Conception is the only logical place to define life.
It's actually an illogical place. If you want to seek that minimum threshold, life beings at abiogenesis (or perhaps simply genesis from your perspective).
Even Christopher Hitchens was against abortion.
It was his right to hold whatever views he pleased, but unless you present his arguments, his name alone doesn't really mean anything.
So, gestational trophoblastic disease is "life" to you?
Animals are more sentient than fetuses right now, yet do you eat them?
The risk of death from pregnancy and childbirth is greater than the risk of death from an elective abortion. Does denying a woman a choice to take the lesser risk imply you value a fetus over the sentient being mom?
There are far more spontaneous abortions/miscarriages than elective abortions. Is this "god" declaring itself a pro-abortionist?
And, if you haven't already done so, please read "When Abortion Was a Crime" and the Roe v Wade decision.
When "life" starts is completely irrelevant. What the law defines is a person, and a foetus will never be a person because its life is not independent from the mother's wormb. Hitchins was a war monger, I don't see how any of his opinions about life have any appeal.
Considering Christopher Hitchens had no ovaries, how is this at all relevant?
Also, how can the viability of the foetus/embryo/blastosyst NOT be relevant, or do you expect women with molar pregnancies to walk around for 40 odd weeks with a growing humour inside them, that will NOT ever become a sentient human being? What about women with ectopic pregnancy? In both these cases conception happened and through no fault of the woman, they will NEVER EVER be neonates.
I must say that I totally sympathize, and am completely in agreement, with the sentiment of not wanting the government to tell a woman (or man, for that matter) "what to do with their own body". I definitely want the government's fingers off of both men's and women's bodies as much as is reasonably possible.
The rub, of course, is when the actions of one person's body affect another person's body. Theology aside, secular America, for example, has a long tradition of recognizing that the rights of my fist end where your nose begins. Pregnancy is a very special experience wherein one person's body actually grows, develops, and is eventually birthed through, another person's body. Two bodies are hardly ever so interdependently connected as in pregnancy. So it is unfitting to apply generic phraseology to a situation which encompasses such a unique set of specific conditions. Namely, any rhetoric about "her own body" really doesn't do justice to the complexity of the situation. Again, even with all theology aside, it is by no means obvious to many a parent who has watched a sonogram of their child in the womb that the child developing inside its mother should be regarded as a non-human-being. So resorting to the "her own body" rhetoric which is so common does not strike me as being a good, honest, or fair approach.
If someone wants to make the argument that a "fetus" is not a human being and does not warrant the protections that most of us assume are appropriate for a human being, they can set forth such an argument. But if the form of argumentation simply glosses over, or minimizes, the entirely non-trivial issue of the second body involved then I believe such an approach is doomed to appear disingenuous to those who are deeply concerned about (what they at least honestly perceive as) the "other" body in the story.
This is why I really cannot stand watching the "pro choice" side shoot themselves in the foot with "keep your laws off my body" language. When the other side is arguing that this is a murder, that's wholly inadequate as a response; if it's a murder the government has every business putting its laws on your body, anyone other than an anarchist will agree that that is what government is for. So you must make the case that it's not a murder--or at the very least cast doubt on their arguments--which "Keep your laws off my body" fails to do.
Namely, any rhetoric about "her own body" really doesn't do justice to the complexity of the situation.
The problem is, much of that complexity is a fabrication -- conveniently defined personhood to force a particular ideology despite the fact that a foetus bears virtually no attributes of personhood.
It's not a person, and it's not a second body. It is my body, up until it it is ready to get out of my body, after 9 months. Until it is out of my body, it IS MY body.
so when it's born, it's still just as dependant upon you. if you left it alone, it would die. Should you be allowed to kill it?
what about premature births, there have been cases as early as 23 weeks, just under 6 months, still not a body? then what the hell is it?
Wow, miserable fail! Premies generally meed medical intervention, babies born after a full gestation generally do not need medical intervention.
As for infanticide due to PPD, I have no issues with that either.
No. When a neonate is born it is not solely dependent on its former "host", is it. As such, obligatory dependency on the former host, is removed.
Premies... more so removed from the former "host" and usually kept alive by hospital machinery and hospital staff. As such, obligatory dependency on the former host is removed.
Prior to birth however at all stages, whether it be zygote/ blastocyst/embryo or foetus, it is entirely dependent on the host, even to the hosts detriment.
I appreciate full well that self-assumed "pro-lifers" don't like the coming terminology, but prior to birth, at all stages of gestation, that foetus is (medically/scientifically speaking) nothing more than an obligate parasite.
Parasite: An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.
1 an organism living in or on and obtaining nourishment from another organism.
obligate parasite one that is entirely dependent upon a host for its survival.
The fact that some people want to bring emotional pleading into their argument against abortion and call it a "baby" from zygote stage and on through gestation, is irrelevant. It is NOT a baby and IS not until it takes its own... first ...post birth... breath.
From now on I am going to call my kids OG1 and OG2!