Potential humans don’t have rights


There have been several letters responding to the title of my letter (“Women’s rights trump those of cells,” Nov. 11). But the title was not written by me. In The Chronicle’s defense, every letter I have ever written to any newspaper has had the title changed, but since people seem to be caught up in the title rather than the letter, I feel it was important to clarify.

Additionally, I would like to respond to Alison Parks’ question (“Don’t forget that you too were once a collection of cells,” Nov. 17) asking how I would feel if I had been aborted. The obvious answer is I would probably feel the same way I feel about my time of non-existence before conception. The idea of extending rights to “potential” human beings would mean that using contraceptives or even waiting until marriage would be equally unethical propositions. Potentially, Alison could be pregnant right now with a child that might develop a cure to cancer. That doesn’t mean I think she should be forced to keep it.

Human beings are to be valued, and they ought to be valuable in their own right, not because of any potential benefit or detriment to society.

Scott Whitaker,
Senior, English Teaching