why not give sperm & egg cells their proper consideration? they are alive. they have the potential to become a human being. and yet they are slaughtered by the billions, every day. this holocaust must be stopped!
any line drawn is just arbitrary without a strong argument to back it up.
I think that Synthaetica has revealed the essence of this argument, there really is a movement afoot for a theocratic takeover of our government. Divisive issues like abortion serve to polarize citizens to serve that purpose and the idea behind it has more to do with control than saving babies. There is a demonstrable assumption that most Americans are more responsive to the emotional aspect of an issue and are inclined to completely ignore the bigger picture, and that assumption is played out clearly within this issue. Simply, there is a lot of stigma attached to being a "baby killer" and as a result, you will find too many people on the side of the fence that leans towards that theocratic takeover as opposed to the side of the fence where citizens defend their freedom at any cost.
"Our" stance really is more about not swallowing the dogma attached to these social issues - anytime we hear cute catch phrases like "prenatal person-hood", we need to step back and examine the origin of such a claim because ultimately, It's dogma with a pretty pink bow.
As we become aware of this theocratic coup, we as "patriots" are obliged to be alert to it's signs and advances upon our constitutionally guaranteed liberties. The issue really has nothing to do with the rights of a fetus or an unborn child; it's a part of a greater strategy that will have us as a free people voluntarily handing over our liberties one social issue at a time.
I'm sorry Nulona that your stance on this issue has you in the middle of the cross-fire but you take a precarious position when you try to expand your interpretation of freedom into the lives of the citizens around you. Because of my statement above though, I do have to consider the issue of incest as a social issue as well. I don't know if it's a natural phenomenon or social programming that makes the idea feel repulsive to so many of us but I do think that the "fetal deformity" claim is propaganda and that it's completely false. I believe that the genetic theory behind that idea would take many generations to play out - that being, that certain dominant genetic mutations would not be suppressed by genetic diversity over time. Isn't that ironic? That's a theory that displays the amazing power of evolution and it's strongly supported by the church. HAHA.
Why is the life of the unborn child important?
- The potential of that life?
- The emotional ties to those that know it or feel attached to it?
- Concern for what will happen to it's soul when it dies? (as an atheist I disregard this)
What harm do we cause in ending that life prematurely, does the life in question matter?
In regards to the potential for life I am unsure if it matters to stop life when the individual does not feel the loss of it.
As for the relatives the mother and father may feel the loss of this life due to their attachment, and this is a personal issue. So I believe that abortion is an emotional and psychological issue and should be dealt with on a case by case basis (practicalities of this are challenging I'll grant) with the interests of the mother put first.
Personally I feel I probably would not abort a child because of the loss to me psychologically, but the fact that at this point in my life I really do not want another child, I would feel some compulsion to want to terminate especially if it had been forced upon me through violence.
1: Personhood begins at fertilization. Libertarians for Life have great arguments. l4l.org
2: A person is any human being. A human being is any organism of the species Homo sapiens, or, more broadly, to any hominid. A gamete is not an organism. Therefore, a gamete is not a human being. Therefore, a gamete is not a person.
3: Agreeing with religious people isn't always bad. The Bible says "Thou shalt not steal.", but we still criminalize thieves.
1: No, this is not an appeal to authority. I'm not saying you should believe it just because they do. I'm telling you to read there arguments, which are some of the best.
2: Sorry, wrong word. I was reciting it from memory. I meant the genus Homo.
3: I was responding to Synth's claim that upholding prenatal rights contributes to a theocratic dictatorship: http://www.thinkatheist.com/xn/detail/1982180:Comment:59253
Regarding point 1: Personhood begins at fertilization.
I would have to disagree here. At the moment of fertilization, the cell thus created has the potential to become a person, but is not a person yet. A person is more than simply a cell with human DNA. When I get a cut, the blood that flows out has 100% of my genetic code in it and, theoretically at least, could be used to create a clone of me. But no one would argue that those cells should be considered a person with all rights and privileges granted therefor. True, the blood cannot survive outside of my body. But neither can a just-fertilized egg.
Fertilized eggs often fail to attach to the uterus wall, or are not viable and miscarry, often so soon that the mother never even realizes she was pregnant. But these are not reported as 'accidental deaths'. If a just-fertilized egg was considered a full person, then a mother who did something (such as imbibing alcohol, taking anti-inflammatory medicine, imbibing caffeine, all of which have been suggested as having the potential to trigger a miscarriage, particularly in the pre-uteral attachment period) in the next day or two (not even knowing that she was pregnant) which caused the zygote to spontaneously abort should be arrested for negligent homicide. And if she knew she was pregnant, should she be charged with pre-meditated murder?
Just being a collection of cells with human DNA is not enough to be a person. If, tomorrow, I was in an accident and my brain was destroyed, leaving just enough of the brain stem to operate my autonomous functions, my body would be a collection of living human cells, but me, the person, would be dead. Why should it be illegal to let the person-less body die?
The determining factor is the brain. In week 3 after fertilization, the nervous system begins to develop. By week 6, brain waves can be detected. By week 8, the fetus can hear, processing external stimuli. At this point, there's little doubt that the fetus is a person, and as such should be protected. Somewhere between week 3 and week 6, the organism has developed enough to be a person.
Someday, if medical science can continue to advance without being crippled or outright forbidden by anti-science fanatics, I expect we'll get to the point where a mother with an unwanted pregnancy can go into a clinic, and have the developing zygote, blastocyte, embryo or fetus transferred to an artificial womb, where it can incubate until birth. I rather look forward to that day.