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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Living, Breathing People

There is a reason we have the phrase "Living, Breathing Person" in our language.  Breathing makes up a very significant portion of 'being alive.'

A commenter said : 
What then, is the fundamental difference between the 1 year old poor child and the 8.5 month baby about to be born into poverty?
I dont' ask that rhetorically. Tell us the age when you generally believe a "independent existence" begins. The age where you'd look at the thing and say "yep, that's a person". Then subtract 1 day. Tell us, biologically, what is the difference between the two?
The age an independent existence begins? Easy, obvious, common sense - Birth, whether that is natural or C-Section or some other method of becoming able to breathe.

Subtract one day? Not much difference. However, nobody, least of all me, is advocating for abortion at 8.5 months. His comment is a distraction and distortion - and quite frankly monstrous. One must wonder why they must sink to such methods to support their cause.

How about something that is actually being discussed? Subtract Three Months from birth - LOTS of difference. Right at the end of the second trimester, it can't exist outside the host, its not a person. Still, nobody is advocating for abortion after this point.

Even more appropriate, subtract SIX months. At the end of the first trimester - still an alien looking thing, still not a person. Abortion after this point should only be done if there is a great risk to the mother's health or life. Before this point... it should be left up to her, not a judge, not a legislator - her, her doctor and (if any) her family.

Now, what this amendment wants to do, subtract Eight and a half months. It is two to four cells and not even implanted yet. It is still at least a week before the woman becomes pregnant. Sure as the sun, a clump of cells is not a person.

I put living, breathing people above unborn. 26 will do great damage to the Life, Liberty and Happiness of lots of real, living, breathing people. ( articles below )

Before birth, a pre-embryo (fertilized egg) is a not-very-likely potential life, an embryo is a potential life, a fetus is a very potential life. There are medically recognized stages of development (Trimesters), therefore there are differences in the ratio of rights between the living, breathing woman and the potential life inside her.

A woman having a fertilized egg inside her does not automatically negate all of her rights, nor does she loose rights up to two weeks later when she might become pregnant, nor three months after that. There is a ratio that starts with all rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness belonging to the woman and gradually reaches a level of almost equality between the woman and potential life inside her.  I say almost here because until viable birth, I still put the woman before the potential life - even if her choice is 'save my baby' instead of her.

I will never support making a law to dictate someone else's choices.  i26 makes it law that two cells inside a woman instantly have more right to life than her liberty. You can have that belief and act that way in your life and that is fine with me, but I will vote No to that being the law.

How can we know what will happen with 'personhood?'  We just have to look at those places where embryonic 'personhood' is already the law.  You think it can't happen here? Then you need to wake up, wise up and think again! Review this Slate article and follow their links. In October 2007, The Guardian reported :
Last November it became a crime for a woman to have an abortion in Nicaragua, even if her life was in mortal danger. So far it has resulted in the death of at least 82 women. (11 months, 82 deaths)

This article (and the video it links to) are the stark reality of 'Personhood.'

This article outlines why it is such a horrible idea for Mississippi specifically.  We are already the worst state in the Union by most measures.  If 26 passes, it will only get worse.

This article, by a Mississippi Lawyer, outlines a lot of the legal issues with i26.

This article uses some interesting language - but it is long and technical and by a lawyer. Still worth a read if you have the time and inclination, which I did.
It might be more plausible to say that a fetus at this stage is a person, but that the person’s physical occupation of another person calls for a moral and legal approach that is distinct from what we ordinarily use in analyzing violence between two persons. 
This is very interesting. It suggests, to me anyway, a use of the Castle Doctrine to support elective abortion at any stage. A little extreme, but no more so than the 'personhood' of a few cells well before pregnancy occurs.
I liked the following lines as well :
The zygote or embryo does have human DNA, however, and pro-life advocates can accordingly call it a “person” as a way of saying that it is not a plant or a snail, neither of which would have human DNA.  But human skin cells also have human DNA, yet no one would call them “persons.”
LOVED her wrap-up :
To make a fully informed decision about what one thinks of the abortion issue, however, it is useful to remain aware that the word “person” can effectively distract us from three sorts of facts that are truly pertinent to the abortion question:  facts about the developing embryo and fetus at various stages; facts about what happens to a woman’s body when she is pregnant; and facts about what occurs when the government legally requires women to remain pregnant and give birth against their will.
 And, the Comments section!
Diogenes_Lantern 3 weeks ago
Just saying by reference, when I watch the In Memoriam part of This Week on Sunday mornings, I feel sorrow at every war death, but the feeling is deeper when the soldier is older.  It is nice that we value innocence but it should not be valued more than a life lived.  Wisdom and knowledge are far more valuable than innocence.  Were I ever in the untenable position of having to choose between the life of an adult woman over the life of her unborn child, I'd move for the woman every time.

It also makes no sense to force a fetus into a life that will very likely only result in harm to it.  For instance, unwanted pregnancies for reasons of alcoholism, drug addiction, rape, incest, disease, genetics (oh, I can hear the screams of eugenics as I write, but the decision lies solely with the mother-to-be) and other well-known horrors for an infant to be forced to endure.

And for me, the argument that a person has a right to control his or her own body in every way, stands strong among what I believe to be inalienable human rights.