Include unborn children in the 2020 U.S. Census count


Unborn Persons Count Socially and Legally

Exclusion of unborn persons from the census harms the unborn in ways independent from their representation in Congress. Just as the three-fifths clause caused harm to slaves by counting them in the census as less than full persons, it also served as the basis for the system of their bondage. Passage of the Fourteenth Amendment meant that blacks now counted as full human beings. Unborn children should not only be counted in the census to assure them adequate congressional representation, but also to be given the same recognition and social meaning that was given to slaves - that they count, and that it is appropriate for the government to give them due concern and respect. 

Every Human Being is a Person

The usage of the word “person” in Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment is different from its usage in Section 2. Section 1 deals with civil rights, such as equal protection of “persons,” and includes non-human beings, such as corporations. Section 2 is concerned with “persons,” meaning all “inhabitants,” to be counted for apportionment purposes. Since corporations are not part of the human population, they are not counted. Unborn children are part of the human population. Rep. John Bingham (R-OH), author of the 14th Amendment, said the only test is, “Is it a Man?” The unborn must be counted.

Constitutional Mandate

Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, and the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 2, require the Census Bureau to count every “person,” for purposes of apportionment of the U.S House of Representatives. 

Listing an Unborn Child on the Census Form

The census form asks that each person in a household be listed on the census form. Practically, a woman who is pregnant on April 1, 2020, Census Day, would simply list her unborn child on the Census form as “unborn baby,” just as she would list any other child, or person, in her household. If she knows the sex of the child, she would list it. If not, she could delay submitting the form until the child’s sex is known, or even until the child is born and named, since forms that are submitted several months after the Census date are included in the count, as long as they list “persons” who were alive on Census Day. 

Personhood and the Unborn Child

Unborn Persons Protected from Homicide

The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and at least 35 state “fetal homicide” laws, already protect unborn children from violence, other than from abortion, while in the womb. Obviously, only a “person,” in these cases, an unborn “person,” can be a victim of homicide.

The Unborn May be Counted

Roe v. Wade said, “the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense,” 410 U.S. at 162. In a footnote, Justice Blackmun wrote that, to his knowledge, no unborn child had ever been counted in the census.  But that does not mean that the law has never recognized the unborn in any sense and it does not mean that they couldn’t be counted. Blackmun admitted that if the personhood of the unborn were ever established, the case for abortion would collapse.

Science and Personhood

The Carnegie Stages of Human Embryonic Development are recognized internationally by human embryologists as the gold standard for accurate scientific facts concerning sexually reproduced human beings. The Carnegie Stages are required to be in textbooks written by human embryologists..They document the eight weeks and 23 stages that a human grows through as an embryo. Carnegie Stage 1a represents the beginning of a new sexually reproduced human being. 

Thus, biology tells us, and medical science confirms, through in vitro fertilization, cryopreservation of embryos, genetic testing, ultrasound, and fetal surgery, that the life of every sexually reproduced human being, every “person,” begins at fertilization.. Counting the unborn child as a “person” in the Census would give recognition to the personhood of unborn children in a very public way.