By Mary E. Williams
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Merrill D. Peterson adds in Thomas Jefferson And The New Nation that “. . ” What could be more “heartless” and “cruel” than slavery? ” Never mind that it is the selfish desires of born people which really motivate the “magnanimous” killing of the unborn. And so it was with Jefferson’s oppression of his slaves. But Jefferson was as embarrassed by his avarice as are today’s pro-aborts. Dumas Malone, in his book The Sage of Monticello, describes the head games Jefferson played with the euphemisms he employed to rationalize his ownership of slaves: He resented the designation of these unfortunate human beings as property.
It is a potential person. But being alive does not give the zygote full human rights— including the right not to be aborted during its gestation. A single-cell ameba also coverts nutrients and oxygen into biological energy that causes its cells to divide, multiply and grow. It also contains a full set of its own DNA. It shares everything in common with a human zygote except that it is not a potential person. Left to grow, it will always be an ameba— never a human person. It is just as alive as the zygote, but we would never defend its human rights based 46 Abortion Frontmatter 2/26/04 3:34 PM Page 47 solely on that fact.
It’s not the configuration of the DNA that makes a zygote human; it’s simply that it has human DNA. Your hair follicle shares everything in common with a human zygote except that it is a little bit bigger and it is not a potential person. ) Your hair follicle is just as human as the zygote, but we would never defend its human rights based solely on that fact. And neither can the anti-abortionist, which is why the following two questions become critically important to the abortion debate. 47 Abortion Frontmatter 2/26/04 3:34 PM Page 48 Is It a Person?