U.S. Citizenship, Our Constitution and When Life Begins: A Situation Republicans Can’t Answer

constitution_against_flagMany Republicans are often adamant about their beliefs that life begins at the moment of conception and we must have strict laws on immigration.

And for this argument, let’s just say that they’re absolutely right on both issues — life does begin at conception and we need to have much stricter laws when it comes to immigration and becoming an American citizen.

Giving them the victory on both of those arguments, I now present them with the following hypothetical situation:

A German citizen (male) and a Spanish citizen (female) meet during a layover in Japan — on their way to Los Angeles.  During their time in Los Angeles they go out a few times and end up having sex, which results in an unplanned pregnancy.

Nine months later she has the baby while visiting her parents, who now live in Italy.

Being that we’ve allowed Republicans the victory in defining life at the very moment of conception, and that we must have stricter guidelines on citizenship, I would love for them to answer the following question:

Should the baby be considered an American citizen?

If Republicans want to argue that life begins at conception — well, then this hypothetical life “began” on American soil when the woman became pregnant in Los Angeles.

Except it wasn’t born in the United States and neither parent is an American citizen.

Yet if life begins at conception, it was conceived on American soil.

But then, how could someone prove where conception happened?  Couldn’t every birth that occurs 9 months after a trip to the United States by foreign citizens then be put into question based on the parameters for which Republicans want to define life?

And then, if we recognize life beginning at conception, wouldn’t that encourage more “anchor babies” (as Republicans like to call them)?  Only this time, it’s with people rushing over here to become pregnant just to say their child was conceived on American soil — thus making it an American citizen.

Oh you know what, there’s really no need to present Republicans with these kinds of situations.

Our Constitution clearly defines citizenship.  In fact, it defines when life begins — at birth.

As our Fourteenth Amendment states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

This clearly shows that our Constitution (you know that document Republicans claim they support) clearly defines life as beginning at birth by stating that citizenship for a fetus begins the moment it is born in the United States.

Let’s say a woman came over here on a temp work visa, then her boyfriend from Australia came for a visit, during which they had sex resulting in a pregnancy.  She proceeded to stay here just until birth, then went back home and gave birth.  Even though the child was conceived here and carried to term 98% of the time here — it would still not be an American citizen, because it was not born here nor did it have citizens as parents.

Even if a woman becomes pregnant here, carries the pregnancy 95% of the way on American soil, neither parents were citizens nor was the baby born on American soil.

All of this clearly shows that life, and citizenship, begins at birth — not conception.

So if these Republicans want to define life as beginning at conception, they then must define United States citizenship as anyone who was conceived on American soil.

So please, share this with a few Republicans you know and see if they can counter these points.  I’m willing to bet the responses will be nothing short of comical.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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