Legal implications of a name change

Jim McDoniel’s letter “Embryo should be treated as a human” (Nov. 13) presents a number of arguments against legal abortions but fails to truly answer the issue at hand.

While very few people will argue that an embryo with human DNA is not human, that does not necessarily make it a person. The change in the name is not so much a moral issue as it is a legal one.

It is feared that by referring to embryos as “human subjects” in legal documents, personhood will be conveyed to them, and legislative power will be used to overturn Roe v. Wade. It is this potential legal challenge which is the primary threat perceived by the name change.

The difference between the dependency of a two-year-old and that of a two-week-old embryo is quite simple. If the toddler’s mother does not wish to or is unable to care for him, he may be given up for adoption. The recently pregnant woman, however, cannot transfer the embryo to another mother. This means that if it must be carried to term, she alone must assume that burden.

The reason that women are given the sole power to determine whether an abortion will occur is because they are the only ones whose bodies are dependent on this choice. To suggest that a man has the right to force a woman to carry to term a child she cannot or will not care for is as preposterous as it is offensive.

Science has declared us all animals, but this does not mean that we are not rational beings. Clear reason, without preconceptions or religious commandments, makes it evident that a woman’s rights are paramount over an embryo’s.

Joseph Jay-Dixon , senior, Hopkins High School