they want to prevent its birth. They know that the being will soon be a baby, then an adolescent, then an adult. It is precisely because it promises to be a baby, an adolescent, and an adult that they want to suppress it.

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