Sunday, April 14, 2013

When does life begin?

I agree with the premise that life begins at conception. There are a number of reasons as to why I agree. Here are some.

1. The patient in question is not the mother of the unborn child, but rather the child him or herself. It is the viability of that life that is being questioned - not at this time the viability of healthy adult women of child-bearing age.

2. It is dangerous to ask a mother about when the child she carries or carried became a human being. She is not qualified to know the answer to that question. What if she decides that her child is not fully human until he or she turns 21 years of age? Can she terminate the life of any child she deems to be sub human or not human yet? A mother's answer may vary from one day to the next, depending on her emotional state if she is the one who is to look at her heart and decide whether or not her child is a viable human being.

3. The only safe definition for the beginning of life is that from the moment of conception, the human zygote is a human being. Why safe? First, it is the only theologically safe definition. if God has anything to say about it - and I believe He does - then we had better be careful not to offend Him. Until and unless He says otherwise, it is best to assume that the moment of conception is the moment when human life begins. All of us who are alive at this time can say that our lives began in our mothers' wombs. When did we begin to be formed if not at the moment of conception?

Second, it is the only safe definition for mothers to go by. What a terrible burden it is on women to be forced by society to decided when their child's life begins. I am sure that I am not the only one who has listened to women tell of the terrible burden of guilt and shame they have borne because someone convinced them that the baby they were carrying was not really human; or  someone coerced them into having an abortion. Post Abortion Stress Syndrome is very real, in spite of what many pro choice women say to the contrary. .

Last, it is the only safe legal definition to go by. Otherwise we end up making purely subjective, unscientific pronouncements about the beginning of life. It is certainly not scientific to say that only a woman can know. It is very bad public policy to leave the decision of life or death in the hands of one person, no matter if that person is the mother of the unborn child. So far we are talking only about unborn.  In the future, the discussion about when life begins may move into post birth territory.  

 We shall see how the murder case in Philadelphia plays out. Will the abortion doctor be acquitted, since there was no intention of letting the babies who survived his botched abortions live in the first place?

What about Sen. Boxer's strange statements about when a baby is to receive full constitutional rights? Here is part of what she said.:

"In the 1999 colloquy, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said: Suppose during this procedure the baby slips entirely from the mother’s birth canal. “You agree, once a child is born, is separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed? Do you agree with that?” Boxer: “I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born … the baby belongs to your family and has all the rights.” Santorum persisted: “Obviously, you don’t mean they have to take the baby out of the hospital for it to be protected by the Constitution. Once the baby is separated from the mother, you would agree—completely separated from the mother—you would agree that the baby is entitled to constitutional protection?” She would not say “yes.” Instead, she said, understandably: “I don’t want to engage in this.”

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