On Making <Person>s: Ideographs of Legal <Person> Hood

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The most recent campaign within the prolife movement attempts to enact laws that would confer <person>hood upon the unborn. A strategy initiated by Colorado-based group Personhood USA, <person>hood laws have been introduced (sometimes repeatedly) in multiple states. The <person> hood strategy operates according to the reasoning that if the fetus is a legal <person>, then the Constitution gives that <person> legal rights and privileges from the moment of conception. Fetal <person>hood laws thus represent a new ideograph used by the prolife movement in an attempt to give the fetus legal presence. Previous prolife advocacy relied upon the <life> ideograph, a public address ideograph, allowed for the restriction of abortion, but not its termination. The <person> ideograph, a legal ideograph, has the potential to end abortion. Although at present the law largely does not recognize fetal <person>s, legislation and judicial opinions have been introduced that would grant <person> hood status to the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-140
Number of pages16
JournalArgumentation and Advocacy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • abortion
  • ideograph
  • law/legal
  • person/personhood
  • prolife


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