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View Diary: I remember the day when....and I'm afraid (315 comments)

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  •  We need a clear definition (none)
    You're going back and forth of this.  My daughter could not love me when she was in the womb, so that does not confer personhood on her at that point by your definition.  I could love her, but I also loved my cat, so that does not confer personhood on her by your definition.  She simply did not meet your definition of personhood while she was in my womb.  (Actually, she doesn't even meet it now, at 2 months of age.)

    You started with an argument about DNA.  You seem to have abandoned that and are now defining personhood differently.  Why the change?  If you are willing to change your position, please give some consideration to my point about the brain.  I think that logically it's the only definition that stands up to scrutiny (and believe me, I've given it years of careful consideration).

    •  OK (none)
      Actually, she doesn't even meet it now, at 2 months of age.

      haha, that I agree with.  let's both agree to exclude kids from 2 months until 21 years old from being included in the personhood classification.

      My assertion is a package deal that includes:

      1. DNA of the fetus is not the DNA of the mother nor of the father.  It is the DNA that is complete and new and unique (except for identical twins, in which case you got two brand new individuals).
      2. I have no idea what a fetus feels... perhaps someday science will be able to answer that question.  But a fetus is the beginning of a new life that carries the possibility and promise of loving others, unlike for instance, a kidney or a pet rock.  i.e. it's alive and it's human.
      3. We respond instinctively to the unborn human life with love.  We value it and even those who claim to support abortion rights often make the remark that they hope that rates of abortion are reduced.  Why would they feel that way if abortion only kills a blob of cells?  I think like many moral questions... it's an instinctive knowledge.

      I wish there never were laws against abortion and I hope there never will be.  The debate about legality makes it difficult to really talk about abortion itself.  As a woman I'm quite insistant that men keep thier laws off my body... we women drew a line around ourselves when we rose up in the 50's and 60's to claim our own personhood.  We have always made the decision about whether or not to carry a child to term, and abortion laws didn't stop us... even to the point of aborting ourselves.  So I'm pro-choice... but also very pro-life.

      "Remember, we are here but by the grace of plate tectonics... Just some perspective, apply it to your idealogies as you will." -- read in a comment by roboton

      by DoDi on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 07:56:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But Conception is not the Correct Place (none)
        Here is my response to your 3 assertions:

        1.  Identical twins can form from up to 12 days after conception.  At what point did the second "individual" show up?  And, you can't appeal first to "unique DNA" as being the definition of an individual and then claim that identical twins are two individuals.  Either unique DNA counts for something or it doesn't.

        2.  Here you're just arguing circularly.  That is, it's human because it's human.  Some fetuses will never develop a brain.  That fetus does not carry the possibility nor the promise of loving others.  It is not until the brain develops that that possibility becomes a reality.  If an egg and a sperm are sliding toward each other in a petri dish, and I stop them 2 seconds before meeting, you don't think that is the taking of the life that would have been formed, but 2 seconds after they meet, you do.  Doesn't make sense.  If it's potential we're talking about, both situations are the same.  Conception just doesn't cut it.

        3.  Why, you wonder might abortion be a tragedy, even if it is not the death of a person?  Well, it can only result from one of two things:  an unwanted pregnancy or a wanted pregnancy where something went wrong.  Both of those are tragedies.  And, again, if we're going by instinct, do you dispute that almost everyone in the world considers a miscarriage at 8 months of fetal development more tragic than one at 3 weeks?  If, as you believe there is no difference in personhood, why the instinctual difference?

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