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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

As is pointed out below, consciousness is a tenuous concept at best and is certainly not the best way to determine what is human life and what is not. The purpose of my linking to this article was twofold. First, simply to point it out. Second, to illustrate that as we continue to learn more about that undelivered mass of cells the more we have to redefine our notions of what constitutes human life.

The starting point of this argument must be that, under a given set of conditions, human life either is or it is not and that it has an inherent value. While there can be times when we give lesser value to one life or another, that does not invalidate either’s standing as human life. In cases where we do give it different values, there are standards that must be met to do so. Further, if we choose to take the risk that our action or inaction will result in a loss or devaluation of human life, we hold ourselves to a high standard. Specifically, we adopt a higher standard if our action will harm than if our inaction will.

Enter abortion. This is an event in which the decision is made to take action that will result in the death of something. What that something is, can be debated (and will be momentarily), but the fact remains that there is some sort of cellular functioning that can be considered alive, if not a human. So, even given the most conservative estimate of the value of that undelivered mass of cells, we are actively killing something.

Now, what is that stuff of pregnancy? Is it human life, or not? The answer becomes unambiguous if you consider the following. Human life exists objectively and regardless of our interpretation. So, it simply makes no sense to say that we define human life in such a way that it can (and necessarily will) be redefined as science advances. This would be to admit that our definition is flawed, something that we should not willingly condone. So any definition that we do accept with respect to human life must be immutable. By defining life as the pro-abortion camp would, we must say that viability = life. The problem is that this causes the definition of life to change with every medical advance. Since life exists objectively and independently this is be unacceptable.

So where do we define life as beginning? It was suggested (somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I believe) that every sperm and egg could be said to be alive if we bring the pro-life reasoning to its logical conclusion…not so. Rather, the most reasonable place to define human life as beginning is with fertilization. Any point prior to that event cannot be human life because the genetic complement is not sufficient to support it. Any point thereafter is completely arbitrary and open to redefinition as our understanding of development advances and, therefore, unacceptable. The zygote is the first structure that is human life because it has all the components necessary for development, given that no action is taken to interrupt that process.

The question will always be raised concerning a woman’s right to choose. This right to decide whether or not to have a child is absolutely the right of any person. The issue here is when that right exists. Why is it that supporters of abortion feel that a woman needs to be able to choose at the level of pregnancy? With the exception of rape, a woman always has a right to choose to simply not have sex. As it turns out, that really is the one and only way to definitely avoid pregnancy. Where’s the problem?

As for the argument that a woman must decide if she can care for the child. Balderdash, I say! Currently there are more couples trying to adopt infants than there are infants to adopt. All a pregnant woman who can’t take care of a baby need do is offer the child up for adoption.

Ask yourself one question:

Is 9 months too much time to sacrifice for the most innocent among us?


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