On the ‘Fetus is Not a Person’ Fallacy

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast ran an column by University of Chicago Professor Marshall Sahlins entitled “The Founding Fathers Knew a Fetus is Not an American Person.” The article’s purpose is therefore obvious: if conservatives are the originalists they claim to be, then they must recognize that, in Sahlins’ words, “ the presumption that a fetus is a human person is unconstitutional.”

Sahlins offers some truly strange arguments to back up his thesis. One example he uses is the age requirement provisions for various federal offices. He argues that if the founders…