Does the unborn child have any rights at any time while in the womb?

On the question of allowing abortions at any time, each voter generally takes either a pro-life or pro-choice position. But from the standpoint of the unborn child, the choice will lead to either life or death. After the recent Supreme Court decision that said abortion is not a constitutionally guaranteed right, each state is grappling to produce the right policy.

Americans do not favor taking a life. The question, which can’t be answered is:

“When is the unborn child considered a life? At this point, the unborn child should have rights, namely the right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’”

Some argue that life begins at the time of conception. Some argue that life begins when a heartbeat can be detected, roughly at six weeks. Others say, the fetus should be considered a life when it can survive outside of the womb, which is roughly 23 weeks. Some argue that life does not begin until after the child leaves the womb.

One supporter of allowing abortion up until birth said to me, “Life begins when the child takes their first breath and ends when they take their last.” The unborn fetus has no rights while still in the womb.

If that is the case, then abortion should be allowed up until the time of birth.

Most Americans do not support that position. Even those who favor later-term abortions believe a very late-term abortion should not be allowed.

Each state can now set its abortion policy. Admittedly residents in different states have much different views. States like California, Illinois, and New Jersey tend to set policies that favor the mother at the expense of the unborn child. States like Florida and Texas believe the fetus has rights at some point.

The pro-choice supporters focus the debate not on the child but rather on the mother. That means they believe that life begins extremely late in the pregnancy. The mother, then, has the right to choose the fate of the unborn child well into the pregnancy. They say this ensures reproductive health for the mother, although it completely ignores the rights, if any, of the unborn child.

Even most of those who favor abortion well into the pregnancy do not favor very late-term abortions. That must mean that at some point the unborn child has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When is that point?

Before the reversal of Roe v. Wade the consensus view seemed to be that when the fetus can survive outside of the womb, it has a right to life. Deeply religious people argue those rights begin much earlier, at conception, so they were never happy with the 23-week limit.

Since the country seems to be very divided, a compromise position should be found although admittedly the position will vary from state to state.

Politically, the Democrats win the debate by focusing on the rights of the mother and completely ignoring any rights the unborn child may have. The Republicans try to focus on the rights of the unborn child. Since unborn children don’t vote, that is a losing political position.

The GOP should produce a party position, recognizing that there will be variation by state.

Many have suggested that allowing an abortion on demand up until the 15th week of pregnancy is a compromise position. While deeply religious Americans will not favor this, it is a compromise that most Americans should support.

The GOP should also focus the debate on the unborn child so that if the Democrats support the pro-choice position, they are really saying that, regarding the unborn child, they are pro-death.

That could be a winning position for the GOP. As recently as the 2022 elections, the Democrats used the pro-choice argument to win, noting that the GOP wanted to take away reproductive rights from women. The GOP just wants to combat the pro-death position by recognizing the rights of the unborn child.

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