A thought experiment on the “rape/incest/deformity exception” in the abortion debate

Miss Smith & Mrs. Jones get pregnant on the same date.

Miss Smith is unmarried, uneducated, & poor. 24 weeks into Miss Smith’s pregnancy (the result of an incestuous rape), she delivers early due to complications. Baby Smith survives, but has lifelong physical & mental handicaps.

Mrs. Jones is wealthy, educated, and successful in her career. 36 weeks into Mrs. Jones’ pregnancy, she chooses to abort Baby Jones, who is neither handicapped, the product of rape, nor the product of incest. Mrs. Jones simply decides that she no longer wants to give birth because she misses fitting into her Size 2 dresses.

abortion timelines

At the moment Baby Jones dies, is she a human being? At that same moment, is Baby Smith (who would still be inside Miss Smith if he hadn’t been born prematurely) a human being? If there’s a moral difference between them, what is it?