North Dakota Abortion Ban Could Have National Implications


North Dakota legislators are proposing a law that could have
national implications. Dubbed the Personhood bill, SF 1572 would grant
every fertilized egg in the state full rights, and any intentional
death of that fertilized egg would constitute murder. It’s already
passed the North Dakota House and will be considered by an
anti-abortion Senate. And while Gov. John Hoeven hasn’t spoken publicly
about the bill, he is opposed to abortion.

“This sparsely populated rural state that’s proud of its
conservative roots could fundamentally alter the rights of women across
the country,” said Tim Stanley of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota,
North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS). “We feel confident that the more
people hear about 1572, the less comfortable they’ll feel about it.”

There’s a lot to be uncomfortable about, said Stanley.

The bill reads (PDF),
“The state shall naturalize all preborn persons and shall afford to
them all the privileges and immunities of state citizenship guaranteed
in… the Constitution of North Dakota.”

The one privilege that North Dakota plans to deny fertilized eggs?
“The state is not required to include preborn children in state and
local censuses,” the bill reads.

But while the bill clarifies how to count fertilized eggs and fetuses for the census, it leaves many more questions open.

“It’s possible that this bill would could result in criminal
prosecution for women who have a miscarriage,” said Stanley. “Under
this language a miscarriage could be investigated for manslaughter or
reckless abandonment.”

Stanley also pointed to North Dakota law that makes it illegal for
two people to ride a bike built for one. If the Personhood bill passed,
a pregnant woman could not legally ride a bike.

“We are making sure that as many North Dakotans as possible hear about this bill and its implications,” he said.

Rep. Dan Ruby, the Republican lawmaker from Minot who authored the
bill, has made it clear that his intention with this bill is go all the
way to the United States Supreme Court with a challenge to Roe v. Wade.

“I think North Dakota will be on the map to be the first state in
recent years to mount a legitimate challenge to Roe v. Wade,” Ruby told the Bismarck Tribune in February.

But this week, he backed off a bit after his bill became a lightning rod in North Dakota politics. He said,
“The bill does not contain language that even mentions abortion at all.
It simply defines when life begins which, through scientific language,
defines life to begin at conception. What is so harmful about that?”

But reproductive-rights advocates see plenty that is harmful in this
legislation. “There are no life or health exceptions for women in this
bill,” said Stanley. That could put the life of a woman in jeopardy in
order to grant “rights” to a fertilized egg.

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  • invalid-0

    Andy,

    If the goal of this site is to be honest and provide complete information, shouldn’t you mention in this article the fact that embryologists by consensus (including in every major textbook of embryology) consider fertilization the beginning of the life of an individual human being?

    Not that this fact prevents you from making the rest of your argument, of course. But since folks here are all about “complete information”, one would think that scientific consensus on a relevant issue would be important. Pro-lifers are simply saying that every human being is a person from the moment of conception, as opposed to becoming a person, or ceasing to be a person, at some point that we move based on our whims.

  • invalid-0

    SCP…one more time, I wish that one advocate of constitutional rights for fertilized ova would carry their convictions through to the logical conclusions.

    Just once.

  • invalid-0

    Conception, SCP, is not the beginning of pregnancy. It would be factitious to make it so, as 80% of fertilized eggs do not make it as far as the uterine wall. And that’s entirely natural. Not everyone gets pregnant straight away. A sexually-active woman intending to get pregnant, using no birth control, actually expels more fertilized eggs prior to actually getting pregnant than one who is on the pill, simply because the former ovulates and the latter doesn’t. Yet we don’t call the woman who passes so many “preborns” a murderer? Of course not, it defies all common sense. However, that doesn’t concern the godbags, who just want power and control. Believe what you want concerning when life begins, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s absurd to value a zygote so highly. Not even the wingnuts do, really, or they’d be storming the White House to do something about the terrible state of natural human reproduction, which so cruelly sheds so many snowflake babies in order to gestate one. No, this is just Orwellian control freakery. It’s never been about babies, else they’d all be lamenting the crappy state of existing kids languishing in the US adoption system instead of fresh-from-the-oven baaaybeez.

    This makes me wonder, though. How do they intend to protect all these “preborn people”? Develop a test that detects fertilized eggs before they implant? Check pads and tampons for miniature American citizens? Forcing rape victims to undergo extra examination for evidence of preborn zygotes people? Women who miscarry held on suspicion of murder? Mandatory urine tests every month for all menstruating girls and women? Ban all females from ever engaging in any activity in case they shed a “preborn”? Allowing an ectopic pregnancy to bust a woman’s tubes before they’ll remove it? Death certificates for late periods? I wish this was just absurdity, but it’s the logical step after passing this into law, and things such as prosecuting women who miscarry or use birth control and forcing women with doomed pregnancies to continue does happen in some parts of the world.

    “The state shall naturalize all preborn persons and shall afford to them all the privileges and immunities of state citizenship guaranteed in… the Constitution of North Dakota.”

    They fail to mention that by following their logic, those privileges and immunities only apply to pre-born and pre-menarche females. Once a girl is fertile, she becomes nothing more than a walking incubator who can be prosecuted for engaging in activity that might endanger a “preborn” whether she knows it’s there or not, since there is no such thing as a fertilization test. This runs the spectrum from riding bicycles, to having a hot bath, to using chemical birth control. Women’s bodily agency ends when they hit puberty, according to this bill.

    This bullshit is one step away from Monty Python’s “Every Sperm is Sacred”, except they aren’t making men store all their little “half-citizens” in the fridge.

  • invalid-0

    I deeply appreciate the patience with which folks like Anonymous try to engage Team Zygote’s sponsors in rational discussion.

    Many folks here have been hammering away at this nonsense for months, and none of us can make a dent in the “both are equal under the proposed law” fallacy.

    There is simply no way to extend the 14th amendment protections to a zygote without simultaneously stripping women of childbearing age of the same protections.

    Team Zygote (thanks Mellenkelly) denies the intent is to strip women of equal protection, but are unable to deny the effect of this legislation does precisely that. Team Zygote then retreats into bizarre interpretations of what equality under the law actually means in order to give fertilized ova rights that NO persons enjoy.

    It is NUTS.

  • invalid-0

    A fertilized cell is NOT a human being, or a person. It may have life , but it is simply not a person or a human being. Your “honest and complete” information is religious nonsense, not fact.

  • invalid-0

    Just so we’re clear, no one here challenged with any research or science (as opposed to insults) the fact that fertilization is the beginning of an individual human being.

    Even your hero Peter Singer (along with many other pro-choicers) acknowledges this. You can disagree, but you’re disagreeing with the consensus among embryologists. Singer also (with most scientists) doesn’t pretend that a fetus, blastocyst, or whatever is any different biologically except in stage of development from a three year old child. Of course, he thinks that requires that one be able to destroy a child after birth if the parents, for whatever reason, deem it the “compassionate” thing to do. At least he’s consistent.

    And it’s good to remain “anonymous” if you can’t tell the difference between intentionality and non-intentionality, between act and natural event. It is silly to equate the intentional destruction of a human being, which as we’ve seen, the human zygote/embryo/fetus is, with the non-intentional biological event (whose frequency is unknown, despite assertions here to the contrary) of expulsion of the zygote.

    I can’t tell if you are stupid or just dishonest, so I’ll wait before elaorating further on the distinction. Also, you all seem to have a strange idea of “rational exchange” here. Hurling insults instead of facts doesn’t betray confidence in one’s position, and pretending that certain things have been determined is not the same thing as demonstrating them. I welcome the latter, and enjoy debates with people who can present substantive disagreement, but I have yet to find it here. Is this just a site for dogmatic extremists or can anyone actually think for themselves?

  • invalid-0

    You religious morons are just trying to control women again as always you are not fooling anybody. You think women need to be kept barefoot and pregnant, and beaten to a bloody pulp when you feel like being dominating. I guarentee that if men had to have the babies this would never had been an issue ever. You cannot control us we will resist!!! Or die!!!

  • invalid-0

    So I guess its a site for dogmatic extremists.

  • invalid-0

    First, it’s “I don’t care what a damn clump of cells *is*.” (Verb/object agreement) Second, if you reply to the charge of irrationality is:

    1) embryologists = religious morons, and

    2) “You think women need to be kept barefoot and pregnant, and beaten to a bloody pulp when you feel like being dominating”

    then I think we’re past the point of rational disagreement. Thanks for your time and I apologize for the temporary disruption of the echo chamber.

  • invalid-0

    the fact that fertilization is the beginning of an individual human being.

    So what?

    if you can’t tell the difference between intentionality and non-intentionality, between act and natural event. It is silly to equate the intentional destruction of a human being, which as we’ve seen, the human zygote/embryo/fetus is, with the non-intentional biological event (whose frequency is unknown, despite assertions here to the contrary) of expulsion of the zygote.

    You cannot have it both ways. You cannot claim “unintentionality” as a factor if any action results in the miscarriage/stillbirth of the b/e/f…if in fact, the b/e/f is a person entitled to equal protection of the law.

    Please carry your own convictions through to their logical conclusions.

  • invalid-0

    We will get our daughters to store their eggs in the freezer, and then we’ll get them hysterectomies before they reach puberty, and then that will take the LIVING female human factor out of the process so noone can be kept as baby incubator slaves. How does that sound SCP?
    You see you are forgetting there is a living human holding those eggs. You can not just do with as you please to her. Or lets say we trade organs. You can have the uterus you can go through the 9 mos. and the painful delivery ok? Oh and then there is the expense and time it takes to be a good parent. Is the relgious right and or the Catholic church going to pay for all these kids? Because women do not get paid fairly so we could not afford 20 0r more kids.

    • invalid-0

      Medieval children did not worry the long period of the formalized growing which was developed by modern education systems, and to children usually concerned as responsible adults from the moment of approach of a sexual maturity, on what specifies early age at which boys and girls were considered competent to agree to marriage, and earlier age in which there was a betrothal. It now bring up “Barbie’s dolls” which are capable to bear already from infancy posterity. I consider, that mother to become it is possible only after 20 years…

  • invalid-0

    ahunt: thanks for your attempt to respond on a rational level. But what, exactly, am I trying to “have both ways”? What have I missed, precisely? I’m saying that people are only responsible for their freely chosen actions (which a procured abortion is) and not for involuntary biological events (expulsion of the zygote). This seems obvious to me, and to most rational people, but you seem to have a problem with it. I’d like to respond but I don’t understand your challenge.

    Maybe this will help: If an innocent person is intentionally shot, we consider this a crime and search for and prosecute the one who did it. If a boulder comes loose on its own and falls on someone, we don’t look for the culprit and don’t prosecute anyone. We know (or should know) innately the difference between intentionality and non-intentionality. Moral and ethical questions have to do with matters of intention, not with merely biological events. So procured abortion is obviously a different question than natural abortion.

    As far as the other “anonymous”‘s rambling nonsense, it is impossible to respond since it seems to have nothing at all to do with anything I’ve said.

  • invalid-0

    Strong reaction by woman to being told she comes second place to fetuses and zygotes. Pedantic misogynist asshole labels said woman “irrational.”

    Really, Smug Champion of Patriarchy, can you fail any harder in this thread?

  • invalid-0

    I train horses for a living, a high risk occupation. It is my bread and butter. By your lights, SCP…what is the moral distinction between taking a header off a greenie and miscarrying while three months pregnant…and accidentally killing my three month old infant by taking a header with the baby in a belly bag.

    (Everyone else just scroll)

  • invalid-0

    How come you did not have a comment about removing the uterus’s? Cat got your tongue?

    No it is just easier to ignore the WOMEN who is alive, hello and owns the eggs. To complex for you I guess hmmmmm

  • invalid-0

    Anonymous up there is me, I forgot to put my name in. My bad, sorry for any confusion. I can see that I am going to attract flak for this, I often do on RHRC. Well, anyway *rubs hands* let’s get down to business. By people with more credibility than me, on the subjects of embryology, the personhood amendment, pro-choice and pro-life issues in no particular order:

    http://thecurvature.com/2008/04/02/zombie-sd-abortion-ban-done-with-legislators-moving-on-to-citizens-brains/

    http://hugoschwyzer.net/2009/02/02/pregnant-women-personhood-and-some-paternal-reflections/

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/6/6/18845/81261

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-abortion_17jan17,1,6923007.story?track=rss

    http://www.bioethics.gov/transcripts/jan03/session1.html

    http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_118erroneous101.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/About/primer/genetics_cell.html

    http://www.bioethics.gov/background/monitor_stem_cell.html

    http://richarddawkins.net/article,157,Collateral-Damage-1-Embryos-and-Stem-Cell-Research,Richard-Dawkins

    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/351/3/207

    http://civilliberty.about.com/b/2006/08/28/the-rhythm-method-as-abortifacient-a-response-to-john-b-shea.htm

    http://ec.princeton.edu/questions/ec-review.pdf

    I don’t know who Peter Singer is, nor is what he thinks relevant to this discussion. He doesn’t sounds entirely sane, anyway, if he thinks that a zygote and a toddler share any similarity beyond the number of chromosomes. A fertilized egg is human in the sense that it has 46 chromosomes, but so does any other cell in the human body. A fertilized egg could become a human person, but it… well, it doesn’t until its gestated to the point of birth, which unfortunately, due to a pesky evolutionary quirk is at the discretion of women, unless they’re coerced one way or another. What you do not attempt to address is how you propose to tell the difference between an intentional abortion, and a miscarriage at such an early stage (assuming of course that we rewrite all the biology books to determine that pregnancy begins at conception, when it actually begins at implantation). Nor do you say how extending 14th amendment protections to zygotes does NOT affect fertile women and girls, since there is no way to detect if an egg has been fertilized, this legislation could impose limits on all fertile women’s everyday lives, as I said in my previous post.

    Are you against chemical birth control, since some believe it interferes with implantation and the ‘natural order of things’ potentially leading to the death of a zygote? If you are against it, do you know that uncontracepted reproduction in America alone sheds more “preborns” (as defined by the new legislation) than all the abortion worldwide? If you are not against it, would you support placing all fertile women and girls on it, to lessen the effects of natural expulsion of fertilized ova, regardless of the side effects or the female’s wishes or whether she actually is sexually active? Because if you truly valued zygotes, you would do all you could to stop them dying. Do you propose mandatory questioning and testing of women and girls to find out if they are sexually-active, and testing them every month?

    You do not answer why you think a zygote is worthy of protections no born female person who is post-menarche would actually have under this proposal. You do not say what you would do with people seeking IVF treatment, and the wanton destruction of embryos, sorry, people that the treatment inevitably causes. You do not answer why you think women should have to carry each and every fertilized whatsit to term, even against their will. If that fertilized whatsit does not come to term, for whatever reason, you don’t say what you would do with the woman who ejected that life. You do not say what you would do with those subsequent unwanted children, feed them into an already creaking adoption system? Force them to endure lives in which they are resented because their parents didn’t want them? What about HIV positive women? Should they be forcibly sterilized lest they condemn “preborns” with the disease? What about rape victims? Would you see them re-traumatized by giving them further exams (assuming such a thing were to be developed) to check for rape-zygotes then deny them autonomy further by preventing them from making their own choice about whether to bring a potential child to term, on their own terms, or to abort. Would you apply this to women who had consensual sex, regardless of their personal situation?

    What about poverty? Could you honestly say it’s good for people who can’t afford children to have child after child because they couldn’t get the birth control care they needed? Could you say it’s every rich persons obligation to provide for lots of children, regardless of their desires? Do you honestly think a z/e/f is somehow “innocent” and deserving of birth no matter what? How can you extrapolate that into caring about babies, when in a few years time those female babies will fall under the same dehumanizing laws their mothers were under. Are females just inherently impure after menarche and deserve to be treated in such a manner?


    As ahunt rightfully says; “There is simply no way to extend the 14th amendment protections to a zygote without simultaneously stripping women of childbearing age of the same protections.”

    What this boils down to is whether society considers women smart enough to make their own reproductive choices, including when and how often they want to bring children into the world. If it does, then we do not need this patronising legislation that treats women like idiots. Which is why it’s important that women can make their own choices and aren’t forced to live by someone else deciding what’s right for everyone.

    I have two more questions. Who is more important? The fetus or the mother? If you HONESTLY choose the mother then you should be concerned for her physical and mental health and welfare. She has already had a severe strain on her mental health and now you’re going to prolong this by making her take on an unwanted physical strain as well? Pregnancy is difficult and draining in ideal situations and yet she’s going to be forced into it? The ND legislators (and others) are choosing undeveloped fetuses over living, breathing, real people and that in my mind is all kinds of messed up.

    Now, you probably think I’m being deliberately inflammatory by asking all these questions. I am. At least, I’m trying to get you to think. You state that fertilized are human beings, period, not potential ones, and that they deserve all the rights of a born person. You say that we cannot help the natural expulsion of fertilized ovum, but we can stop the intentional. Really? Do you truly believe that all embryos are people, then, or just the ones you define as people? There is no way to tell the difference between an fertilized egg expelled because of the period, or an egg expelled because of Plan B, or any other factor, therefore it would be ridiculous to hold all women and girls in perpetual suspicion lest they “abort” a freaking blastocyst. I do not see the pro-lifers getting up in arms about natural abortion, pointing once again to the fact that they couldn’t care less about zygotes and more about what people do with their genitals.

    You claim that embryologists state that an embryo is a person, though interestingly enough you do not include cites for this. I know why, because upon finding some I read that this is merely a biological classification and has no ethical import. You are using it as a ladder to get to ‘embryos are human beings, all human beings have equal moral status; therefore embryos have full moral status’ but it is perfectly possible to accept that embryos are human beings without according them full moral status http://www.amirrorclear.net/academic/papers/scourge.pdf. You have deliberately misconstrued it, to where it becomes a lie.

    If anyone’s being dishonest, it’s you, because you are seeing the world in black and white, and life in absolutes. You are arguing from an entirely abstract premise which does not take into consideration the vagaries of real life. With that simple absence of logic, it becomes quite clear that this law does not attempt to care about anything, unless that thing is control and power.

  • invalid-0

    I criticized an anonymous person’s irrationality, and that makes me a misogynist? Are you saying that because of her irrationality I should have assumed it was a woman? And you call me a misogynist? Or are you saying that because I disagree with you that I’m a misogynist? If so, that’s a pretty convenient definition. Most women I know are quite capable of rational exchange, but if that’s what you think, then, whatever.

    And if offering and expecting rational arguments is failure on this thread, then I suppose your implication is correct: I could not have “failed any harder”.

    ahunt: I’ll assume that you’re asking your question in good faith. These “Accidents” are, it appears in your example, non-intentional, so as long as reasonable precautions are made (which mothers tend to do) then in both situations it would be hard to argue that either mother was morally culpable. Point being, neither mother intended the death of their child. It is probably wise to consider whether it’s a good idea to be training horses while in an advanced stage of pregnancy – but one should have that conversation with her doctor.

    And to whomever is offering fantasies of removing “uterus’s” and “switching organs with men”, your problems aren’t going to be worked out on a blog exchange. Hatred is a terrible poison and I pray you are able to find someone to talk to about this stuff.

  • colleen

    "If an innocent person is intentionally shot, we consider this a crime
    and search for and prosecute the one who did it. If a boulder comes
    loose on its own and falls on someone, we don’t look for the culprit
    and don’t prosecute anyone. We know (or should know) innately the
    difference between intentionality and non-intentionality."

    I believe we all understand the notion of intentionality, oh pendantic one.

    So, in your mind, does the ‘personhood’ of a fertilized ova necessitate the criminalization of the most effective forms of contraception? Because you appear to be arguing that, at best it’s irresponsible and, at worst,  it’s a form of murder to intentionally act in a manner which prevents the implantation of a fertilized ova. 

  • invalid-0

    To think I was being serious HA HA HA HA. Your not as smart as you think you are. LOL LOL falling on the floor.

    You see what you are saying is as silly as what I answered. The joke is on you.

  • invalid-0

    “Non-intentional” doesn’t fly, SCP. People are prosecuted all the time for unintentional consequences of their actions. No one “intends for a child to die strapped into the backseat of the SUV in 90 degree temperature…for example.

  • invalid-0

    Snerk Colleen…do I really have to be the first to bring up the abortifacient properties of breastfeeding?

  • http://thoughtsfromruralwisconsin.blogspot.com/ invalid-0

    I am as liberal and pro-choice as they come. I have never even heard of Pete Singer before. THe man is pretty out there and nothing he says, thinks or does would reflect on the progressive mainstream. So take your lame Appeal to Authority and go home. If you don’t know what an Appeal to Authority is google logical fallacies.

    “Singer also (with most scientists) doesn’t pretend that a fetus, blastocyst, or whatever is any different biologically except in stage of development from a three year old child.”

    Oh please. You have no evidence for this. You are building a straw man here. Again, logical fallacies. I would love to see a list of embryologists and “scientists” that feel that a blastocyst should have all the rights of “personhood”

    Has anyone in your family had a miscarriage? Sounds like possible negligent homicide according to your ideas. When are you going to have fertility checks on every sexually active woman in your family and require them to be sequestered at home so that they do commit manslaughter,

  • http://thoughtsfromruralwisconsin.blogspot.com/ invalid-0

    And I am not afraid to use my complete real name unlike you. So quit giving people a hard time for posting anonymous.

  • paul-bradford

    SCP,

     

    I commend your desire to extend the blessings of dignity to the very young (by ‘very young’ I mean people who are still in the ‘zygote’ or ‘blastocyst’ phase of human development, that phase in each of our lives when our great challenge is to implant). I do, however, want to caution you against making declarations about morality or insinuations of criminality. This is no way to get justice for the unborn! As long as we look at these individuals, and the challenges they face, through to lens of the penal code we are going to get nowhere. It would be much better to frame our concerns about the very young in terms of ‘health’ and ‘threats to safety’.

     

    Colleen is poised to absolutely crush you in an argument. She’s posed a tempting question to you: “Are certain forms of contraception ‘murderous’ or ‘irresponsible’?” I suggest that you do not leap at the bait. Do you think you’re improving the lot of the unborn by personalizing the challenges they face to their well-being? Things are hard enough, risky enough, during the first few days of life. Those of us who have successfully advanced past the implantation phase would to well to contemplate how lucky we are. Better to do that than to point fingers at mothers you judge to be insufficiently caring about the difficulties of their children.

     

    Are such mothers criminals? Do you realize how stupid and mean Pro-Lifers appear to be when their knee-jerk responses lead them to answer ‘yes’? Instead of condemning people, we ought to be working to expand the circle of concern to include folks at various stages of development. We also ought to be pushing against the notion that the more accomplished someone is the more worthy s/he is of our respect. You’re never going to increase respect for the young by pointing fingers at their mothers.

     

    I wish I had sufficient powers of persuasion to get the regulars on this ‘site to actually identify with the trials and tribulations of people who haven’t yet implanted. I’m sure you do as well. People in the first few days of their lives have always had to face numerous threats to their survival. Our job ought to be to try and improve their chances. I don’t think it makes any sense to try and counter these threats by ‘searching for’ and ‘prosecuting’ people who haven’t yet decided to include the very young among the people they care about.

     

    Let’s try to get more people to care about more people – not worry more that they are going to be sent to prison.

     

    colleen,

     

    I’m glad I caught up with you. I thought of you yesterday when I read this, and again today when I read this. Do you agree with me that Fisichella is just now getting around to saying the things that I suggested he ought to have started saying at the beginning? 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    Paul, we’ve not yet engaged in discussion here on RC, and I hope you do not take this as confrontational…

    I wish I had sufficient powers of persuasion to get the regulars on this ‘site to actually identify with the trials and tribulations of people who haven’t yet implanted.

    This is satire…right? You are not serious…correct?

  • invalid-0

    I thought (hoped?) that the people who have not yet implanted was satire

    I’m saving that particular phrase for a later date- to show to (actually existing breathing) people to illustrate the insanity of these arguments. Thank you, Paul, that is absolutely priceless.

    Now that I think of it- how do we designate actually existing, breathing, carbon emitting people- as opposed to unborn, pre-born, not yet implanted people.Perhaps we need some code words?

    BPs (breathing people) versus NYIs-”not yet implanted” people?

    Could we all agree with that?

  • colleen

    "This is satire…right? You are not serious…correct?"

    Sadly no, it isn’t satire. For these folks unimplanted ova are ‘persons’ and you and I have been ‘mothers’ many more times than we thought. Stupid, negligent us. Sadly, Paul also seems to believe that when I (who probably need an exorcism)  ask a straightforward question i am trying to lure his ideological companion into a trap and force him to speak the truth.Paul also seems to believe that only a full throated alarm  complete with exclamation points will silence my insidious ploy.

  • invalid-0

    Jeez, I just had a mental image of someone trying to deliver ballot papers and tax forms to an embryo.

  • invalid-0

    I wish I had sufficient powers of persuasion to get the regulars on this ‘site to actually identify with the trials and tribulations of people who haven’t yet implanted.

    I love this (in a WTF? way). I’m taking it too, if only because it’s direct proof of how crazy pro-lifers are.

  • invalid-0

    ahunt: “Non-intentional” doesn’t fly, SCP. People are prosecuted all the time for unintentional consequences of their actions. No one “intends for a child to die strapped into the backseat of the SUV in 90 degree temperature…for example.

    Me: If you read my post, you may have noticed an important qualifier (which is what rational people do when making a point): “These “Accidents” are, it appears in your example, non-intentional, so as long as reasonable precautions are made (which mothers tend to do)”.

    So, ahunt, did you actually read my post or did you just scan for the answer you were looking for and ignore all context? Or, worse, do you think that a woman who locks her child in a vehicle when it is very hot outside has taken “reasonable precautions”, so your point is valid? If the latter, I hope you never have children. Locking one’s child in a car on a hot day is prosecutable because of extreme negligence, hence the parent is culpable.

    I wish you all the best, and encourage you to open your minds just a bit and try in the future to encounter those with whom you disagree without demonizing them. This is what fools and cowards do. I’m sure you’re all better than that deep down.

  • invalid-0

    Killing someone without intent is involuntary homicide.

  • invalid-0

    add exercise and caffeine as having abortifacient properties too.

  • invalid-0

    Just a reminder, from Linda Hirschman, posted at Slate:

    “In the absence of a robust description of the value of women’s lives…the smallest moral claim of the potential human life looms large.”

    The article mentions that one consequence of these zygotes-as-person suppositions is that women wouldn’t legally be able to ride a bike. I wonder, too, if they’d be able to ride in a car, seeming how it’s pretty much illegal everywhere to have two people in the same automobile seat. Well… at least they can ride in planes, where children in arms (or uterus) ride free.

    Seriously, though, there are a couple of real-life consequences that I can see stemming from zygotes-as-people supposition:

    1- Women won’t be able to afford any type of insurance because premiums on anything from auto to health to disability will sky rocket. Therefore, they will be unable to travel for work or subject themselves to any sort of risk to health or injury, which would mean they’d either be house-bound or have to be institutionalized for their own safety (uh… I mean safety of the zygote).

    2- No employer will take the risk of hiring a female due to expense of insuring the female worker. I have a scientific background and have worked in biotech and medical fields where *every single facility* where I’ve worked had signs up that said “Facility has on its premises chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer” etc., etc., etc. Even with OSHA precautions taken, the risk to insuring a female (which now is technically two people with equal rights at any time) will be cost prohibitive for virtually all employers.

    I really have to wonder if the root of these zygotes-as-people suppositions isn’t really a matter of Race and possibly of Religion. Women can’t really win for losing, you see. If they don’t protect against pregnancy, then they’re called habitual Welfare abusers, Octo-moms, or even environmental terroists. If they do protect against pregnancy, they’re called selfish, short-sided, and feminist, and even anti-woman. So if minority women who are usually the ones to be blamed for welfare abuse (and lets throw Atheist women in as well to illustrate the point), I guess it’s ok to prevent *them* from getting pregnant, but white Christian women must be protected from any desire whatsoever to either control their genetic information or to do something else with their lives than render themselves live-supporting objects to potential offspring.

  • http://www.fusite.com invalid-0

    Jeez, I just had a mental image of someone trying to deliver ballot papers and tax forms to an embryo.

  • invalid-0

    to worry about. The time, energy and MONEY wasted on the pro-life/pro-choice argument is hard to justify since abortion has been legal for 30+ years and even with an evangelical president for 8 years the law was never repealed. There are more issues that decimate living breathing Americans everyday. I feel sorry for the women who feel they need to have an abortion. It can’t possibly be an easy decision. I would rather someone abort an implanted person than give birth and beat the child to death a few years later. I would rather have an aborted zygote than years later deal with the psychological ramifications of an unwanted child. The pro-life movement is made up of people who love humanity so much that the thought of losing just one unborn child by choice is painful. I suggest this; please offer your homes, hearts and money to the unborn so that when they are birthed they have a welcomed home, love and financial security that they may lack with the mother who did not want or could not care for them. Be willing to offer health care to the fetuses that are born rather than aborted – no matter what. Build and staff hospitals that offer free health care to the women who would bring a fetus to birth instead of destroying a zygote. I do find abortion sad. However, since it’s not my body and not my zygote, I don’t think I have a right to tell someone else what to do since it’s not illegal.

  • therealistmom

    … for the Team Zygote designation, it’s just so perfect. But yeah, this comment would make me laugh if it wasn’t so close to making me cry. So a  single cell created by the joining of two gametes, a human cell with the regular compliment of 46 chromosomes, now has "trials and tribulations"? I weep for the mass genocide I committed this morning shaving my legs with all those blood cells that gave their lives when I nicked myself…

  • paul-bradford

    … when I wrote about getting folks on this ‘site to ‘identify’ with very young people.

     

    Please carry your own convictions through to their logical conclusions.Submitted by ahunt on March 16, 2009 – 2:24pm.

     

    I intend to hold myself accountable for doing just that!By the way, I’m glad to engage with you. I like talking about these issues, that’s why I hang out here. I didn’t take what you said as ‘confrontational’, I took it as an invitation to talk.

     

    What I wrote was not satire and I was being serious. Thank you for giving me a chance to clear up that confusion. This is what I believe about "people who haven’t yet implanted" — I believe that they are what I once was and that the two things that distinguish me from them are 1)accomplishment and 2)human investment.

     

    Should I illustrate that point? Human life is a series of challenges and opportunites for accomplishment. In order to advance from zygote to neonate we have to achieve a staggering number of accomplishments. I’ve just been learning about what we all have to do in order to get our eyes to give us sight. After all, we’re in the dark the entire time that we’re constructing our neurological apparatus, and our ‘specs’ call for us to see as soon as we’re born. How do we manage to do this?

     

    It turns out that we get the neurons in our brain to form ‘test patterns’ so that we can develop rods and cones under conditions that mirror the conditions we have when we’re in the light. That’s some accomplishment! It’s an enormous one, and the fetus who’s capable of sight is far more accomplished than the fetus who hasn’t started working on that challenge. (Of course, when we’re that young we’re working on hundreds of different challenges simultaneously.)

     

    At the same time that we’re surmounting challenges and mastering accomplishments our mothers are making an enormous physical investment in our well being. We’re doing a great deal, but we can only succeed if we get a great deal of support. (Frankly, I think that’s the situation people are in for the entirety of their lives. Each of us is a product both of what we do and what is done for us.)

     

    So, the further along we go along the path from zygote to neonate the more accomplishments we rack up and the more our mothers invest in us (other people are investing in us as well but we don’t realize the fruits of these investments until after we’re born.)

     

    Every day for about 270 days an unborn child becomes more accomplished and his/her mother becomes more invested in him/her.My contention is that you, as well as other people on the board, operate under the conviction that the older an unborn child becomes the more valuable s/he becomes. You assume that we require accomplishment and investment in order to merit respect. This notion is as old as humanity itself, and it is slowly being renounced.

     

    There was a time when a child’s life was considered less valuable than an adult’s. This conviction led to the conclusion that children could be treated as property by their parents, even killed by their parents (read about Abraham and Isaac) and there was no legal protection for the child. Why? Because it was obvious to everyone that children hadn’t done as much as adults and that the family/tribe/society was not as invested in a child as they were in an adult. Accomplishment and investment is what divides children from adults. Once upon a time, we believed that a child’s life was less valuable than a adult’s. Now we consider that attitude to be unenlightened.

     

    You brought up the issue of ‘logical conclusions’. I suggest that the notion that accomplishment and investment are needed to merit respect not only means that older people are more valuable than younger people but it means that two people of the same age can vary widely in respect-worthiness. Not everyone is as accomplished as everyone else and society doesn’t make an equal investment in everyone. The logical conclusion is that one person’s life might very well be more valuable than another person’s life.

     

    Please think about what I’ve written and tell me if you’ve reached the conclusions you’ve reached about the relative value of blastocysts, embryos, non-viable fetuses, viable fetuses and neonates without relying on the assumption that accomplishment and investment are required to merit respect. I’m sure you don’t draw the same distinctions between neonates, infants, toddlers, prepubescents, adolescents and adults. The same issues of accomplishment and investment separate those people from each other and yet, I suspect, that you accept the notion that all of them have an equally valuable life.

     

    I hope we will continue to engage without either of us being confrontational.

     

    Paul Bradford Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    “Hurling insults instead of facts doesn’t betray confidence in one’s position ”

    you just proved his point.

    • http://www.natural-elements-online.com invalid-0

      That is exactly what I was thinking. :P

  • invalid-0

    I think I see where the disconnect lies…
    When we think of “accomplishment,” we generally think in terms of intellectual/artistic/social/political/athletic achievements…

    Now I suppose you could expand the understanding to include successfully negotiating normal biological development in the uterus…but lets not kid ourselves into thinking that such expansion is anything more than the triumph of normal biological development…and it is not particularly remarkable. Happens all the time, all over the world. To claim the b/e/f is “mastering” biology implies that the b/e/f has some choice in the matter. Such is not the case.

    So much for “accomplishment.”

    Now I will certainly acknowledge the enormous physical and emotional investment women make when pregnant, but I’m not making the leap as to why this reality renders any living, breathing person any more or less worthy of “respect.”
    Explain it to me.

  • invalid-0

    so as long as reasonable precautions are made

    And what you are missing, Paul…is that “taking reasonable precautions” is the door that opens into stripping women of equal protection under the law. Normal, entirely legal activities, hobbies and employment can and will become criminalized if the 14th amendment is extended to zygotes.

  • invalid-0

    Yah RM…I’m thinking that Reality Check just ought to make an easily accessible archive of Mellenkelly/Realist Mom posts…and you two simply give us permission to cut and paste at need.

    Team Zygote says it all.

    • mellankelly1

      Permission granted!  And thanks for the props!

    • therealistmom

      … but nobody wants to hear from a high-school educated stay-at-home mother looking for entry level work. We all just don’t know what is good for ourselves y’know. [/silliness]

       On a more serious note I’m flattered that anyone is actually reading what I have to say, never mind thinking it might worthwhile. :)

  • invalid-0

    Yes, SCP, you should try just a bit to open your mind and try in the future to encounter those with whom you disagree without insulting and patronizing them- because this is what fools and cowards do.
    And you of all people should know that, surely you are better than the smug, patronizing,sanctimonious, supercilious person you appear to be here.

  • paul-bradford

    Paul also seems to believe that only a full throated alarm complete with exclamation points will silence my insidious ploy.

     

    I’m sorry you mistook me. The exclamation points were for fun, and I wasn’t trying to ‘silence your insidious ploy’ I was trying to point out that you were using (quite effectively) the rhetorical strategy of reducto ad absurdum. It was obvious to me that if you can get a Pro-Lifer to endorse criminal penalties for women who use an abortifacient you can demonstrate that the logical conclusion to his belief is that women should be punished for any behavior that could end the life of a fertilized egg. Every time you do that, you ‘crush’ an opponent and the opportunity for discussion is ended.

     

    You won’t, however, get me to make that mistake. I don’t believe women should be legally punished for using ‘Plan B’ any more than I believe that women should be punished for smoking or drinking while they’re pregnant. At the same time, though, I think that smoking and drinking while pregnant are legitimate public health issues and I support efforts by the government to reduce that sort of behavior.

     

    My point, and it’s a far different point than SCP was attempting to make, is that zygotes and blastocysts would be better served by a policy that makes their protection a matter of health policy rather than criminal policy. This opinion of mine is similar to my opinion about the ‘War on Drugs’ which is that drug addiction would be better dealt with as a health concern than a criminal one.

     

    You could not be debating someone who is less likely to demonize you than I am. You might find someone who thinks you need an exorcism, but that someone isn’t me.

     

    The fact that I pointed out that your question wasn’t ‘straightforward’ wasn’t a comment on your duplicity, it was a comment on your intelligence. Intelligent people not only respond to what people say in a discussion, they anticipate what people are going to say in response to their comments.  You were several jumps ahead of SCP, and I was afraid that your conversation was destined to follow a dreary and predictable path.  That’s why I chose to jump in (that, and the fact that I wanted you to click on the links to those Brazilian abortion stories.)  

     

    You seem to think that everyone who is ‘Pro-Life’ is my ‘ideological companion’. You couldn’t be further from the truth! I urge you to view the Pro-Life response to my comments on this thread.

     

    I don’t know if you’ve been a mother more times than you think, I do know that it’s a possibility. I’ve heard people report that 30% of fertilized eggs don’t implant, I’ve also heard people report that 80% of fertilized eggs don’t implant. The fact that we don’t really know shows me that we’ve still got a long way to go in understanding the matter. I’m convinced that, if we had the political will, we would be able develop a procedure to detect a fertilized egg before it implants. I’m also convinced that we are capable of bringing the ‘blastocyst mortality rate’ way down, just as we were able to bring the infant mortality rate down.

     

    I think it’s neither ‘stupid’ nor ‘negligent’ of women to be unaware of the children in their fallopian tubes. We haven’t yet arrived at a point where we are medically or technologically capable of identifying those people. I do, however, object to the notion that those of us who want to value the lives of zygotes are as crazy as someone who equates shaving one’s legs with genocide. We humans are as capable of distinguishing a developing blastocyst from a hair follicle as we are of distinguishing a sixth grader from an eighty pound bag of potatoes. We simply have to develop our capabilities — and we will develop those capabilities because we’re slowly coming around to the realization that we need to get good at making those distinctions.

     

    colleen, I’m sorry that I always seem to get on your bad side. I remember it was that way back in October. For some reason, all you see in me is an arrogant, self-satisfied SOB. I wish you would give me a chance. There’s a lot more to me than that.

     

    Paul Bradford Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    Let’s unpack this:

    I’m saying that an implanted embryo isn’t any more (or less) worthy of human dignity than a developing blastocyst.  You’re eager to point out that all the embryo has done that the blastocyst hasn’t is to negotiate normal biological development and that that’s not particularly remarkable.  From where I stand, we’re in agreement.

     

    Women make an investment in their unborn children.  A lot of people, you included perhaps, feel that if a woman makes an investment for three months she is justified in ‘cutting her losses’ and ending her investment.  On the other hand, if she makes an investment for six months her child is so valuable that the investment shouldn’t be lost.  The Supreme Court’s definition of viability isn’t the only possibility for distinguishing ‘valuable enough’ from ‘not valuable enough’ — you can draw the lines at different points, you can even draw the lines at points that are later than birth.

     

    If you aren’t willing to confer the dignity of human personhood on a zygote then you have to choose some line at which point that dignity is conferred.  Even if you say, "it’s a fuzzy line, it’s a gradual thing" you’re still saying that the developing <whatever> is moving closer to respect-worthiness as s/he becomes more accomplished, and as his/her mother invests more into him/her.

     

    I say that if we can see ourselves clear to respect the lives of people at some stage of development we can see ourselves clear to respect that life at a point of development where there is less accomplishment and less investment.  We shouldn’t be snobs about accomplishment and we shouldn’t be utilitarian about investment.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • mellankelly1

    I’m convinced that, if we had the political will, we would be able develop a procedure to detect a fertilized egg before it implants

    Why?  That wouldn’t change whether or not a fertilized egg implants.  There have been studies done which reflect that fertilized eggs that implant later in woman’s cycle will perish.  Knowing that these embryos exist will not alter whether or not they survive.  Why should women be expected to control whether or not a fertilized egg implants?  Why should women be expected to want every fertilized egg to implant? 

    We humans are as capable of distinguishing a developing blastocyst from a hair follicle as we are of distinguishing a sixth grader from an eighty pound bag of potatoes

    I believe that people are capable of distinguishing a blastocyst from a sixth grader (or an other person… including a pregnant woman) and we are also capable of recognizing that pregnant women are the most qualified people to be making decisions regarding their pregnancies.

  • mellankelly1

     I believe that they are what I once was

    And I, for one, believe that it is fabulous that you have a personal belief system which allows you to believe that you were (at conception) the person that you are now.  I, however, do not share your personal belief system.  I’d like for you to explain to me how, if I wasn’t born to John and Mary Smith, I wouldn’t have been born to John and Mary Jones.  Could you link me to any source that would explain that if Mary Smith’s fertilized egg had been lost, that I wouldn’t have existed as "Kelly Jones."  Also, why would Mary Smith have lost her full citizenship rights upon becoming pregnant?  Why would Mary Smiths personal beliefs regarding life and personhood have been insignificant within the realm of her own life?  Why would some third party (without a stake in the outcome) be able to determine the course of Mary Smiths pregnancy? 

    In order to advance from zygote to neonate we have to achieve a staggering number of accomplishments.  

    In order for a pregnancy to come to term, it requires a pregnant woman willing to risk her life, health and well-being.  If this woman determines that gestating her pregnancy is the best course of action for herself and her family, then she should be able to do so… if this woman determines that terminating her pregnancy is the best course of action for herself and her family, then she should be able to do so.

    My contention is that you, as well as other people on the board, operate under the conviction that the older an unborn child becomes the more valuable s/he becomes

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but in my opinion the value of a pregnancy is whatever the pregnant woman determines.  If you’re referring to viability, it varies greatly between each pregnancy and is a moot point when it comes to terminating a pregnancy. 

    The logical conclusion is that one person’s life might very well be more valuable than another person’s life.

    Right… and the opinions of one person should not be more valuable than the opinions of another person.  And certainly a persons opinion about another woman’s pregnancy shouldn’t be more valuable than the pregnant woman’s opinion.

    • paul-bradford

      I, however, do not share your personal belief system.

       

       

       

      This is a comment worth remarking on.

       

       

      A society can function perfectly well without everyone having to believe all the same things. You and I, for example, may disagree about whether or not Jesus healed ten lepers. We might even agree about it but disagree on the question of what that event actually ‘means’. We agree to disagree and then we both drop the issue. No problem. The fact that we tolerate religious freedom and yet are able to gel as a unified nation is proof enough of the fact not everything has to harmonize.

       

       

      Just because I think that we don’t have to agree on everything doesn’t mean I think don’t think we have to agree on some things. Am I the same person as the fresh faced little squirt who started Kindergarten at the Brookview School fifty years ago? Could the populace disagree about that question and still be able to function? Was the little squirt the same person as the newborn in his mother’s arms five years earlier? You can obviously see where I’m headed.

       

       

      Maybe we can disagree about it, but do we ever reach a point where we have to find some common ground about what it means to be alive and what it means to be a person? Can the disagreements ever become so severe that it stops being possible for people to relate to each other? When we reach that crisis point would it be better to endure the disconnect or attempt to iron out the philosophical differences?

       

       

      The fact that RHReality Check has a public forum like this that encourages discussion gives me the idea that a lot of people see the advantages in trying to iron out the differences. I certainly do.

       

       

      I’d like for you to explain to me how, if I wasn’t born to John and Mary Smith, I wouldn’t have been born to John and Mary Jones.

       

       

      This may be just my ‘personal belief system’ but it seems to me that the word "I" can’t refer to both the Jones kid and the Smith kid. I mean, is there even any meaning to the sentence "Kelly Smith the math whiz could have been Kelly Jones the violin player"? Hell, I know both kids and they’re definitely not the same person! Could I possibly be that mistaken in my understanding?

       

       

      Also, why would Mary Smith have lost her full citizenship rights upon becoming pregnant? Why would Mary Smiths personal beliefs regarding life and personhood have been insignificant within the realm of her own life? Why would some third party (without a stake in the outcome) be able to determine the course of Mary Smiths pregnancy?

       

       

      You’re going to have to argue with someone else about that, Kelly. As I’ve said numerous times on threads at this ‘site, I don’t see that it could possibly do any good to try and solve Pro-Life issues via the criminal code. I see a strong need for us to come to some sort of meeting of the minds on these issues but as long Mary Smith and all the people she’s close to are convinced that she bears no responsibility for the care of her own unborn child it would be nothing short of insane to deny her her citizenship rights.

       

       

      I predict that we aren’t going to be arguing about this two hundred years from now. We will arrive at a conclusion and we won’t all have differing ‘personal beliefs’ about the matter. Meantime I say "Let’s talk about it". The bridge that will carry us all from disagreement to agreement will be built out of respectful, productive discussions.

       

       

      Paul Bradford

      Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    If you aren’t willing to confer the dignity of human personhood on a zygote then you have to choose some line at which point that dignity is conferred.

    Yes. And the existing viability standard seems eminently sensible to me.

    Even if you say, “it’s a fuzzy line, it’s a gradual thing” you’re still saying that the developing is moving closer to respect-worthiness as s/he becomes more accomplished, and as his/her mother invests more into him/her.

    Uh no…I do not accept the notion of normal biological development as personal accomplishment, and permit me to point out that if the maternal investment is terminated, there is nothing moving closer to “respect-worthiness.” So another interpretation has to be that it is MOM who is establishing respect-worthiness…SOLELY by her investment.

    And BTW Paul…sending Paul into full retreat by essentially demonizing Colleen was pretty chicken$#!+. You’ve cleared the field, and I can only assume you did so for reasons all your own.

    • paul-bradford

      And BTW Paul…sending Paul into full retreat by essentially demonizing Colleen was pretty chicken$#!+. You’ve cleared the field, and I can only assume you did so for reasons all your own.

       

       

      I shall explain, even though I can’t excuse. When I wrote the post with the exclamation points and so forth I thought I was being cute and clever. I also thought that people would realize that I was actually complimenting colleen by predicting that she would be able to mop the floor with SCP. From my perspective he was bound to say something indefensible.

       

       

      I realize too late that I wasn’t being fair to SCP, I wasn’t being fair to colleen and I wasn’t being fair to the rest of the posters including you. I feel chastened, contrite and embarrassed and I’m not going to try a similar stunt anytime soon.

       

       

      permit me to point out that if the maternal investment is terminated, there is nothing moving closer to "respect-worthiness." So another interpretation has to be that it is MOM who is establishing respect-worthiness…SOLELY by her investment.

       

       

      We’re actually saying the same thing — that is that a lot of people (perhaps you included) justify the fact that they think that an embryo is more valuable than a blastocyst, that a fetus is more valuable than an embryo, and that a viable fetus is more valuable than a nonviable fetus on the idea that a person’s worth depends upon his/her mother’s investment. Mothers who have that attitude think of their child as an ‘object’ until some point when they rethink the whole thing and try to start thinking of their child as an agent with value of his/her own.

       

       

      I’ve noticed that people cook up many different kinds of rationales for treating other people as ‘things’ that are valuable only if they’re valuable to some other person who actually ‘counts’. People used to think of slaves that way (and, for most of civilization, men thought of women that way.) People also ‘thingify" other people when they use words like ‘barbarian’ or ‘infidel’.

       

       

      Human beings are especially skilled at dehumanizing other human beings. We humanize ourselves the more we can stop thinking of others as ‘things’ and start thinking of them as ‘persons’

       

       

      At any rate, you and I noticed the same thing — that many people think "that it is MOM who is establishing respect-worthiness…SOLELY by her investment." We just disagree about whether that’s a good way to think.

       

       

      Paul Bradford

      Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    You antichoicers will nEVER win.

  • invalid-0

    Anti-choice, because they are all for war and the death penalty for born humans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=68102728&ref=profile invalid-0

    Life and death at the micorscopic level is not as dramatic or knoticable as everyone is trying to make it. If youve ever studied fertilized eggs and watched them multiply into a multi-celled state. You would know and would see that sometimes, the cellular production stops. It looks the same, and “Acts” the same. But it no longer replcates cells. It is then considered “dead”.

    When scientists and doctors classify something as alive, they are stating that it is intaking and outtaking nutrients aswell as replicating itself(Were talking about division of cells/growing).

    If you understand this, and yet still believe that an embryo is a person. Then you have to realise that by that definition that any human cell outside or inside the human body must also be considered a person. This includes cancer cells, skin cells ect*. All those free floating organs waiting to be transplanted are people. All those bits and pieces of cancer that people are trying to destroy are people. People wanting to go and have a facelift or a tummy tuck would be chopping away at potential people. After all an embryo is a collection of cells, same as the 0nes that would be removed/damaged in ANY surgery.

    Thats what this law is allowing. The open ended, unconstitutional labeling of what is a “person”. If you want to know an honest and most widely accepted definition of a “person”. Then you should look to an aspect of death. When a person is in a horrible accident and are deemed brain dead(meaning no brain activity).They for all extensive purposes are dead, body still “living”. The majority of the population, conservative or not agree that the person in question is dead.

    So now we move back to the subject of an embryo. Does an embryo have brain activity? NO, it doesnt even have a brain, it isnt even a fetus yet. So then that leads to the need for ok so it isnt a person, when will it be a person? What are the standards for it becoming a person? The answer…One a brain, two brain activity. Without either it isnt a person.

    Theirs your non conservative response to this article.

  • invalid-0

    ….You get a few of them on every board. They have no job, they have no life, and no one wants to be around them, so they haunt discussion forums and invent their insane little worlds, populating them with imaginary scientists who agree with their stupidity. Semi-Conscious Person, just go back to listening to your lovers Limp-baugh and Beck-boy and waste all your money on the garbage they advertise, and keep right on voting for the crew that wrecked the country over the past eight years so people can point at you and laugh.

  • First item
  • Dimwit Ruby and his “Personhood bill” have a very peculiar interpretation of the words “legitimate” and “scientific.”

    In the first place, the claim that a fertilized egg is a “person” or a “human” at conception is biologically, scientifically, nonsense. You may as well say that a cancer cell is a person. In biological, scientific terms, a clump of cells is not an independent organism until it is capable of surviving on its own. Until it is viable, it is technically a parasite, completely dependent on a host.

    In the second place, the vast majority of fertilizations are rejected by the host body, and usually the woman doesn’t even know it. First-trimester miscarriages are commonly dismissed as “late” or a “heavy flow.” Second-trimester miscarriages are usually the result of defective development, but can also be brought on by a number of environmental factors. Sometimes the defects — a missing brain, organs developing outside the body — don’t become evident until the third trimester. If the woman’s body keeps struggling to supply the non-viable fetus, it often kills them both.

    So much for the idea that Ruby and his fellow anti-woman freaks ever passed ninth grade.

    As for “legitmate,” that’s just plain insulting. There is no “legitmate” way to deprive a woman of the right to control her own body. A return to the days of back-alley abortions is not just sexual slavery — it’s a death sentence for desperate women.

  • Second item
  • Men who want to stop abortions are welcome to sterilize themselves, refrain from ever having sex, or always wear two condoms. Otherwise, they can just keep their fascist attempts to force women back into second-class citizenship to themselves. In other words, Dan-boy and company, SHUT UP.

    When every woman, and every child ALREADY BORN, has enough food, shelter, and health care so that they don’t have to struggle and worry about living through the next day, when we don’t have children shot in the streets or dying from cancer or beaten to death, or poisoned by the chemicals their parents were exposed to in the fields and on the battlefield, when the poor have the same rights as the well-off, then the anti-freedom hypocrites can get back to me about the “rights” of undifferentiated cells.

    Until then, right-to-a-life-of-suffering ignoramuses, who sneak your own daughters in through the back door of the abortion clinics, SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN.

  • colleen

    "I don’t believe women should be legally punished for using ‘Plan B’ any more than I believe that women should be punished for smoking or drinking while they’re pregnant. At the same time, though, I think that smoking and drinking while pregnant are legitimate public health issues and I support efforts by the government to reduce that sort of behavior."

    So, what would you imagine government should do to reduce behavior such as women using the most effective forms of contraception or ‘Plan B’?  Be specific.

    "You were several jumps ahead of SCP, and I was afraid that your conversation was destined to follow a dreary and predictable path.  That’s why I chose to jump in (that, and the fact that I wanted you to click on the links to those Brazilian abortion stories.)"

    First, being several steps ahead of SCP is no indication of intelligence. Second, you chose to (obnoxiously) derail my conversation with someone else because you didn’t like the path you imagined our conversation might take and because you wanted my attention? This seems reasonable to you? It does not to me. Can I look foward to continued attempts by you to control my conversations with others?

    "For some reason, all you see in me is an arrogant, self-satisfied SOB."

    I don’t see you as particularly arrogant and I don’t see you as self satisfied at all. The truth is I see you as emotionally needy, demanding and, when you start going on about the children in our fallopian tubes and reduction of the ‘blastocyst mortality rate’,   deeply creepy and dangerously misguided.

  • paul-bradford

    First of all, I didn’t mean to suggest that the solution to the problem of blastocyst mortality was to figure out a way to get them to implant later in a woman’s cycle. I have no idea what could be done to improve their survival rate but I think the medical geniuses around the world would come up with something if they applied themselves to the task. I’m not going to suggest any particular strategy, I’m just going to add my one opinion to whatever political will is required to come up with sufficient resources to solve the scientific problem. I do, however, think I’m pretty safe in asserting that we’ve got to solve the problem of locating them before we solve the problem of helping more of them survive.

      

     

    Why should women be expected to want every fertilized egg to implant?

      

     

    That’s an excellent question. Here’s another: "Why should women be expected to want every infant to reach full toddlerhood?" I’m not trying to be a smart-ass by posing the question. Steven Pinker took the question quite seriously when he wrote Why They Kill Their Newborns for the New York Times in 1997. I hope you will take the time to read the article.

     

     

      

     

    After reading the article I hope that you will better understand how I’ve reached the conclusion that our ‘gut level feelings’ about who should, and who shouldn’t be considered a ‘person’ are more a matter of societal fashion than they are any absolute reality. People on this thread have argued that conferring the dignity and respect of personhood upon a conceptus is ‘weird’ or ‘creepy’ or ‘crazy’ but that sort of argument is simply an appeal to feelings, and our feelings on this matter are nothing more a product of the norms we grew up with.

     

     

    Rather than argue that we should consider zygotes and blastocysts ‘persons’ allow me to take on a less ambitious task. Let me argue that we can consider them persons without losing our capacity to function normally.

     

     

    One of the ways that Pro-Lifers are ridiculed is to assert that if we followed their logic we would have to fret over every squirming sperm cell in the country. It would certainly be impossible for us to maintain any semblance of sanity while we agonize over the approximately 500,000,000,000,000 (five hundred trillion) living sperm cells that populate the United States ergo the Pro-Life stance has to be wrong and the people who’ve adopted it are simply unable or unwilling to follow it to its logical conclusion.

     

     

    But Pro-Lifers don’t argue that sperm are persons, we argue that conceptuses are persons. Can we provide care for all the conceptuses that live in the county? I did some arithmetic and I’ve concluded that, at any given time there are between 250,000 and 750,000 developing zygotes and blastocysts living in the fifty states. (The numbers differ depending upon whether you buy the argument that 30% of blastocysts fail to implant or that 80% of blastocysts fail to implant.) That’s the population of a mid-sized city which is a number we can easily get our heads around — particularly since every one of those zygotes and blastocysts have both a mother and a father who could, if norms dictated that they should, invest time and effort into their care.

     

     

    Pinker, whose mind I admire greatly but who I feel free to disagree with from time to time wrote Anti-abortionists draw the line at conception, but that implies we should shed tears every time an invisible conceptus fails to implant in the uterus — and, to carry the argument to its logical conclusion, that we should prosecute for murder anyone who uses an IUD. I’ve never seen anyone on this board put the argument any better than Pinker did so I’ll address his objections:

     

     

    I’m not so sure that tears are required but we might appropriately acknowledge some feeling of loss or failure that a child we championed for a week or two was unable to survive. As to the fact that conceptuses are ‘invisible’ — invisible doesn’t mean undetectable, and even though they have been undetectable in the past that doesn’t mean that they will be undetectable in the technologically advanced world that we are about to enter. I expect that in the very near future we will be able to follow the development of our unborn children much more closely than we can now. As for murder prosecutions, I continue to be of the opinion that we can better protect the unborn by looking to persuade women rather than to coerce them to be responsible and caring mothers. I consider the task of the Pro-Life advocate more to be a health issue than a criminal one and that opinion gets me into hot water all the time with other Pro-Lifers.

     

     

    Women certainly will be the ones making decisions about their children, but their decisions will be greatly influenced by societal expectations. I agree with Pinker when he asserts that for 99% of our human past neonaticide was both common and acceptable. Today neonaticide is considered abominable and even though most prosecutors don’t end up taking many neonaticidal cases to trial, societal norms are sufficiently strong to make the crime very uncommon. I urge people to imagine a future where Plan B is not used simply because it’s unthinkable.

     

     

    Mellenkelly, I hope we can continue to have a respectful and fruitful discussion with each other.

     

     

    Paul Bradford Pro-Life Catholics for Choice and a proud member of TEAM ZYGOTE

     

    • mellankelly1

      I do, however, think I’m pretty safe in asserting that we’ve got to solve the problem of locating them before we solve the problem of helping more of them survive.

      I, however, believe that feeling a need to locate all fertilized eggs is just as absurd as feeling the need for any or all of them to survive.  I don’t believe that it should matter to anyone other than myself, my family and/or my doctor whether or not my ova has been fertilized and to be honest, I do not feel the need to wonder whether my neighbor, my banker or my plumber are walking around with fertilized eggs in their fallopian tubes.  I figure that these women are all perfectly capable of expressing exactly the right amount of concern for their own reproduction… call me crazy.

      "Why should women be expected to want every infant to reach full toddlerhood?" I’m not trying to be a smart-ass by posing the question

      I wouldn’t exactly label what you’ve done as "smart-assy" but I will call you on the logical fallacy… abortion has absolutely nothing at all to do with infants or toddlers.  Simply because you believe a fertilized egg is one and the same as an infant or a toddler does not make it so.  Therefor, basing your argument that fertilized eggs should not be killed on the fact that infants and/or toddlers should not be killed is fallacious.

      People on this thread have argued that conferring the dignity and respect of personhood upon a conceptus is ‘weird’ or ‘creepy’ or ‘crazy’ but that sort of argument is simply an appeal to feelings, and our feelings on this matter are nothing more a product of the norms we grew up with.

      Hmmm… reading the comments, I come away with a differing perspective: that denying women their rights immediately upon becoming pregnant would be a direct result of bestowing "personhood" upon fertilized eggs.  This complete and utter disregard for the life and personal beliefs of the pregnant woman certainly could appear weird, creepy and/or crazy, in my opinion.  Obviously, you see things differently.  We’re just going to have to agree to disagree, eh?

      I’m not so sure that tears are required but we might appropriately acknowledge some feeling of loss or failure that a child we championed for a week or two was unable to survive.

      You know, you are perfectly free to mourn the loss of your zygote and/or embryo as you see fit.  No person has suggested otherwise.  You are also perfectly free not to feel any sense of loss or failure that your zygote or embryo failed… you are even free to feel relief (as many women do) and/or to be thankful that you are not pregnant.

      I continue to be of the opinion that we can better protect the unborn by looking to persuade women rather than to coerce them to be responsible and caring mothers.

      And what shall we do with all  of the women who will not be "persuaded" to become mothers?

      I urge people to imagine a future where Plan B is not used simply because it’s unthinkable.

      I shudder to think of my daughters living in such a world… I literally shudder.  I urge you to imagine a future where women are seen as moral agents capable of making the best, most responsible decisions regarding their own reproduction without the "help" of those who believe they know better.

    • invalid-0

      in the New york times and all I can say is that it proves why women have abortions=not the right time. It proves that we women are the best at making our own desicions without people condeming us to hell.
      No offense but this is the weirdest disscusion I have ever read. We are talking about invisible cells and half humans and maybe humans that passed on their own. I am sorry but either this is way over my head or just to unbelievable what lengths people will go to save every human on this planet.
      Maybe there are some of us that do not feel the human race is justified as being “Great”. Me personally, am disgusted with the human race in general. There are so many bad ones, and violent ones that do dispicable acts to others, the planet, and animals. I am embarrased to be a member of the human race most of the time. These are my true honest feelings do not call me a bad person because of what I see, sense, and feel.

    • invalid-0

      I’m not so sure that tears are required but we might appropriately acknowledge some feeling of loss or failure that a child we championed for a week or two was unable to survive.

      Good Lord…you are serious!

      but their decisions will be greatly influenced by societal expectations.

      This is unbelievable…

      Paul…you do realize that you are expecting women to live a life of mourning? That you are expecting women to WANT to be pregnant every time a period is late? That we should be ashamed of our relief when Mother Nature finally does arrive in all her bloody glory?

      What the hell is wrong with you?

    • invalid-0

      “Why should women be expected to want every infant to reach full toddlerhood?”

      Oh I dunno, Paul…maybe it is because it is a rational expectation given the enormous physical and emotional investment women make when they CHOOSE to give birth.

      This goes far beyond insane. Taking your reasoning through to the logical conclusions…you are essentially demanding that women view their lives solely in terms of their fertility and ability to become mothers. Any sense of purpose, any personal desires that fall outside this framework is what…? Selfish? Ungodly? Unnatural? UNTHINKABLE? What?

    • invalid-0

      What does “Pro Life Catholics for Choice” really mean? Sounds to me like the only choice you’re opting in for is “natural” birth control like the rhythm method and abstinence.

      On another note, I think the the term “pro-choice” really needs to be updated. Maybe we should starting using “anti-sacred vessel” and “anti-incubators”.

      Another logical conclusion of these zygotes-as-people suppositions besides near-term consequences I mentioned elsewhere down/upthread is an unsustainable population bubble that will far exceed the current mathematical model of 8-10 billion by 2050. In tandem with that will be a significant drop in quality of life with even millions and likely billions more than today starving, sick, below the poverty line. I really doubt these zygotes-as-people supporters have ever been outside the confines of the US or the Western World.

      The thing that has really led to the West’s lifestyle is the fact that women entered the workforce en mass in the 70s due only to reliable forms of birth control and public vaccination programs. Both made it so real household incomes could increase (two incomes, not just one) thereby increasing standard of living even amongst falling individual income from the previous generation, women and their families could limit and time their number of offspring, and finally make it so one family parent (usually the mother) wasn’t tied to the home caring for children who would’ve otherwise been under mandatory quarantine for outbreaks of disease that we now prevent with vaccines.

      I’m afraid that these zygotes-as-people supporters can’t see the limiting of women’s rights if women at any one time may technically be two people at once with equal rights, but they also can’t see the environmental or real-world cost of their supposition. Honestly, like Bush, like the line of Popes and other religious zealots, these zygotes-as-people zealots should be tried for crimes against humanity.

  • mellankelly1

    Maybe we can disagree about it, but do we ever reach a point where we have to find some common ground about what it means to be alive and what it means to be a person?

    Haven’t we?  There is "common ground"… there is no questioning the personhood of an infant, is there?  We know that pregnant women are people.  To be certain, there are extremists who question the "personhood" of a fertilized egg but on the whole, the "common ground" is that each individual should be free to decide if, when & under what circumstances they wish to be pregnant and/or give birth.  This "eggs as persons" idea did not go over well in Colorado, with the overwhelming majority voting against granting "personhood" to a fertilized egg.  I imagine these attempts to claim that a thousandth of an ounce, second-old fertilized egg is a "person", entitled to rights (which will diminish the rights of the pregnant person in which they reside) will continue to fail.  I believe that the implications (giving government the control over the bodies of pregnant women) are far too grave for most rational people to permit.

    This may be just my ‘personal belief system’ but it seems to me that the word "I" can’t refer to both the Jones kid and the Smith kid

    "I" refers to "me."  Is that better?   

    I see a strong need for us to come to some sort of meeting of the minds on these issues but as long Mary Smith and all the people she’s close to are convinced that she bears no responsibility for the care of her own unborn child it would be nothing short of insane to deny her her citizenship rights

    Good.  Because I also believe that Mary Smith’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs regarding her fertilized eggs are the only ones that matter.  So, although I find it bizarre that you feel the need to "persuade" Ms. Smith to feel a particular way about the "life" and/or "personhood" of her fertilized eggs, I am happy to know that you wouldn’t dare deny her full citizenship rights.

    I predict that we aren’t going to be arguing about this two hundred years from now.  We will arrive at a conclusion and we won’t all have differing ‘personal beliefs’ about the matter

    I believe that 200 years from now, women will be considered moral agents, fully capable of making personal and private decisions regarding when, if and under what circumstances they wish to be pregnant and/or give birth.  I certainly hope (and pray) that women will enjoy all of their rights (including bodily autonomy) and that the "conclusion" we reach is as it is today… that the only personal beliefs that matter are those of the pregnant woman and that she is the most qualified person to be making decisions regarding her pregnancy.

  • invalid-0

    Mothers who have that attitude think of their child as an ‘object’ until some point when they rethink the whole thing and try to start thinking of their child as an agent with value of his/her own.
    The view that a woman is a “mother” upon concepection is wildly debatable outside of the purely biological understanding.
    Another, equally valid interpretation is that WOMEN consider themselves “mothers” when they choose to give birth. Now I imagine we could rewrite your assertion as follows: WOMEN who have this attitude believe the condition of motherhood is one that is freely chosen, and not the default of being born female.

  • invalid-0

    Excellent post! Full of common sense and the blunt honest truth. You took the words right out of my mouth!

  • paul-bradford

    May I request that you remove my post of 3/19/09 @ 9:52am under the title "Mellenkelly"?  It has a link to an unauthorized reprint of Steven Pinker’s 1997 article "Why They Kill Their Newborns".  Prof. Pinker wrote to me and said that he had decided to remove that article ‘from the mainstream’ because he had been receiving ‘threatening letters’ from readers who objected to his viewpoint.  

     

    The New York Times complied with his request and has removed the article from its website and Pinker has removed it from his ‘site as well.  The link I posted is to a ‘site I found through Google and the publisher of that ‘site is neither a fan of Pinker’s nor does she have authorization from him to reprint the article.

     

    I’m sorry for the inconvenience. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • invalid-0

    The only embryologists concerned with this matter are those in South Dakota. They must be scared to death, reconsidering their career choices, looking into options. What if they, while attempting to help a couple have a child, accidentally destroy one of those fertilized eggs? What if they throw some unwanted eggs away? Does South Dakota have the death penalty? What happens to those unwanted eggs? Do they become wards of the state? Does the S.D. Dept. of Child and Family Services have to check on them?

    Does it matter to anyone that in Jesus’ time, and until the mid-1800s, abortion was not illegal? It wasn’t even frowned upon by the church. The reason it became illegal in the 1800s was to prevent FORCED abortion on young, immigrant working women by their employers and husbands. Women have been quietly aborting since the beginning of time through herbal remedies.

    Increase education and birth control availability and options, and you decrease abortions. No problem, except the religious right doesn’t really want women to be able to prevent pregnancy, either.

    If life is so valuable to Team Zygote, why is it that so many of them eat slaughtered animals, and kill rodents and insects simply because they can? Why are they pro-death penalty? Can you really be pro-life and pro-death even for killers? (That’s a tough question for the Christians, I know. The cornerstone of their religion is based on the death penalty.)

    Now that I’ve said that, did you brush and floss your teeth? When are you going to meet a nice girl and settle down?

    Love,
    Your Mama

  • http://www.residential-security-services.com/arkansas-home-security-systems.aspx invalid-0

    This makes no sense. I am outraged that a law like this would even be considered.

    http://www.residential-security-services.com/massachusetts-home-security-systems.aspx

  • http://www.firstbathrooms.co.uk invalid-0

    thanks for info

    very good read

    jen xx

  • http://www.firstbathrooms.co.uk invalid-0

    This is such a serious topic. I believe that at any stage if the egg is killed then this is inhumane and should be treated as murder. How could someone kill a potential life?

    Kirsty x

  • invalid-0

    It is necessary to forget, as a sweet dream. To present, that as if it was not… To depart. Everything, I do not know – to wait and continue to suffer on the foreign love or to erase it from the memory. Cried, groaned, hiccupped… Hopelessness of a situation, irreversibility of events Afflicts. I want, I want, I want! More strongly, than Barbie’s doll in the childhood. Such sentimentality is not peculiar to me, generally, but, looking at the not free girlfriends only about it and I think…