THE QUICKENING

The quickening is the point when a pregnant woman can feel fetal movement in her womb. Some people try to define personhood by movement, thinking, “If it moves, it must have personhood.” This problematic for many reasons. For a striking example, watch a headless chicken fly in the video on this page (WARNING: *this video may be disturbing to some viewers*). When we witness a chicken moving without its head, we are forced to reconcile the difference between the continuation of life and the beginning and end of a being. The moment the head is cut off, the chicken can no longer control its body; however, the headless body of the chicken continues to move and exhibit reflexes until the cells that form its nervous system die. Though cells are not people, the cell is the basic unit of life, and life can move. Thus, just because a body is moving doesn’t mean there is someone in that body controlling the movement.