Re: SciFi&Eco: Back to the Future?

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Tue Jan 16 2001 - 10:44:27 MST

On Tue, Jan 16, 2001 at 10:49:52AM -0500, you wrote:
> > (I assume that you're not advocating banning abortion at this time. Are you?)
> I'm not. My current position is that legally a fetus is not a citizen of
> any nation, and thus has no rights. Until citizenship is conferred at
> the time and place of conception, this position will remain the same.

That's a rather interesting viewpoint; it's based on a narrow interpretation
of US law, as I understand it -- is it?

Unless I'm very much mistaken, most countries _do_ base your citizenship
on who your parents are; if both your parents are citizens of (X), then
you are also recognized as a citizen of (X), no matter where your parents
happen to be when you're born. This simplifies the immigration picture
-- third-trimester pregnant women don't have to worry if they feel like
taking a day trip across the border! -- while adding other complications --
I'm reminded of a FOAF, born of parents living in Italy, who suddenly got
a call-up notice from the Finnish army, even though he'd never visited
Finland and didn't speak the language. So all in all I don't think it's
either a great improvement or a greatly inferior system.

But I find your construction of the rights of human beings as contingent
on citizenship recognized by a national government curiously, um, curious --
it's not a very libertarian position, is it?

-- Charlie

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