- Only Human
Personhood Week: Conception Is a Process
Earlier this month voters in two U.S. States, Colorado and North Dakota, considered new laws that would bolster the legal rights of a fetus before birth. Neither of these ballot initiatives passed, but they’re part of a “personhood movement” that’s been gaining notoriety among pro-life advocates since about 2008. Reading about this movement in the press (Vox has a great overview) has made me wonder about the slippery, contentious, and profound meaning of “personhood.”
The Wikipedia page for personhood gives this definition: “Personhood is the status of being a person.” Right-o.
The page for person isn’t much clearer: “A person is a being, such as a human, that has certain capacities or attributes constituting personhood, which in turn is defined differently by