Should Fertilized Eggs Be Given Legal ‘Personhood’ Like Ted Cruz Says?


On November 25, Ted Cruz said in an interview on George’s Candidate Conversations 2016 talk show for the Catholic network EWTN that he believes that abortions ought to be criminalized and that “with the Pope’s long standing, and prior Popes before him long standing call to protect every human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.” This far right wing politician has found a loophole where he would not need a constitutional amendment to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade which legalized abortions. Instead, he precariously suggested that Congress could just strictly maintain the “personhood” language and use the 14th Amendment to its advantage.

This outrageous proposal ignited the hotly debated topic on abortions and whether or not fertilized eggs should be given legal “personhood”. Many like him believe that an unborn baby is a person and should be granted rights from the moment of conception. It is understandable that abortions could violate the religion of some people, but in some cases an abortion is the only way to keep a mother alive. An ectopic pregnancy, where a fertilized egg begins growing in a mother’s fallopian tube, can cause the fallopian tube to rupture, and if not treated, the mother may die from blood loss. It is impossible that this kind of pregnancy could ever reach full term without killing the mother. The only way to prevent a fatality and ensure that she can have a correct pregnancy in the future is with an abortion. So, Ted Cruz’s claim to maintain strict “personhood” language violates the rights of women, puts their lives in danger, and is a dangerous intrusion of criminal law into medical care.

This very religious man is unlike many of those in America that do not believe that a fetus is a “person of God” because it has been scientifically proven that it is not technically a person yet. Fertilized eggs are nothing more than a collection of cells. Although it may someday be a living human being, at that stage, it does not have a heart beat much less have feelings. A fertilized egg has not lived yet, and it has no recollection and no memories.

On top of that, there are many problems with granting fertilized eggs legal “personhood”. By this sort of law, ectopic pregnancies would not be allowed to be ended which, in turn, would kill the mother. They could be counted as murder, as could miscarriages that are not the fault of the mother. Who would you blame the death of a fetus on then? The doctor? The mother? This absurd notion infringes on the rights a woman has over her body and her health.

There are also certain diseases where the baby when born would not live for more than several minutes or hours, so the mother chooses to terminate the pregnancy to save herself and her family the grief of delivering a soon to be dead baby. Along with rape victims who would have to keep the baby that they did not want and will have to raise this reminder for the rest of their lives. This could be physiologically painful and dangerous for both the mother and the child.

There are a variety of reasons that someone would choose to terminate a pregnancy, and the dangers are far greater of allowing a fertilized egg to be regarded as a person than there is to have an abortion. The only real harm seems to be to the beliefs of religious people. If it goes against your religion, then don’t do it; however, preventing others from being able to terminate a pregnancy is not acceptable. The choice to not have a baby is not a decision that is taken lightly and, more often than not, the mothers come to this conclusion with a heavy heart.

Some people are pro­life and some are pro­choice, but the agreement that a fertilized egg should not be given legal status of “personhood” should be unanimous and universal. The dangers of accepting this legal status are far greater than being for or against abortions. Women have the right to decide what to do with their body and what grows within it. They get to decide if it is safe for them and if the baby is to continue to be carried. Politicians and theologians do not have the qualifications to intrude on the medical care of patients just on the belief that they are right.