The story centers around Emma Stein, a pregnant single girl who has been advised by her mother to have an abortion. Despite the objection of the child's father, Ethan Carpenter, and his promise to help her, she decides to go ahead with the procedure. When Ethan and his family file a lawsuit on behalf of the child's right to life, the drama escalates as Emma's mother, Kerri, contacts a friend in the Associated Press. Before long, the case is mired in media frenzy. The court has to decide whether the child in Emma's womb is a person or not, and if so, if it is endowed with the unalienable rights as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence. The title, "Order of Rights" refers to the order in which the categories of rights are deliberately listed in the document: Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.