What is a child?


Anti-abortionists define any foetus of six weeks or more as being a “child.” Some even go so far as to say the child is created at the moment of conception. As a result, if you accept that definition the deliberate destruction of a foetus can legitimately be seen as murder or manslaughter. However, the question is do they in fact believe that the foetus as so defined is a human child?

We should look not just at what they say, but how they act. Often, actions speak louder than words. For example, how do people treat the death of a spontaneously aborted foetus by miscarriage? Often (usually?) they do not treat it as the death of a child. For example, they have no funeral for the foetus. Miscarriages are experienced by 20-25% of women. Rarely do people ask police to get involved in such deaths. Police do not investigate the death as they would if a child died. Nor do coroners get involved. The government does not allow a person to claim tax benefits for children under after the child is born.


All of this is evidence that actually people do not treat the death of a foetus as the death of a child. They only take that position for the purpose of winning an argument. They don’t actually believe that is true.


As Susan Grimsdell said in the Guardian Weekly, “they only define foetus as a child if the woman chooses an abortion to abort it; when it’s spontaneous they’re not interested. This clearly indicates it’s choice they object to.”


After birth things are different. Our actions speak pretty loudly.

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