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Unconscious People Aren’t Self-Aware
Josh Brahm calls thisthe most undervalued argument in the prolife movement. It’s called the Equal Rights Argument. On all sides of the abortion debate, most people agree that those of us outside the womb have equal value. Ask what we have in common that makes us equal, and listen carefully to the answer.
In this example, the proposed answer is that being human and self-aware is what makes us equal. But some adult humans, such as people in comas, are not self-aware. Depending on exactly what counts as self-awareness, even people who are simply asleep may not be self-aware! This is important, because most people agree that sleeping people and people in comas deserve the right to life. So being human and self-aware can’t be what makes us equal.
We think what makes us equal is simply that we’re all members of the human species. The human fetus is also a member of the human species, so if we’re correct, then the fetus is a person with the same value as you and me.