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Saturday, June 24

When Does Life Begin? A Poll

After reading Liz's post below, and then jaunting over to Pharyngula and reading some comments regarding abortion rights there....well my mind is now swimming between thoughts of life and death and all that those events can mean.

Now, of course, it is fairly easy to determine when something is dead. (Sans a Terri Schiavo-like tragedey) however when life begins is fair more iffy. So I was wondering, what is your view? When do you think human life actually 'begins'? Is a newly fertiziled egg the same as a 2 day old infant? At what point would an embryo/fetus obtain the rights of a child, or would it obtain those rights, or do you think that a fetus is a fetus and only obtains the rights of a living person once it is separated from the mother's body?

I have C&P two posts from Prof. Myer's blog regarding the Raving Atheist who seems to be more of a Raving Lunatic for Jeebus. The conversation quickly turned to reproductive choice and I thought these two comments were simply wonderful:


Basically, outlawing abortion means that right of the fetus to live trumps the right of the pregnant woman to have a say in what happens to her body. By that logic, not only should organ donation be mandatory, but living organ donation as well. Everyone should be tissue typed for possible matches to people needing liver, bone marrow, or kidney transplants and forced to provide if a match is found, because the right of the sick person needing it to live trumps that of another person who would just suffer a short inconvenience to his/her body. Same argument.
Posted by: Carlie


Precisely, Carlie. We must distinguish between moral/ethical obligations and legal ones.
I would say that everyone has an ethical obligation to donate useful organs when they die in order to help others, but no one has the right to force others to make that choice, whether they are part of the legal system or not.


The legal system permits us to do many things that we really have obligations not to do, and it does not force us to do many things that we really have an obligation to do. That is precisely how things should be.
Posted by: Caledonian

So, what are your thoughts? When does life begin? When (if ever) is the fetus' rights more important to that of the mother. And while we're at it, how much of a say should the father (sperm donor) have in its care prior to birth? At what point could/should society intercede (say a crack-head mother, sky-diving mother, constantly drunk mother, etc) or at what point does society's rights and concerns supercede the mother's rights to do as she pleases?

Discuss and don't feed the trolls. ;)

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