Of unborn persons

Tuesday 9 September 2008 6:04 AM

In a matter of weeks we stand to become a very muddled society indeed. Under current legislation a miscarried foetus of 20 weeks' gestation or later must be registered as a birth, may be named, and must receive a funeral. What that says at the very minimum, is that this was a person. Beyond that it more than implies that the person was a part of a family and indeed of the community, that they have died, and that their passing is an occasion of grief.

So with what kind of intellectual gymnastics will we now hold side-by-side one set of legislation founded on the baby's personhood, with another declaring them expendable? What will we say of the legally aborted 22-week foetus? Will we register their birth? Will we name, bury, mourn and remember them?

You can't have it both ways, Mr Brumby and company. Either they are a person or they are not. If you must pass this dehumanising legislation, then at least have the pluck to amend the birth and death legislation as well. Then those of us with choice will know where we stand.