Thursday, December 3, 2009

Baby Velez

Read this article then come back.

Now, instead of addressing the humanity of the unborn, the author tries to go on a red herring tangent and address the logistical problems of listing an unborn child in a list of victims. Because the sex of the child is unknown, and the child lacks a name, Malusinka argues, he or she is not a person.

Anybody with half a brain can see why that doesn't make sense, but I know that an entire half brain is too much to expect from some people, so I will go into detail.

First of all, parents are typically given a number of days after birth to decide on a name for their baby. Does an unnamed newborn not have any rights? Of course (s)he does.

We know nothing about many casualties of war. Were those incinerated by atomic bombs never persons because we don't know their sexes? Does the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier house the remains of non-persons? Were their deaths meaningless? Of course not.

Now, on to the issue of the deaths of people not counted in the population. Again, registration of infants doesn't always happen at the instant of birth. And what about someone the census didn't count for some other reason, whether they be homeless or immigrants or visitors? Historically, was the death of a slave only three fifths of a tragedy?

...or, you could just list the names of the victims and add "and Velez's unborn child".

EDIT: The victim of the Virginia infanticide case had no name and was not yet registered. Does that mean it was okay?

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