If They’re Human, They Have Rights

27 Jan, 2020


What constitutes a living, human being? Science is clear- human life begins at conception.


“At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism,” writes the American College of Pediatricians in a statement. “The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature.”

But if that isn’t enough for you, let’s skip a few weeks to when the forming child has undeniable evidence of human life.


A baby’s heart begins to beat at about 22 days after he/she is conceived, Parents shares in an article. Only 3 weeks of development, and the baby is already using its own blood for his or her developing heart. That’s before most women even know they’re pregnant!


According to MedLine Plus, at just five weeks in fetal development, the baby’s blood cells, kidney cells and nerve cells all develop. His or her brain, spinal cord and heart also develop, and their gastrointestinal tract starts to form.


At weeks six to seven, arms and legs start to grow, the baby’s brain forms into 5 different areas and eyes and ears begin to form. The baby’s heart now beats at a regular rhythm. And at around 12 weeks, parents can use a doppler to audibly detect their baby’s heartbeat.


Sounds a lot like a human being- a human being who has equal rights, according to the U.S. Declaration of Independence:


“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”


The Declaration doesn’t distinguish between persons- all persons are created equal, it says. All persons have rights- rights to life, to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness.


So, if a baby- at a different stage of growth than his/her adult counterparts- is human, he or she has rights, specifically the right to life. That heartbeat inside of his or her little developing body cries humanity at only 3 weeks after conception, and it deserves to be protected.


Though it’s taken far too long, many states are beginning to put in protections for these little humans called “Heartbeat Bills.” These bills propose to make abortions illegal as soon as the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Alabama was the first to lead the effort, but other states are following suit. Though we still have a long way to go, the progress is encouraging.


With science on our side, let us protect these children at their earliest stages, because if they don’t have rights, neither do we.