The Legality of Life: Recap of CSW Event on the Right to Abortion

| March 14, 2019

The topic most constantly addressed throughout the Commission on the Status of Women is that of abortion. Abortion rights, sexual and reproductive health, the right of a woman to control her own body—the list goes on. Abortion is hotly debated, with impassioned people adamantly on both sides of this issue.

Many pro-choice ambassadors are attempting to have universal guidelines passed that would define the legality of abortion throughout the UN. These proposed guidelines are called the Brussels Declaration.

Among the demands this proposal calls for is the clause, “Reject any steps being taken towards granting a foetus legal personhood.”

Out of the whole of the Brussels Declaration, this is the phrase that gave me pause.

A legal person is considered an individual entity with responsibilities and privileges. A legal person has rights under the law.

But, according to pro-choice advocates, a legal person can only exist outside the womb of a woman.

I can understand the desire for a woman to have control over her own body. I can understand the fear for the safety and health of the mother in some medical cases. I can understand the mentality that abortions bring freedom for women.

But all of these factors have one thing in common: they only take into account one person.

That second person—the child—is written off and denied the most fundamental right in existence, the right to life.

Physical birth does not confer personhood. The removal of a fetus from the womb does not magically turn a blob of tissue into a child.

Life is not a subjective matter. It cannot be defined in legal terms. Arguing about abortion only as it relates to the mother means ignoring half of this issue.

Because abortion is not just about rights. It’s not just about terms such as legal or illegal. It’s about life. The life of the mother, and the life of the child. And both deserve to be protected.