(DailyKos) -- This month, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law a sweeping abortion ban. States such as Alabama have followed suit, requiring state abortion clinics to turn away most pregnant people. The laws go even further than that, though. In Georgia, a fetus is now a legal person who is counted in the Census. Fetuses also qualify as “dependent minors.”
So if a fetus is a person, does that mean every pregnant person gets to drive in the HOV lane? And since every woman is potentially pregnant, can every woman take advantage of this privilege? This isn’t just hyperbole. Counting a fetus as a person raises serious questions about what it means to be a person, and what pregnancy really is. It could also upend our entire judicial system, forcing judges to grapple with ridiculous questions they might otherwise never have to consider.
The Many Rights That Come With Personhood
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In identifying a fetus as a person, anti-choicers were doggedly focused on a single right: the right to life. If a fetus really is a person, abortion is homicide. That’s why Georgia and other states’ fetal personhood laws could potentially subject pregnant people to the death penalty. What anti-choicers seem to have forgotten is that personhood confers many rights—even for dependent minors: