4.26.2012

m312: it doesn't matter when life begins. that's not the issue.


When does life begin?

Perhaps this is a question for philosophers, or theologians. Perhaps it is a question for scientists.

It is not a question for Parliamentarians.

It is not a question for government.

There are many different kinds of life. There are non-human animals. Some of these are eaten as food, others are members of the human family. All are forms of life.

There is plant life all around us. Plants are alive. Most people can kill a plant without giving it a second thought.

A fetus is alive. That's pretty obvious. It's a type of life form. A human fetus has the potential to become a human life, but in its fetal state, is not yet a human life. It is part of the body of its mother.

And because a human fetus is part of the body of its mother, the mother of that fetus can decide what to do with the fetus, just as she decides what to do with the rest of her body.

When a baby is born, it legally becomes a person, and so has certain very limited rights under the law.

This is all pretty simple stuff, and through most of human history has been fairly non-controversial. Historically, most societies have recognized that not all pregnancies become babies. Some are terminated spontaneously - so-called "miscarriage," a 19th century term that people cling to. In many societies, midwives or other specialists knew how to induce abortion when it was necessary.

Now, as first-world women enjoy a degree of control over their sexuality and reproduction that irritates and offends certain other people, comes this non-sequitir, this unanswerable question: "When does life begin?".

We shouldn't get hung up on it. We shouldn't debate it. Indeed, we should refuse to discuss it. It's a distraction. It's a trap.

Canadian women won the right to control their own reproduction. And no government, no matter how many robocalls it makes and how many lies it tells, is going to begin the process of taking that away from us. No way, no how.

Tell Mr. Woodworth [woodworth.s@parl.gc.ca]. Tell your MP. We are never going back.

3 comments:

James Redekop said...

"When does life begin?" is a red herring. Life began about 4.5 billion years ago. Every human can be traced back to that time through a series of living cells; at no point in that chain was there a non-living stage.

The "Smart Enough To Know Better" podcast had a silly demonstration of the vacuity of religious though on this sort of thing, at least in the Catholic Church (before limbo got put in limbo):

- Children under the age of Confirmation can't consciously sin, so they will not be condemned to Hell
- But they still have Original Sin, so they can't go to heaven -- hence, Limbo
- Life begins at conception
- But Original Sin is conferred at birth
- Most conceptions result in spontaneous miscarriages, often long before the woman would have realized she was pregnant

- Therefore, Heaven is populated entirely by people over eight years old, aborted or miscarried fetuses, and a fine mist of zygotes which never implanted.

laura k said...

Heaven is populated entirely by people over eight years old, aborted or miscarried fetuses, and a fine mist of zygotes which never implanted.

I knew there was a catch! :)

red herring

You know, I saw this in various places online, and purposely didn't use it, as it felt like plagiarism. I'm glad you put it in comments!

impudent strumpet said...

So an abortion is a get-into-heaven-free card for your fetus? That actually sounds like a good deal! Many people sacrifice their quality of life to provide a better life for their children. Sacrificing your own afterlife to provide them with a better quality of afterlife seems like the next logical step.