The Helsinki Group, comprised of philosophers, scientists, and animal welfare groups have created a declaration of rights for dolphins, which they hope will soon become law. They call dolphins “non-human persons” and have concluded that the first right dolphins should receive is the right to life.
In addition to the right to life, the group proposes that dolphins not be removed from their natural environment. They claim that dolphins are not the property of any state, corporation, human group, or individual, that they should be protected under international and domestic law, and that no state, corporation, human group, or individual should “engage in any activity that undermines these rights, freedoms, and norms.”
The reason for this bill of rights for dolphins, the group says, is that advancements in science have now made it clear that dolphins are intelligent and complex. Because of this, the Helsinki Group believes they have the right to life. If this declaration of rights does become law, it would mean that dolphins could not be kept at parks or used for entertainment. It would also mean that the privacy of whales would be protected during whale watching excursions. Killing one of these animals would be considered murder.
Sounds crazy, huh? I am all for valuing what God values. God clearly values all of his creation. We should to, but does this not shine a huge light on the issue of abortion?
If you are willing to bend over backwards to protect a dolphin you would think that you would bend even farther to protect a human in the womb? Sadly, this is usually not the case.
Once again, it demonstrates that the controversy surrounding abortion has very little to do with personhood but rather the autonomy of bigger, more powerful persons over those who threaten that autonomy.