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Some people keep asserting that life begins at conception. This is their belief, end of story. That is wrong. Human life does not begin at conception and I can prove it. Follow me, below the orange diaphragm....

Okay Dokay... Life. Wow. What is alive? Are sperm alive? I seen some of those buggers swimming, their tails flagellating wildly, and they sure as hell looked alive to me. I have never seen an ovum under a microscope, but I know it is alive, too (just a lot less obnoxious that those sperm). So life does not begin at conception, that is an established fact. But we all know when someone says, “Life begins at conception”, they mean human life. They mean a person has been created. Let us examine that hypothesis.

If life begins at conception, then every time a human ovum is fertilized, a human is created. That is the hypothesis put forward by some people. Hmmm. Really?

Let us put aside, for the moment, the huge amount of miscarriages and pregnancies lost for other reasons. Let us put aside the fertilized eggs which do not implant in the uterus. Let us put these things aside, even though they support my case.

No, I have two examples that I wish to present. Yes, even though what I have already presented would convince most open, unbiased people to at least consider the possibility that life does not begin at conception, I have two stories to present.

When I was in high school, I had a girlfriend. I loved her madly. She was smart, beautiful, perfect in every way. She had a twin. Yep, that happens. So, if life begins at conception, where in the hell did the other one come from? That is, unless you subscribe to the “evil twin” theory (which, in retrospect, would explain quite a lot). Yes, if human life begins at conception, where in the hell did the other one come from?

Still, that is not my slam-dunk proof. That is just an anecdote. Here is my irrefutable proof.

Ectopic pregnancies. A sperm and and ovum come together. And then, well, something goes wrong. Very wrong. Horrendously wrong. A woman may die, wrong. But there is NO baby involved here, in fact, in most cases, there is no human involved except the mother. Yes, there have been a few cases of ectopic pregnancies coming to term, but most are from implantations after a uterus is removed, or very, very close to the uterus. That is NOT what I am talking about here. Mostly, I am talking about a “tubal” pregnancy. The fertilized ovum does not complete its journey and implants in the fallopian tube. At that point, it is not a baby, or even a potential baby. It is like a cancer. It will never be human, it cannot ever be a human. All it can do is kill. Its cells will split, undifferentiated, until the woman dies.

Can you imagine? Imagine this. Imagine a woman, happily married, who believes she is pregnant. She and her husband are both overjoyed. But, no baby can possibly occur. It was a so-called “tubal pregnancy”. The “tubal” part was right, but we have to stop calling it a “pregnancy”. It is not. It is a foreign cancer, that if not removed will kill the woman in whose body this malignancy resides. This is a fact, except it had become a bit more complicated now.

It used to be, uncomfortable things were not discussed in public. I just discussed something like that in the previous two paragraphs. It used to be, private medical decisions were just that, private. But no more.

Someone, very, very close to me, had a situation just like this. A tubal pregnancy. She was devastated, as was her husband. This should have been treated in our local hospital, but it was not. It was a Catholic hospital. Her doctor told her that she would have to go to Pittsburgh to save her life. Her husband traveled a lot, for his job. He wanted to stay home, to support her, but she said, “No”. Her doctor told her it was a routine procedure. Reluctantly, her husband went on his field assignment.

She lived in the next county (Westmoreland) to the east of Pittsburgh. So she had to take the bus. Actually, a lot of busses (there is no mass transit between Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is, and the surrounding counties).

Where did this woman have to go? She was sent to Planned Parenthood.

Guess what this woman faced when she arrived, finally, after two hours on various busses? She faced a vicious phalanx of so-called “Christians”. They swore at her. They shoved her. They called her a “murderer”. Someone ran out and helped her. I'm glad it was a good guy. He led her into the clinic.

The people there helped her. They saved her life.  

Yes, a sperm and an egg came together. But it was not a baby. It was a cancer that had to be excised. We CANNOT politicize this!

And, oh yeah, I just proved that life does not begin at conception. Because it didn't.

The person this happened to, well, that was my sister.

And I love her.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My definition of life is very broad... (21+ / 0-)

    ...certainly not restricted to conception... and it includes many things other than human... I would even consider prions life...

    The big hang up that much ado is made about is death... also just as broad and deserving of wonder as life...


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:37:06 PM PDT

    •  I don't accept the premise, and neither should you (20+ / 0-)

      Trying to "prove" when "human life" begins is, forgive me, a fool's errand. It is not a scientific issue, it is a philosophical issue. So proof is not possible, nor is disproof.

      A more clear way to pose the question is "when does one or more human cells constitute an entire individual?" Put this way it is more obviously a matter of opinion, not science.

      I'm a developmental biologist and a strong supporter of choice. I would never touch this question, pro or con, with a ten foot pole, because to do so is to get roped into arguing opinions. Happily, the Supreme Court settled this for us in Roe v. Wade, the only opinion that matters.

      No person is free except in the freedom of other persons, and that man's only real freedom is to know and faithfully occupy his place -- a much humbler place than we have been taught to think -- in the order of creation. (Wendell Berry)

      by DocDawg on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:11:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly what I wanted to say. (11+ / 0-)

        In the most basic philosophy courses, there are simple exercises to distinguish questions of fact from questions of language.  "Life begins at conception" is no better than the pointless argument that a "chair" with a 4-inch back rest and 18-inch legs has become a "stool."

        Then there are simple issues of law.  We may deem a child below a certain age to be incapable of consenting to sex without the burden of some "scientific" argument over that child's actual capabilities. Roe v. Wade addressed the constitutional question of the limits of government authority to burden the rights of women to privacy and control over their bodies with pseudo-scientific arguments over when "life begins."

        A right answer to the wrong question is a wrong answer.

        by legalarray on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:16:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pretty Close to What I Wanted to Say (0+ / 0-)

          Almost exactly what I wanted to say.  In the humanist view, "life" is a red herring; the criterion we use is "personhood".  My own definition of that term (not completely explicitly formed) has a lot to do with the ability to experience the will to live.  This is the same principle that at the other end of life underlies the humanist outlook on euthanasia.

          Yes, it's a moral opinion, not scientifically provable.  But at least it's not arbitrary but is based on some kind of logic and, more important, on some consideration of the level of consciousness that makes humans special.

      •  Gotta grow some sort of brain (at least!) (7+ / 0-)
        ...when does one or more human cells constitute an entire individual?
        Certainly not at conception, when the (complete lack of) neural activity easily meets the criteria for being brain dead. No brain, and all that.
        •  As much as I share your opinion (11+ / 0-)

          it's still just an opinion. Don't let them hook you into battles of opinion masquerading as logic or science. They're neither. As legalarry points out above in a precise analogy, as a society we have made the decision that below a certain defined age a minor cannot consent to sex. It is a wise decision that legislators and courts have made, but it is arbitrary; there's little solid science behind the assertion that a sixteen year old can consent to sex, but a 15 year old cannot. Don't pretend this is science. It isn't. It's simply practical good sense, reflecting society's predominant sensibilities.

          When you let others lure you into engaging in a 'scientific' discussion regarding when human life begins, you have already lost the battle...because you're engagin nonsense. Remember: they think human life began 4,000 years ago. Why would you want to expend time and energy arguing with nonsense?

          No person is free except in the freedom of other persons, and that man's only real freedom is to know and faithfully occupy his place -- a much humbler place than we have been taught to think -- in the order of creation. (Wendell Berry)

          by DocDawg on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:50:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  6000+ years ago. (0+ / 0-)

            4004 BC per Bishop Ussher iirc. Fucking nuts they are but simple arithmetic is still within their ability. Mostly. Not that that makes their argument any better but if we're going to cite it, best cite what it actually is.

            Cogito, ergo Democrata.

            by Ahianne on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 01:19:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Quite right. I guess 4000 years ago (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              was the Age of the Dinosaurs. Silly me.

              No person is free except in the freedom of other persons, and that man's only real freedom is to know and faithfully occupy his place -- a much humbler place than we have been taught to think -- in the order of creation. (Wendell Berry)

              by DocDawg on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:19:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  call out their deceptive use of the word "life." (5+ / 0-)

            The word in that context is used to obscure and obfuscate.  It's clearly deceptive.

            The medical definition of death is irreversible cessation of brain activity.  No brain, no mind, thus no person.

            That also works as the standard for the beginning of personhood.  No brain, no mind, no person: a blastocyst isn't a person, it's a blob.

            Religious righties who disagree with that are welcome to have their brains removed and then tell us about it.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:48:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Many have already had their frontal cortex remo... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Velvetus, d3clark

              Many have already had their frontal cortex removed by willing submission. They gave up rational thinking. Rather than submitting to God, or a higher power, or even the FSM (hail the magnificent pasta :) ... they have given themselves and their free will to sociopathic men, having created self-serving doctrines and dogma over thousands of years (though this would seem to be accelerating )

              Just look at some of the women fighting for and supporting them.

            •  You Might as well take their brains out... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              liz2339, snwflk, TheProgressiveAlien

              The brain can't function with absolutes, they have absolutes, they have defective brains.
              If you get to the point that you think you can't be wrong, you can't function.  Most of us always have a little doubt about everything.  With a little bit of doubt, we can listen, if we hear something that contradicts what we think, we will listen more.  In the end, our minds can be changed.  
              If you think your idea is infallible, no doubt at all, your brain is stuck in a loop.  You know it's a fact, therefor, anything that contradicts it, MUST not be true.  It MUST be a trick or a lie, it HAS to be, because what you know is a fact.  This is what religion does to people, it's not healthy.

              •  It is those who can't admit to the possibility... (4+ / 0-)

                of being wrong that end up being fanatics.  That not only includes "Christians," but Muslims, and any other belief system as well.

                I start from the position that if you can't prove something you believe, you don't have a fact, you have an opinion.  The main problem most of these people have is their desire to turn their opinions into facts.

                Because they believe in a "supreme being," they think that makes their belief system a "supreme" one as well.  That allows them to not have any doubts, and it also allows them to think they are better than everyone else in the bargain.  

                My guess is that most of these people have a poor self-image to begin with, so buying into a belief system that allows them to think they are better than other people, adds to their desire to hang on to that belief system.

                There is an A.A. quote that reads "It is gratifying to be cured of an affliction, but it is terrifying to be divested of a crutch."  My guess is they respond so defensively because they are terrified of losing their crutch.

                The irony is that most of them believe their belief system has made them stronger, when it has, in essence, made them weaker and more dependent.

                •  So prove that. (0+ / 0-)
                  if you can't prove something you believe, you don't have a fact, you have an opinion
                  Not only can't you prove that, but it's complete nonsense. I can't prove that Lincoln was shot by Booth or that the sun will last long enough for me to see another sunrise, but these aren't opinions. Virtually no empirical question is provable; science notoriously does not deal in proof, only falsification.  Take a basic course in epistemology, or something, because your head is filled with nonsensical and fallacious beliefs to which you give credence for no good reason.
              •  Something I used to use to piss off the nuns... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lagibby, indedave

                ...was my ever inquisitive, desperate-for-things-to-make-sense brain: "But, Sister, if taking it on faith means you don't question it, doesn't that also mean you no longer need to think about it?"

                She said, "In a way.  You can question your beliefs within you--that's part of learning about god, but you can't question the validity of the doctrine (she was Roman Catholic, and Dogma is a big deal to them), since it's given to us by the Pope, who has the authority to tell us what the Church allows..."

                Me: "Sooo, that means you're being told how to think, or actually, to be more accurate, you're being ordered NOT to think.  And if so, doesn't that mean you are not USING YOUR BRAIN?  Frankly, I'd rather question everything I'm told, because it's too easy to lie and what is stopping the Pope from being yet another liar?"

                The nuns didn't like me much, precocious little thirteen-year-old hellion that I was.  :-p

                "If you take it on faith, that means you no longer question because you believe in the certainty of your belief.  If you no longer question, then you are no longer thinking.  If you are no longer thinking, then what is that meat-computer in your skull FOR?"

                If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

                by TheProgressiveAlien on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:58:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Life does not begin at conception . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              T P K

              . . . it merely continues.

              A human being is just a sperm and an egg's way of reproducing more sperm and/or eggs.

          •  Wow I really love my logic and I love my scienc... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            T P K

            Wow I really love my logic and I love my science. When you and so many others a priori exclude BOTH of these from the argument, you HAVE lost! There's another name for that which you have described so derisively. It's called "religion".

            P.S. I don't believe life started 4000 or 6000 years ago either.

            •  The start of life (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              paulex, TheProgressiveAlien, jqb

              I think that life on Earth started approximately 3.5 billion years ago.  It may have started earlier than that on some unknown planet in the universe.

              •  Panspermia hypothosis! (0+ / 0-)

                Probably the coolest "where did life come from" idea that fuels many a good SF novel and inspires so much cool science.  <3

                I mean, amino acids and simple molecules could conceivably exist on far-flung asteroids, and, when one of those monsters smacks us in the kisser, assuming some of that material survives re-entry (or is it first-entry?), it could conceivably mingle with other simple molecules deposited in earlier ages.  It took a LOOOONG time for those molecules to start forming up proto-life, but once that got going, the changes came more and more often, and much faster, and the variety was mind-boggling...

                Sperm and egg= big, honking rock hitting Earth.  >^__^<  

                If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

                by TheProgressiveAlien on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:06:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You may love logic, but you have no skill in it. (0+ / 0-)

              Your comment is full of fallacies.

          •  One other thing. You're right and wrong that th... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aratinga, brainburst

            One other thing. You're right and wrong that there is no scientific basis for age of consent laws. The laws are not made based on science, but mainly on societal "feeling". But there is at least medical consensus that the judgemental capacity of the brain is inadequate to make certain decisions prior to young adulthood. That said, a 15 year old may not be able to "consent" to sex with an 18 or 80 year old, but in most jurisdictions can consent with another 15 year old. AND, as if we just love illogic, we can prosecute the SAME 15 year old "child" who "cannot" consent to sex with an adult AS an adult if they kill that adult! Utah actually had a case (and there are a host of others) some years ago where 2 twelve year olds were charged with child molestation for having sex with EACH OTHER! It would not be possible to make this sh-t up! Adjudication and legislation based on emotion and feeling is the PROBLEM. It is NOT "practical" or "good sense". It's insanity.

          •  4,000 Years: (0+ / 0-)

            You mean that you don't believe that Moses was riding Dinosaurs, 6,000 years ago and carrying the ten commandments?

        •  conception? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snwflk, lagibby

          It depends on what you mean by "entire individual."  After the sperm joins the egg, an organism results.  In one sense, this is an entire individual since it has a full genetic complement.  However, it is not a person because, as you noted, there is no neural activity or brain.  So the zygote is an "early stage living human organism" or "ESLHO"  for short.  If we define a "person" as a human organism with minimal cognitive abilities, including consciousness, then I think that the ESLHO does not become a person until approximately 24 weeks post conception.  This is where we should "draw the line" and assign a right to life to the fetus.  Roe v. Wade got it close to right.

          •  Life (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SilentBrook, aratinga, jillf

            How about we just agree with the Bible that life begins at birth? Odd how few understand that.

            •  Interesting! (0+ / 0-)

              Got a particular chapter or verse in mind?

              Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

              by Phoenix Woman on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 02:56:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The ancient Jewish community understood this. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The theological basis for human life beginning at birth is from the story of God creating Adam.  God supposedly created Adam completely, and THEN breathed into him the breath of life, and Adam became a living soul.  (See Genesis 2:7)  Because the soul is the theological essence of humanity, or that which differentiates a human from an animal, it follows that humanness was conferred at first breath.  (This is all theological stuff; don't think I'm espousing it.  Just explaining it.)  The ancient Jews, and ancient Catholics too, for that matter, believed humanness was conferred at birth, when a child took its first breath.  The theological idea that life begins at conception is quite recent.

                This is only one of several verses that "support" the the theological thesis that the quality of humanness isn't conferred until birth.  Not one in 10,000 modern fundamentalists realizes that for thousands of years neither Jews nor Christians believed as they do now.

                •  very little historical imagination (0+ / 0-)

                  among the fundamentalists, just literalism.

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                  by a gilas girl on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 07:45:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Souls (0+ / 0-)

                  "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb."  (Jeremiah 1:5)

                  As I read this, it means that souls existed long before zygotes existed.  Thus, the zygote must have a soul.  Since Jeremiah was written after Genesis, presumably the notion that a soul enters the neonate when the first breath is taken was rejected by later Jewish scholars.

                  A zygote is alive (it exhibits metabolism and homeostasis).  A zygote has the genetic information that places it in the biological class: Homo sapiens.  All Homo sapiens are humans.  Therefore, a zygote is human life.

                  This is all irrelevant in answering the question: what moral obligations do we have toward zygotes and fetuses?

                  •  soul is known before conseption? (0+ / 0-)

                    Life is quite a play ground for thought as is the meaning of  quotes from the Bible. I can look at this quote and see many alternate meanings. But this is about a divine presents. God knows all souls before they are life? God has purposefully planted this soul in a viable vessel to fulfill his wishes? Soul is the energy that fills the body. But there is no evidence that it is there at conception that I see in this case.
                    The only story I know of in the bible that would suggest soul at conception and divine birth is of Jesus due to fact it was divine birth [not made by man]. Many women loose fetus and we could also suggest this is Gods will that that soul does not deserve to live? Or the soul comes to the body at the quickening when the body is viable, this could be put to the story from the bible you quote? God knows the soul but does not say when it came into the body that was made in the womb.

          •  As I understand it... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JuliathePoet, snwflk

            blood does not begin to form until around 17 weeks.  No blood, no life.

            Something else that many, if not most people, do not mention or think about, is the matter of ensoulment.  If one believes in the concept of a soul, this is another area that is open to question.

            Does ensoulment take place at conception, does it take place at birth, or somewhere in the middle?  There are books written by a couple of people I'm aware of, that suggest ensoulment doesn't take place until birth.

            If that is true, then life does not happen at conception.  The "potential" for life happens at conception, but not life itself.

            In the end, it's all just a matter of opinion, because, to my knowledge,  none of this can be proven.  

            Every one has the right to have their own opinion, but I have a real problem with those who want their opinion to be more important than mine, not only in life, but in a court of law as well.

          •  If a sperm plus an egg is a person, then what a... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            paulex, JuliathePoet, snwflk

            If a sperm plus an egg is a person, then what about all those trillions of poor little tiny almost-humans? SURELY someone should stand up for their rights!

            My favorite quote about that ridiculousness, from Legally Blonde: "For that matter, any masturbatory emissions, where the sperm is clearly not seeking an egg, could be termed reckless abandonment."

          •  Personhood (0+ / 0-)

            "If we define a "person" as a human organism with minimal cognitive abilities, including consciousness...."

            By that definition a patient under anesthesia in the operating room is not a person.

            A fetus quite simply does not have a constitutional right to life.  The 14'th Amendment states that no person (actually citizen) may be deprived of the right to life, liberty and property without due process of law.  A person is defined as one born in the US or naturalized.  A fetus has neither been born nor naturalized.

            The Roman Catholic Church argues that a fetus has a natural  (inalienable) right to life.  However, not all philosophers think natural rights exist.  Alasdair MacIntyre in "After Virtue" states: "For the truth is plain: there are no such [natural] rights and belief in them is one with belief in unicorns and in witches."

            All pro-life people have to do is amend the Constitution to make the 14'th Amendment apply to fetuses.

        •  neural activity (0+ / 0-)

          I thought that embryonic neural activity begins after the 1st trimester.  Can anyone enlighten us?

      •  More of what you just choose to believe! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Of curse we all can choose to believe things that don't actually help us in any way! However when trying to decide what is real and can work for us in our quest to survive, we need to use such methods like the scientific methods that have served us best so far in life decisions. You can believe we live on a flat world or life has only been on the planet for 10,000 years as some religious people choose to believe, but real evidence does not support that! Choose whatever you and your clan want, but actual evidence may be wildly different!  

      •  Nice post! (0+ / 0-)

        Every type of bioethics type argument I've read always devolves into somebody either figuring out that we shouldn't kill lobsters or that infanticide is OK, especially when they go into brain function and other biology.

        Personally, I don't really know the answer.  I'm pro-choice, more certainly for early term stuff.  It seems common-sensy that a bioplast or whatever is not a person and something that could live outside the womb and has arms and a head and everything might very well be.

      •  The only opinion that matters (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snwflk, indedave

        is the woman's and the decision is between her and her doctor.  No one else.  

      •  Deductive logic (0+ / 0-)

        I'm puzzled. You contend that proof is impossible in philosophy.  I guess you never heard of an Aristotelian syllogism.

        All men are mortal.
        Socrates was a man.
        Therefore, Socrates was mortal.

        No rational person can deny the conclusion.  Ergo, Aristotle proved Socrates was mortal.  This is deductive logic and is also used to produce mathematical proofs.

        Science tests hypotheses and either confirms them or falsifies them using inductive logic.  Since one can never be sure that a hypothesis is confirmed (a future experiment may falsify the hypothesis), science does not prove things to be true.  Falsification is a close as you can get in science to proof (actually, disproof). Nobody believes in the ether because Michelson and Morley falsified the notion that the ether exists.

        Pro-life people don't have to determine when life begins.  All they have to do is make the a priori assumption that a human zygote has a soul because all humans have souls.  The benefit of this argument is that it explains why we can kill animals for food, but we cannot kill humans for food.  Humans have souls, but animals do not have souls.

        The problem with this argument is that no scientist would accept it because only materialistic explanations are permitted in science.  The notion of a soul is nothing more than an a priori assumption.  The Scientific Revolution was a rejection of reasoning from a priori definitions (all humans have souls) to conclusions (the zygote has a soul) instead of reasoning from evidence to conclusions.

    •  Religious shit and fans (0+ / 0-)

      So anyone find the quote where God says abortion is murder?
      No? So that must be "someone's" interpretation.

      Anyone got that citation from the Holy one "life begins at conception?"
      Nope? Got another human interpretation of scripture, do ya?

      So lets see a show of hands how many readers think everything IN the Bible is 100% believable.
           And the two of you who are standing there waiving your hands, sit down when I tell you according to scripture, God ordered the killing of children and entire peoples, proving for you that "God doesn't kill people, only people kill people." (NRA: go sue me)

      Now since that god also had us offing each other, tells us never to commit murder (one of those Commandment things), then fails to intervene when murder and mayhem results from his children doing what they learned from their god... TELL me where the Bible it still totally infallible -OR- believeable.

      So the bottom line is all 'people of faith' have varying degrees of faith and choose what to and what not to "believe" in.
      Which means that a particular noisy and arrogant group want "their faith" given more credibility than anyone else's beliefs in particular about abortion being murder, or contraception the taking of a human life.

      So are my 'god given rights' less believable or less credible that theirs? For instance: 'god has a plan' or 'do not judge, lest you be judged', or my personal favorite: "ALL sins are forgiven by our Lord, repent!". Okay, sorry I won't get pregnant again, I'll take a contraceptive...

      Isn't it time we stop listening and letting people who have a belief that other people of their SAME faith do not share, IMPOSE those specific and scripturaly unsupportable beliefs on ALL of us? Do ya think?

      Isn't ALL religious based morality an imposition which actually is based in BULLYING other people? I'm just asking.


      Could I start a religious movement which holds my sincere belief, however silly, it is to you, but sincere to me and my followers, to hold that 'only god can give direction to build an ark', and therefore "building an ark (or any floating vessel) is "flotation" and THAT IS sacrilegious?" Even contemplating making something which floats and holds people is 'flotation'!
          Hey, I'm 'against killing', but it's god's WILL we are talking about people!! HE tells me that the penalty for breaking this tenant of MY faith is your eternal damnation in hell and I mean to make sure that no one anywhere, ever again builds an ark or "flotation", even if it means I need to burn all the shipworks, shipwrights, passengers or ticket agents anywhere they are found... NONE CAN BE SPARED; for it is god's WILL!
      PS: Discounts on all my airline flights for those who Believe.

      So if you get my point:
      Demanding all humanity live -or- perish by an interpretation of an imaginary construct is obviously insane. Codifying that imaginary construct into our social fabric and legal system is simply beyond insane.

      Reversing, negating such insanity is actually quite easy: just be there.
      Deny to the True Believer's face that -any- interpretation of scripture is sacrilege and untrue. And all the rest, it's only correct if it requires NO FAITH! Tell the child, "heaven is nice if you want to die, maybe don't believe; and you won't die." Believe in something different for 'god's sake'! IT COULD HAPPEN...

      Be There: Show up as one of the 'good guys' in the story above and peacefully, forcefully tell the nutcases, "No, you don't get to tell ANYONE else what to believe or what to do, now 'go home' and study your faith because god gave me this message to tell you."

      There's an organization which counters abortion monsters with telephone calls and messaging to let them know, in a peaceful and forceful manner that abuse of civil discourse is not acceptable. Get involved. Be there.

      oh and Thanks for the proof of conception not beginning life.

    •  Actually, I Had An Experience When I Was 11... (0+ / 0-)

      I swear I experienced my own conception....& I HAVE NO CHOICE but to believe that life begins, & the 'soul' enters the world, at conception. I later found out my mom was 24 hours in labor, and I weighed 9 1/2 pounds at birth.

      It fits with what I experienced. I didn't 'want to go', but a very powerful egg-shaped white light made clear I was to 'go'. (as in become alive again').

      I do not remember past lives, only that I remember NOT YET being alive....

      That said, if I had been aborted, I would never have known the difference.

      Any males who are anti-abortion need to STFU, obviously.

      Also, if corporations are people now, can we abort them?

  •  Glad your sister got what she needed. (97+ / 0-)

    The consequence of an ovum stuck in a tube is just that the tube ruptures. It causes massive internal bleeding and... you bleed out from the inside. Blood belongs in vessels, capillaries and arteries... for the most part.

    The agony and pain that is involved with that... well, try asking someone who went through it (a ruptured fallopian tube due to ectopic pregnancy), if they are still alive.

    There are other complications with pregnancy which warrant a healthcare procedure called abortion...

    Anencephaly. Due to neural tube not closing 23-26 days after pregnancy... the fetus does not develop a brain, brain stem, etc. There are varying degrees of this but it's straight up fatal without using machines to keep the mass of cells alive after birth. As this mass of cells would never amount to anything in life OR society... it makes no sense to devote resources to it. The best achievement such a 'mass' can make is maybe organ donation and being a specimen for medical school students.

    An abortion allowed my mother to begin the healing process as soon as she found out... through ultrasound. That ultrasound did not come with a script that is mandated by law. It came with sound and reasonable medical advice.

    Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

    by Future Gazer on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:39:15 PM PDT

    •  derp (31+ / 0-)

      it should be

      Due to neural tube not closing 23-26 days after CONCEPTION.

      I have to remember the preview button is telling me to read what I typed AGAIN.

      Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

      by Future Gazer on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:41:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you so much for your comment. (65+ / 0-)

      I don't think that any woman should have to run a gauntlet to receive medical care. And as far as abortion is concerned, I am extremely pro-choice. But my sister did not have an abortion. They forced her to go to an abortion clinic because they were cowards. I am not denigrating women who have abortions. My sister had a medical condition that would have killed her. She had to endure the abuse that other women do (for other reasons), because a lot of hospitals and doctors are refusing basic medical care to their patients for political reasons.

      Your mother sounds like a brave and wonderful person. As do you. Thank you again for your comment.

      "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

      by paulex on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:16:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am glad your sister has recovered physically. (31+ / 0-)

        Ectopic pregnancy is life-threatening and also a tragic loss when the mother wanted to have a baby.

        Termination of an ectopic pregnancy does fit into the Fundamentalist definition of 'abortion' though. Some of them even think that birth control that prevents implantation is 'abortion'. I used to think that they just did not understand the biology of early pregnancy. The real problem is their belief that women have to allow any egg that has been blessed by a sperm to have the use of their inferior female body for the next 9 months.

        Back in the 1970s and early 80s Protestant fundamentalist women were more likely to be open-minded about abortion. They have since adopted the Roman catholic teachings.

      •  Or maybe other business entirely (13+ / 0-)

        Many years ago, my doctor prescribed an exercise therapy regime for lower back problems, as a first alternative prior to drugs or surgery. The exercise clinic was located in the same med building as a Planned Parenthood clinic. Every Saturday morning when I went to my therapy class I had to run a gauntlet of screaming angry nutballs who thought it their right to intimidate any young woman showing up for any reason at that medical building.

        I can see why that doesn't bother Scalia, Thomas & Rogers, but I am totally at a loss to explain Sotomayor, Ginsberg and & Kagen.

        Democracy - Not Plutocracy!

        by vulcangrrl on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:12:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  because they've never had to run that gauntlet (8+ / 0-)

          in comments on the diaries here about the recent ruling, a number of people have been saying that it's not so terribly dire.  because really, all they want to do is "counsel" people.  i've read comments stating that there's nothing wrong with being approached by someone in a public area and having them say something to you.  even if it's something you don't like.  and these commenters apparently really believe that THAT is what used to happen and what the domestic terrorists outside abortion clinics will do again.

          while they are all based in ignorance, i'm a bit startled when it appears that such a post was written by a woman.  most women know very well how threatening and intimidating it can be to be approached by someone who "just wants to have a conversation."  most women know how, without touching you, a person (male, most of the time) can crowd you and block your path, and often make you fear for your safety.

          the menacing intimidation that used to occur outside abortion clinics, (and that was alleviated by buffer zones), was somehow successfully transformed into little old ladies wanting to offer "sidewalk counseling" to young women, and how horrible it would be to infringe on their "free speech rights" to do so.

          i would bet that not one SC justice has EVER had to go through one of those gauntlets.

          •  it occurs to me that this may be... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Future Gazer, Ellamenta

            .... a useful place for lefties to show up and practice "open carry."  

            People do tend to be more polite when they are surrounded by others who are visibly armed.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:51:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  with the RWNJs (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              paulex, Future Gazer

              as paranoid and fearful as they are?  i think that would be a really bad idea.  one of them would shoot an escort who was open carrying, even if she/he had made absolutely no aggressive move.  they see someone who doesn't agree with them with a gun, their terror will take over and they'll start shooting, then claim self-defense and SYG.

              •  there comes a point where you have to say... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Future Gazer

                ... let them just try it.

                And stop backing down, stop running away from the fight, stop the pre-emptive defeatism and despairism and all that bullshit.   Because that's how we LOSE.

                Standing up and fighting is how we WIN.

                If clinic escorts with pistols in holsters or some other generally accepted manner of carrying a weapon, provoke clinic attackers to violence, the answer to that is lawful self-defense with such overwhelming force that they will never, ever, try that shit again.

                As with dealing with bullies: make it damn clear to them that if they so much as lay a finger on you, you are going to send them to the hospital and they will regret the day.  The only language those people understand is the language of overwhelming force.

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 02:01:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Double Standards (0+ / 0-)

              Open carry is dangerous if you're not politically aligned with the people who support it. Just because other people can get away with it, doesn't mean one of us could. Carrying a weapon openly is also a good way to escalate a conflict into something dangerous. The reason for that though, is that most hardened criminals aren't scared of the presence of an open weapon. It's only people who haven't been hardened to violence that fear the presence of a weapon in the hand of someone willing to use it, and that's most of these protesters.

              That said, most of these protesters know what they're doing when it comes to activism, and don't -typically- put their hands on people. Though, I would as always advise that anyone do whatever they feel is necessary to prevent or break whatever physical contact people try to force on them that they wouldn't allow. Otherwise known as the concept of the fence.

              Disclaimer: I do not in any way condone, support, or recommend engaging in violence or criminal activity. Any suggestion that I might do the above is invariably a misconstruction on the reader's part.

              With that out of the way, I can say I've never had the displeasure of trying to fight my way through the angry throngs of idiots at abortion clinics, but if I did, I would be openly armed, ideally with a bunch of friends who are also openly armed. Most of these people are cowards, otherwise they'd be acting true to their warped ideology, bombing clinics and killing physicians and the like. People who aren't willing to kill/die for this stuff will be dissuaded by the presence of an open weapon, and people who are willing to kill/die for this stuff kind of make being armed a requisite if you want to get in and out safely.

              Avoidable violence is the kind of violence that only happens when you go to the wrong place and/or piss off the wrong people by acting aggressively toward them, and any time you don't avoid avoidable violence, you don't really have a lawful case of self-defense. If you're going to an abortion clinic, that's supposed to be a safe place, and if you're not doing anything beyond showing up at the clinic pregnant, or showing up with someone who is pregnant, and someone tries something, you've got a lawful self-defense case.*

              *Laws vary from place to place and it's wise to double-check this stuff before you find yourself needing to look into it.

          •  And, as was pointed out on another story... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            paulex, JuliathePoet

            none of them have ever been pregnant.

            Supposedly, all five are also Roman Catholic, for what that's worth.

        •  Responses to the gauntlet (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          d3clark, chickenfarmerwood, snwflk

          If I were seeking an abortion (that won't happen since I'm a man), I wouldn't want to be forced to walk through a bunch of people trying to persuade me to change my mind.  Here are a few ideas which could be tried:

          1) Have the women seeking abortions be picked up in cars at locations only they know about.  Make sure the cars have tinted windows.  Drive these cars directly into a garage at the abortion center and close the garage door.  Take them home in a similar fashion.

          2) Stage a counter-protest.  Have abortion rights' supporters mingle with the abortion rights' opponents.  When the women seeking abortions approach the clinic, the supporters can offer encouragement.  "Thanks for doing the right thing."  "If you are not ready to be a mother, abortion is the best thing for you right now."  "We support you."

          3) Ask the abortion rights' opponents to sign an agreement that they will adopt any baby resulting from a woman they persuade not to have an abortion, sight unseen.  This will take them off-guard and disrupt their protest.

        •  It's the whole "blocking public access" issue (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The antis said that the zones blocked off access to public sidewalks.

          Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 04:22:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I am a woman who luckily survived an ectopic (0+ / 0-)

      (tubal) pregnancy where the tube exploded. Thankfully, I was just being put under sedation to have the tube removed or I would not have survived. My doctor told me that I would have been dead within 5 minutes if I had not been exactly where I was when it happened. All I remember was screaming in agony and curling up in the fetal position, the voice of my doctor yelling for the anesthesiologist to give me more drugs, and the pain of the first incision before I was blessedly under anesthesia.

      When I woke up I was hooked up to several machines and receiving blood transfusions. I was given so much pain medication I was unable to speak for several days. They kept me in the hospital for almost two weeks, afraid I might not make it.

      My doctor waited a month before telling me that due to the complications associated with many tubal pregnancies I would be unable to have children. I had turned 22 years old the day I had the surgery.

      I am one of the lucky ones. Many women die every year because of ectopic pregnancies. Without good prenatal care I would have been one of them.

      What was in my fallopian tube was not alive.  It continued to multiply cellularly once it attached itself to the tubal wall, but my doctor called it a cellular poison. He never referred to it as a fetus, a baby, or anything remotely alive or with the capability of living.

      Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. -Douglas Adams

      by mahytabel on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:33:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans Pretend To Care About The Fetus.... (41+ / 0-)

    but they don't care at all about the child after it is born.
    They vote to remove all financial, education & humanitarian
    support from the mother & child once the birth occurs.

    They vote to defund preschool, food stamps & aid to single mothers....even subsidized breakfast & lunch for the student.

    It's the old southern strategy, the old Bible Belt claptrap.  

    •  Well 80% of Pubs think the poor have it easy... (51+ / 0-)

      a new poll says. Doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart?

      Conservatives live in a La-La world where welfare moms make up half the population and they get free cable or satellite plus clothing in a package deal with the financial aid. I am NOT KIDDING! A man in all sincerity told me that!

      Actually the number of people on welfare is 4% of the population and they have work/school requirements. And of course the only other aid they get is for Medicaid and some assistence with utilities (which does NOT include TV)

      In Detroit they have almost half of the households with NO WATER because people can't afford it. Maybe those households might be able to pay for the water if foodstamps and other assistence were not cut off?

      The sad part is that most of the poor are ALREADY working. They just can't make enough.

      We have a large enough homeless problems that cities are now sending people to jail for six months for sleeping in their cars. And you get fined if you feed the homeless

      I just had a "lovely" Christian tell me that the homeless "CHOOSE to live off of the charity of others." As offensive as that is what made it WORSE is that I was talking about helping the MENTALLY ILL.


      People DIE on the street and this idiot COMES UP WITH THAT???

      Meanwhile he was giving me a tongue-lashing about how I should be concerned about abortion and gay people because in the conservative handbook THOSE ARE THE ONLY THINGS THAT MATTER.

      Let's see...a handful of verses on homosexuality, NONE on abortion, but 300 VERSES in the Bible on HELPING THE POOR!!!

      I give up. These people are hopeless. It is just too bad that WE have to suffer for their delusions. It is really not hard at all to see the suffering of the poor IF YOU ARE WILLING TO LOOK AT IT.

      Anyone who is interested in getting help for the homeless mentally ill go to Mental Health America


      I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

      by Pixie5 on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:57:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the poors have it so easy, (14+ / 0-)

        why don't the Republicans just join them?

        Oh, wait, yeah, most of them will, very soon.

        My bad.

        "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

        by paulex on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:30:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I used that one on a wingnut (36+ / 0-)

            He was whining about how our wages were "too high" and because of that we couldn't compete with other nations.

            I asked him to do his part for the economy and request a pay cut from his employer.

            He enthusiastically embraced the idea.

          "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

          by Buzzer on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:29:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I just ask (17+ / 0-)
          When was the last time you were hungry and didn't know where your next meal was coming from?
          That tends to shut them up.

          May you be spared from people who tell you, "God never gives you more than you can handle."

          by ccyd on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:45:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Look South (11+ / 0-)

          There are, unfortunately, plenty of poor voting Republican while receiving assistance.

          •  It's not just the South! I can name 10 people I (5+ / 0-)

            know in Northern WI that receive some type of WI government assistance who vote for WI ReTHUGlicans.  Two actually complained about getting cut from BadgerCare...but they still support Snott.

            Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

            by ranton on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:38:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And even my own family in California... (0+ / 0-)

              staunch Repubs receiving help from the gov and my father got mad and hung up on me the other day because I told him about that 80% figure. He said it was a lie and that Obama has done nothing to help people and cited back in the Great Depression the jobs programs. He screamed that Obama NEVER EVEN HAS TRIED to put through jobs programs!


              I challenged him about all the derogative stuff blaming the poor by Repubs and said that virtually ALL of them say the same things.

              He yelled and said that wasn't true and pointed to our local conservative paper. The one that serves a population of a few hundred thousand in a mostly rural area that most people have never even heard of.

              Okaaay...then! I think you pretty much lose the argument if you can't cite any major media sources or the Repub politicians that are in office or who are running. In fact I don't usually even bother with the local paper.

              However he did send me a lovely article screaming about impeaching Obama from said "objective" paper.

              He also accused me of having everything filtered through left-wing sources but I do go to conservative sources PLUS I watched these wing-nuts stigmatize the poor on LIVE TV after the President's speech in January during the rebuttal portion. So was I HALLUCINATING what I heard??? NOPE!!!

              Many Repubs hear what they want to hear. And with my dad, he has reluctantly at times admitted that there are extremists, but he does not see that MOST OF THEM ARE. So the reputable PEW research center is "lying" about their 80% figure. Anyone who has really listened to these wing-nuts knows that it is SPOT ON!

              You can't teach old dogs new tricks so I guess I will shut up with my Dad. I didn't think he would get that upset!

              I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

              by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:53:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I live in Florida. In a small town with alot of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            paulex, Pixie5

            poor, who vote republican.  I have heard women in line at the Dollar General talk about their husbands losing their jobs and them making their husband go apply for benefits.  The women always say the same thing, "I am not watching my kids starve because of their pride."  I would venture to say a number of these women really think more like dems than republicans, but they parrot their husbands, because in the bible belt, the husbands are king.  So you hear the men blaming Obama, instead of thinking about who really put them in the place they are.  The women are mostly silent, but sometimes you see them roll their eyes.  I hope some of them at least will vote dem and not tell their husbands.  

            •  My father who is supporting my sister's family (0+ / 0-)

              for going on three years had to put his foot down and DEMAND they get insurance from the government. He doesn't want to got bankrupt. So my sister and nephew got it but my brother-in-law didn't until he had a siezure with his epilepsy and ended up in the ER. Fortunately he was referred to a government program that paid after the fact. Yeah California! Then he got government insurance after that.

              My sister has been disabled for many years and my Dad nagged and nagged at her to get disability. She is trying now but without success. It has made it worse that she waited many years before applying.

              The only reason I can think for their attitude is that I bet her husband doesn't like the idea of using government services and yes he IS the head of the household as they are both fundies.

              Meanwhile ALL OF THEM, including my father, don't seem to see the writing on the walls regarding government help. The only consolation to me is that we live in a SANE STATE that actually CARES about its citizens, in general anyway. Of course when federal funds get cut then that does have an effect, so it is not perfect here. But still MUCH BETTER than many other places!

              I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

              by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 11:09:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Just a little nitpicking... (7+ / 0-)

        There are two verses on homosexuality and they are in the OT. (Deut 23:17, Lev 20:13)

        There is a prescription for an herbal abortion in the OT (Num 5:11-22)

        I've said it before and I'll say it again.  If the fundies would just stick to their own book.  They'd see how very wrong they are on a whole host of issue.

        "We know too much to go back and pretend" - Helen Reddy (humble cosmos shaker)

        by ditsylilg on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:55:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Several years ago I read the Bible through Gene... (4+ / 0-)

          Several years ago I read the Bible through Genesis to Revelations.Whilst I was amazed at some of the more graphic things I discovered,I believe I was more surprised at the stuff I Didn't find,that I had heard people swear was there.Reading different versions netted the same results.

          A lot of stuff Is truly made up off the top of these folks' heads as they go along.That,or twisted into pretzel logic that ends up meaning something totally different than originally intended.

          Also they like to "cherry pick"random isolated verses or passages apart from the actual completed ideas and make them mean something to suit their own little nitpicked argument.


          •  I believe it's called "selective perception"... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            paulex, Pixie5

            or as Paul Simon wrote in "The Boxer," a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest."

            Syndicated writer Sydney Harris wrote a column a long time ago titled "People Fear Thinking Most Of All."  It's just as true now as it was then.  When a person is forced to start thinking about things that confuse them, or challenge them, it can affect their self-image.  When their self-image is affected, they tend to take things personally.

            When a person's belief system is tied to their self-image, it becomes difficult to get them to think about anything threatens their belief system.  

            Instead of seeing life and information as a challenge, everything is seen as either a "blessing" or a "curse," and that's how they respond to it.

        •  Bible Misconstructions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          One of my favorites is the modern misconstruction of tithing, and this is something pretty much every protestant/catholic is guilty of, not just the fundamentalists. The tithe is a holiday where once a year everyone takes a tenth -tithe- of their foodstores, brings it to what is essentially a massive communal cook-out, and everybody shares in a giant feast. America and Capitalizm have somehow managed to turn that into, "all laity are required to fork over 10% of every paycheck." Pretty much the only part they kept from original tithing was "10%."

          There is a lot of wonderful wisdom in all the worlds old sacred texts, most of it providing a roadmap for how to free oneself from communal controls and expectations while still keeping said community intact, but that doesn't really jive with the agendas of a lot of rulers today. In fact it's usually counter-productive.

        •  Actually St. Paul talked about homosexuality too.. (0+ / 0-)

          Romans 1:24-27New International Version (NIV)

          24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

          26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

          1 Corinthians 6:9-10New International Version (NIV)
          9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
          Timothy 8-11
          8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with uthe gospel of the glory of vthe blessed God wwith which I have been entrusted.
          Not that agree with any of this, but it does our side no favor by ignoring these verses and then having them used against us. Christians ignore much that is in the OT but when it is repeated in the NT then they take it more seriously.

          And yes I am aware of what is in Numbers but I find it not very useful to bring that up with people as there seems to be unclear language open to interpretation. In fact when I bring that up then generally I lose any chance of having my argument taken seriously. Beyond that it works best with Christians if you bring forth a positive argument than a negative. Other than this unclear passage, there is no apparent referance to abortion, so therefore I have found it best to say that the bible does not prohibit abortion period, which is true.

          I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

          by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:15:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  One more thing about what the Bible does not say.. (0+ / 0-)

          That homosexuals are child molesters. So when some idiot pontificates about gay pedophiles then ask them where it talks about that in the Bible.

          I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

          by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:25:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The right-wing arguments (34+ / 0-)

      against abortion have nothing to do with "life."  The left really needs to understand where the ridiculous hypocrisy of the right with respect to sexytimes actually comes from.

      The language they use, the tactics they use, it has nothing to do with their respect of the concept of "life."  Right-wing Creationists have learned that if they want to force their dogmatic ideology down everyone's throats, they have to do it with misdirection, which is where the entire concept of "Intelligent Design" comes from as Creationism has been publicly accepted as invalid.

      Abortion politics is much the same, they are using the misdirection of "the sanctity of life!" as a ruse for their real motivations because their real motivations are not at all respectable on their own merits.

      Their real motivations are, of course, punishment.  They believe that sexytimes should be only for the purpose of procreation, period.  (This, BTW, is also where their overt resistance to the ideas of homosexuality and gay marriage comes from.)  If some "slut" has sex and gets pregnant, well, she shouldn't have been having sex unless she intended to get pregnant and if she doesn't want to be pregnant, well, too f-ing bad!  If she gets pregnant when she didn't mean to, then she must be "punished" by being forced to carry the pregnancy to full term.

      It is all about their Draconian views on sex, it has absolutely nothing to do with "life."  And the sooner that the left gets their collective heads around this, the sooner we can stop chasing the phantoms of trying to disprove the reasoning that the right gives for their views.  Because if they are disproven, as we can see with Creationists, they will simply move on to a different tactic (in the case of Creationists, they have moved on to "Intelligent Design").

      We need to understand the real basis of the right's hostility to abortion and then shape our tactics accordingly or we'll never beat them in the political arena.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:52:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Thank the Goddess that I am pagan (5+ / 0-)

        "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

        by blackhand on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:36:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Of course. (9+ / 0-)

        And considering that the modern anti-choice movement is primarily a creation of the Catholic bishops, you have their interpretation of theology which is that all sex is sinful that isn't open to procreation. Although this is relatively recent as a primary, absolutist position and isn't shared by a majority of the laity, it has eclipsed virtually everything  else for these bishops as we have seen in recent years with their "non-negotiable issues," none of which involve helping people be able to afford to raise children. While issues like labor rights, the alleviation of poverty, raising the minimum wage, closing the income gap are all in line with Catholic theology, somehow to the bishops all of that took a back seat to forcing women to pay for having sex — both within and outside marriage.

        All this from a small group of supposedly celibate men.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:04:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sheesh, let's all chant this mantra... (0+ / 0-)

          in front of Catholic bishops...

          Sex is good, theology is baaddd...
          Sex is good, theology is baaddd...
          Sex is good, theology is baaddd...
          Sex is good, theology is baaddd...


          Ugh. --UB.

          The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

          by unclebucky on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:56:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        paulex, ickamaus, merrylib, colbey

        Pregnancy is the scarlet letter of shame.  Proving, among other things, that God sanctions double standards about sexuality.

    •  Since the modern anti-choice movement (9+ / 0-)

      is virtually entirely a creation of the U.S. Catholic bishops, their position is based on a theology that denigrates women and locates evil and sin in them. In the early 70s, when they were trying to repeal Roe V Wade, they actually broke with other groups on the repeal amendment because they wanted an exception for the life of the mother. Because women to the Catholic bishops are entirely disposable except as vessels for childbearing, the bishops fought this: they wanted NO consideration for a woman at risk of death. For many reason, Catholic bishops as an aggregate are very hard to like.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

      by anastasia p on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:00:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  While I don't disgree that Catholic bishops, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snwflk, paulex

        and not just those in the US (think Ireland, South America), are "pro-life" proponents, some other denominations are equally as rabid.  Many of the Baptists, who view Catholics as Satan's spawn, are equally as committed to stopping abortions in virtually any way they can.

        A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

        by d3clark on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 01:37:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of many years ago reading (7+ / 0-)

      about the opposition of the Catholic Church in Latin America to birt control and its indifference to the fate of millions of children born because of this policy (think Rio favelas).  And the Church is still indifferent.  

      I just Googled "brazil police murdering street children" and got 23,900,000 hits.

      I want to know, chapter and verse, where Jesus preached for this.

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 01:04:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From a religious standpoint the question is... (26+ / 0-)

    ...when does "ensoulment" happen;

    In religion, ensoulment is the moment at which a human being gains a soul. Some religions say that a soul is newly created within a developing child and others, especially in religions that believe in reincarnation, that the soul is pre-existing and added at a particular stage of development.

    In the time of Aristotle it was widely believed that the human soul entered the forming body at 40 days (male embryos) or 90 days (female embryos), and quickening was an indication of the presence of a soul. Other religious views are that ensoulment happens at the moment of conception; or when the child takes the first breath after being born;[1] at the formation of the nervous system and brain; at the first brain activity; or when the fetus is able to survive independently of the uterus (viability).[2]

    While the Church has always condemned abortion, changing beliefs about the moment the embryo gains a human soul have led their stated reasons for such condemnation, and the classification in canon law of the sin of abortion, to change over time
    IMHO life starts with the first breath.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 11:22:26 PM PDT

  •  Perhaps a better way of putting it is: "no one ... (22+ / 0-)

    Perhaps a better way of putting it is: "no one really knows when life begins, but we all know life doesn't end with pregnancy." Ectopic conditions are by far not the only risks to a woman's life and health that can arise when an egg is fertilized, even after it successfully implants in an appropriate place. No doctor can perfectly predict when or how any or all of these risks may impact a specific woman & very often waiting for the condition to occur means it's too late to do anything about it. I am pro-choice not because I delight in "baby-murdering," but because I don't believe anyone has the right to dictate to women which reproductive risks they should be forced to endure.

    •  The fossil record is pretty clear on this point (12+ / 0-)

      We know life was well underway by 3.5 billion years ago and maybe as early as 3.8 billion years (from indirect evidence). With respect to human reproduction, there is no point in development when the organism is not considered to be alive. When growth and development cease, we die. The pro-forced birth lobby needs to be educated on this front.

      •  And so do some pro-choice advocates (0+ / 0-)

        Who are equally dogmatic in their positions, based on belief.

        That is, they get hung-up in counter-productive arguments about "when life begins" or "when a fetus is viable" because they have (unfortunately) hitched their wagon to a horse from the opposing side.

        I comment on "life" down-thread. Spoiler: life begins before birth, and sometimes ends in the womb or elsewhere.

        No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

        by koNko on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:26:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What would the "dogmatic" pro-choice (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne, paulex

          equivalent be? There is none. This is as grotesque a misstatement as claiming Democrats need to move to the right but Republicans don't need to move anywhere. The current pro-choice movement is totally centrist: it holds that the decision belongs to the woman and imposes its own choice on nobody. The equivalent of the anti-choice movement would be if they held that certain individuals should be forced to have abortions based on their ability to care for a child. And that doesn't exist in the U.S.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

          by anastasia p on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:16:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You totally misunderstand what I am saying (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            Nowhere do I say being pro-choice is dogmatic; obviously I think quite the opposite.

            What I said is some pro-choice advocates strike equally dogmatic positions on "when life begins", and furthermore, that I think this is a losing argument because it pits personal beliefs against each other and falls into the trap set by "pro-lifers".

            Suggest you go back and take another stab at what I wrote on this thread.

            No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

            by koNko on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:48:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  When I taught anatomy and physiology (5+ / 0-)

        I was astonished at the number of students from fundagelical backgrounds who believed in preformationism even though they'd already taken a full year of biology and studied meiosis and mitosis. Apparently it just went in one ear and out the other.

        It made me wonder how many anti-abortionists actually believe in the zygote as homunculus in their heart of hearts, however many five dollar medical terms they may parrot to promote their cause.

        Light is seen through a small hole.

        by houyhnhnm on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:45:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A homunculus that would, as they have not, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          magically be able to be "another Mozart," as one guy asserted to me was possible, or a great stock car racer, or a wealthy person with a big house and expensive clothes, cars, the most beautiful woman, the next president . . .

          It's projecting a dream future that can never take place instead of coming to grips with your own by paying attention and learning from experience.

      •  This line of reasoning seems very compelling to me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tim DeLaney

        as probably the strongest argument that the "pro-lifers" are really arguing a religious point (which is when ensoulment occurs).

        As someone who's always been very pro-choice (because women should have absolute autonomy in deciding what to do about their own bodies), I've also always felt I couldn't deny the claim that, indeed, a newly fertilized egg is "alive."

        I've heard (and used) the argument that cancer cells are also "alive," but don't deserve to continue to "live." But that alone never seemed like it refuted the argument that a zygote is alive. This diary is the first place I've come across the argument that, "of course, the sperm and egg were each already alive, and life is an unbroken continuum since it first emerged billions of years ago."

        If we're all arguing about "when life begins" as if it's a scientific debate, it distracts attention from the religious issue (which as many have pointed out is really about power and control and punishment).

  •  twins and chimera demolish the conception argument (40+ / 0-)

    Twins prove that a zygote is not an individual, since it can later divide into two or more distinct organisms.   So unless you think one person can split into two people, a fertilized egg is clearly not a person.

    Chimeras (organisms created by the fusion of two or more embryos) prove that a zygote can grow into something less than a person, for example a pair of ovaries or the left side of a person.  

    So the result of conception can grow into nothing (the majority of cases), part of a person (chimeras), one person (typical case), or multiple people (towns, triplets, etc.).

    That pretty clearly establishes that, whatever else they might be, zygotes are not people.

    Plus, white blood cells are human entities with a compile set of chromosomes that can live independently on their own, but we don't consider razor cuts to be mass murder events.

    Not to mention that skin (and other) cells can be induced to grow into mature organisms (established for other mammals and presumably true for people as well).

    Bottom line, it is a gross confusion to conflate the concept of human life represented by a zygote with the concept of a person.

  •  A problem with your argument . . . (13+ / 0-)

    . . . is that in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, those who would argue against medical abortion would also argue that it was "God's Will" if you do not have enough money to fly to a state or country where abortion is legal.

    Thus, due to God's mysterious ways, said woman (and her ectopic "baby") are to die for some mysterious plan we mere humans cannot know.

    Logic dictates that life is a continuum all the way back to when it first started. Religion dictates it is God's will that those who die should die (except through medical interventions keeping a brain-dead woman alive for her pregnancy and the death penalty, which are also God's will).

    "A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!'"—William F. Buckley, Jr.—Founder of the conservative policy magazine The Weekly Standard

    by Village Vet on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 01:48:04 AM PDT

  •  some more proof: (31+ / 0-)

    humans have always marked age by birthday.
    "when/where were you born?" is a very common question when getting to know someone. It means the same thing as "How old are you?"
    That's pretty telling.
    Never once heard "How long ago did your parents boink?" or "when is your next Conception Day?". You do NOT qualify for Medicaid 64 years and three months from the date of your live birth. You have to wait those extra nine months. But it's not written that way in the law.
    So, since humans have always equated live birth with the marking of age, I can say QED.

    PS; watched my poor wife suffer through two ectopics. Second one was bad. Very bad. Not a pregnancy in any way; just a hemorrhage.

    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

    by kamarvt on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 05:08:33 AM PDT

  •  my sister had a tubal npregnancy as well. in fa... (10+ / 0-)

    my sister had a tubal npregnancy as well. in fact it was only in the tube and half still in the ovary (which she ended up losing).

  •  Don't particularly care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    whether life begins at conception or not, but not sure how zygosity (or, for that matter, cloning) and ectopic pregnancy proves that it doesn't.  

  •  If it can be human, it is human, unless it is (8+ / 0-)

    inconvenient.  That's why sperm are not human, can't have men get in trouble for jerking it to porn.  That's why eggs aren't human, because the murder of a single woman would be the murder of hundreds of thousands.  That's why cloneable tissue isn't human, because who knows where that would lead.  And obviously the ruling isn't in on clones either, so please Never Let Me Go, which I fear is a future true story.

    So what we are left with is the fertilized egg, with the understanding that eggs that fail to implant still aren't human so need not accuse anyone of flushing their kids down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage even if they are still alive.

    And the reason for this is it maximizes male control of women, maximizes spite, and minimizes male responsibility.  A completely arbitrary made-up definition drilled home over decades and almost never challenged despite its ridiculousness.

    "Wrong, Do it again!" "If you don't learn to compete, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't learn to compete?" "You! Yes, you occupying the bikesheds, stand still laddy!"

    by ban48 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:01:35 AM PDT

  •  What I tell wingnuts (10+ / 0-)
    You've never shaken hands with someone who only breathes water.
    Not at all scientific, but when dealing with wingnuts, that's a distinct advantage.

    We need to invade the Cheney compound. It's ok. They'll greet us as liberators.

    by thenekkidtruth on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:07:27 AM PDT

  •  Definitions, definitions (7+ / 0-)

    These arguments never go anywhere because people arent using the same words to mean the same thing. Not even close.
    "Life", in this case.
    Or Theory", as in the theory of evolution.

    Of course an embryo is alive, in the sense that a rock isnt alive. When does it count as human life, in any meaningful sense? When it looks like a little person? When it has a heartbeat? When it can sense pain? When it graduates from high school?

    These arguments never go anywhere.

    •  I once had a professor (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paulex, DrTerwilliker

      who thought students weren't people until they got a degree.

    •  But it's exactly the issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrTerwilliker, Creosote

      that must be determined--when is it human?

      Why do we care that a chicken is humanely killed, but not condemn killing it for food, and not care very much at all about how a bug is killed?

      Morality all springs from the golden rule.  And for you to employ the golden rule, you start by recognizing that that other being has feelings and consciousness like you.

      You care about pain felt by animals with evolved brains.  You care a lot about pain and killing inflicted on a fellow human being.

      So, abortion is an easy one for me.  First trimester, no or little brain, not a human being.

      Third trimester, enough gray area that I am happy with Roe v Wade drawing that line:  That is where states can impose reasonable regulation.  But like Stand your Ground, a woman has an absolute right to use deadly force to protect herself against harm to her own health.

      Second trimester, I still go with Roe on that one, indeed it is unlikely there is even any pain perception, let alone a human consciousness.  If one could make a binding deal that, say, 5 months is the cutoff, and before that, no restrictions whatsoever, that might be an ok way to resolve the debate.

      So there's a little science involved in helping to define that line, but the basic question is moral and not all that hard to define or understand or defend.

      And yeah, the religious fanatics who are rabidly drawn to this cause--but don't blink an eye about the thousands of embryos deliberately created and destroyed in fertility clinics--what really gets their juices going is feeling righteously superior to a sexually amoral woman.  Sacred life my ass.

  •  Well, it isn't proof, but I sympathize. Thing is, (12+ / 0-)

    one of your points--that we should be able to discuss uncomfortable things in public--is a big deal, & no moreso than WRT abortion and, even more socioculturally dangerous, overpopulation.  

    One of the most important distinctions we can & must make is that human LIFE doesn't equal a PERSON.  Twins don't really demolish the argument of genetic individuality; the genetic profile is still separate from the mother, & any dedicated anti-choice proponent will simply say that & not back off.  The zygote is still a new living potential human...  but it is--as almost every sincere Kossack (excluding trolls) will agree--not a person.

    Person is a legal definition defined by birth, or, in some circumstances, viability--say, when a pregnant woman is injured & loses her late term pregnancy, & the law presses charges for that loss of life.  A person exists socially & has social influence & a legal relationship with society--something a fetus does not have.  

    The uncomfortable discussion we need to have is that women must have the right to, yes, kill a zygote or embryo.  It is not murder because it is not a person.  And doctors must have the unquestioned right to kill an ectopic pregnancy to save the woman, who is indisputably a person.  No one on our side wants to say "kill" because we are decent people, & that's a word the OTHER side uses.  Let's go directly at them & say that what they say is wrong, we say is right.

    I think we're too concerned about getting lost in our language of equality, & our legit concerns about the need for all people to have the same basic rights vs. prejudice, oppression, or genocide.  It is this weakness in our own moral language that the antichoice cons exploit in this ongoing argument.  We remember recent history when minorities, women, & LGBT had no rights, & we are perhaps afraid of making mistakes when we discuss rights in this context.

    WE need to just step up & say that WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE ALL THEIR DECISIONS & that doing so is morally fine.  Abortion is not murder because murder can happen only to a legally defined person; if miscarriage can happen naturally, it can also be chosen in a safe manner, & that's OK, & frankly none of anyone else's concern.  

    If we want to win the argument, make a safer world for women, & end the politically catastrophic social division it has caused, we have to cut to the core of the antichoice argument.  We can't dance around it or mince words.  It's OK for a woman to kill her zygote, embryo, or first term fetus, it's OK to kill an unviable later term fetus, and it's always OK to place the life of the pregnant person above the life of the protoperson she carries.  Her choice is hers, & she needs our support, not our judgment.

    It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

    by Leftcandid on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:26:29 AM PDT

    •  Conflated arguments, indeed (0+ / 0-)

      What the right does, I guess, if this is a right/left issue, is conflate separate arguments.

      1. Moral argument: is it sin to consciously abort a fetus?
      2. Social argument: is it right to allow medical abortion of fetuses?
      3. Legal argument: at what point is a fetus a person with rights to protection by the state?

      Argument #1 is intractable. It's mainly the argument people have in public, and it goes around in circles. Even fundamentalists who stick only to the Bible can find an Old Testament bit where the women who aborted their babies of infidels were protected because they did the right thing. It's an argument that, like all arguments of this nature, is vain.

      Argument #2 is the argument that pro-choice wins on. Anti-choice folks will engage in it only in sniffles about how some poor boyfriend was deprived of his chance to have a son by a confused girl who was persuaded by the abortion-industrial complex or something. They lose. It's why they stay away from social harm arguments except in friendly confines.

      Argument #3 is the one that the courts had to decide. They're not deciding "life." They're deciding, as you say, "personhood" before the law. The law is not right, and it is not scientific. It's just law. They came to the viability standard -- if the fetus was "viable outside of the mother's womb," it was a person or person enough to be protected from abortion. Otherwise, before the law the embryo could be "alive" in a million ways. It's not a person, though.

      The state legislators around the country know how to reverse Roe, and that's why they've worked on their "mother friendly" legislation to "protect mothers" by making it a double murder to kill a pregnant woman. They're trying to establish in law that the fetus is a legal person. If they do that, they overturn Roe without even going to court.

      "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

      by The Geogre on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 01:16:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  GC speaks for me (5+ / 0-)

    Starts at 3:15 with "is a fetus a human being?"

    "Republicans: the party that brought us 'Just Say No.' First as a drug policy, then as their entire platform." ---Stephen Colbert

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:45:03 AM PDT

    •  Genesis 3, in part (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, AlyoshaKaramazov

      The actual justification for the screwball opinion follows:

      16 To the woman he [God] said,
      “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
          with painful labor you will give birth to children.
      Your desire will be for your husband,
          and he will rule over you.”
      Pregnancy is punishment.

      Men control women.

      So . . . naughty girls "desire" IT, get pregnant, suffer, and take their orders from the boss.

      We should wonder who came up with that plan, ayeh?

      We're all just working for Pharaoh.

      by whl on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:18:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for sharing. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, paulex

    Thanks for sharing.

  •  Life begins at first breath, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, catwho

    in my opinion.  Until it breathes, it is not living on it's own, it is living off the host mother.

    People act on the outside how they feel on the inside. If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:46:57 AM PDT

    •  historically, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, Ahianne

      it begins at "quickening"

      In pregnancy terms, quickening is the moment in pregnancy when the pregnant woman starts to feel or perceive fetal movements in the uterus.
      Thus, quickening perceived by a woman has been only one of the standards used to mark when a human life legally begins. Others include viability, birth, and conception.

      So, historically, "Conception" is ONLY ONE standard amongst many.

      Definitions of pregnancy beginning
      At its 2004 Annual Meeting, The American Medical Association passed a resolution in favor of making "Plan B" emergency contraception available over-the-counter, and one of the claims in the resolution was that hormonal contraception that may affect implantation "cannot terminate an established pregnancy." Similarly, the British Medical Association has defined an "established pregnancy" as beginning at implantation. The legal definition in the United Kingdom is not clear.

      Other definitions exist. The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary defines "pregnancy" as "from conception until birth." Definitions like this may add to a lay person's confusion, as "conception" in a scientific context may be defined as fertilization, in a medical context can mean either fertilization or implantation but in lay terms may mean both.

      "Republicans: the party that brought us 'Just Say No.' First as a drug policy, then as their entire platform." ---Stephen Colbert

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:07:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  if life begins at conception . . . . . (5+ / 0-)

    then I wanna be able to drive when I'm 15 years and 3 months, and vote when I'm 17 years and 3 months, and drink when I'm 20 years and 3 months, and get my Social Security when I'm 64 years and 3 months.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:54:54 AM PDT

  •  speaking as a retired OB-GYN and abortion provider (26+ / 0-)

    Much as I sympathize with your point of view, I feel compelled to point out that ectopic pregnancies occasionally - rarely, but it does happen - reach viability before the diagnosis is even considered.

    Better in my long-held view to stop arguing about when human life begins and start arguing about when or whether any person of any age, gestational or otherwise, has the right to commandeer another person's physical body against that person's will, at the risk of severe pain, permanent impairment, disfigurement, genital mutilation, death etc - as with any normal pregnancy.

    "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

    by pianogramma on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:55:38 AM PDT

    •  If you read my post, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, T Maysle, Ahianne

      you may have noticed this:

      Yes, there have been a few cases of ectopic pregnancies coming to term, but most are from implantations after a uterus is removed, or very, very close to the uterus. That is NOT what I am talking about here. Mostly, I am talking about a “tubal” pregnancy.
      I know that it is possible for certain types of ectopic pregnancies to come to term. Not only did I not deny it, I stated that explicitly.

      I am happy to clear that up for you.

      As far as arguing about when life begins, if that is the foundation of the argument of the forced-birth crowd, I will refute it. I admire your view and in an ideal world it would prevail. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world.

      Thank you for everything that you have done to make the world better, by serving humanity in your practice.

      "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

      by paulex on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:39:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  forced-birthers won't consider themselves refuted (6+ / 0-)

        Thanks. And sorry I overlooked your mention of those "few cases" of term ectopics in my focus on abortion - obviously not an issue when a fetus has reached term.

        Having been raised by rigid forced-birthers, and with two sisters still of that persuasion, I guarantee you that nothing in your line of reasoning will change their beliefs. On the other hand, when we have the same crowd applauding "stand your ground" laws that permit shooting an intruder who merely appears to menace one's physical space, some (not all, by any stretch) can be reasoned into acknowledging the inconsistency of their views.

        "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

        by pianogramma on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:18:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why do they care if someone else chooses an (4+ / 0-)

          abortion over raising a an unwanted child.  I really do not understand the passion over this issue.  I can understand making the call for yourself but not for insisting someone else live by your rules.  It seems like a real waste of energy, better to spent your time and energy feeding the hunger, tending to the sick, visiting those who are in prison...the things Christ told us to do....he never said one dam word about abortion.

          •  Because a woman is destroying a man's property (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            That's the ultraconservative position.

            “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

            by FishOutofWater on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:51:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ok that explains why men care but there are quite (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              a few women on those picket lines.  Why would they care....misery loves company?  Kind of a thin explanation.

              •  I think I understand where they're coming from. (3+ / 0-)

                I'll try to explain. You see, the men and women on those picket lines really do believe that abortion equals the murder of an innocent baby. Yes, there may be underlying misogyny, male supremacy, sexual repression, psychopathology, etc, but for people like my most fervently forced-birth sister, abortion equals infanticide, pure and simple. If liberals can mobilize to "stop the killing" in Vietnam or Iraq or in vulnerable avian nesting sites in the path of Atlantic oil spills, surely we can understand the impulse to do whatever it takes to make people stop killing.

                My sister is the gentlest, kindest, most self-effacing, generous, give-everyone-the-benefit-of-the-doubt person you could ever meet. We never, ever "go there," but she surely knows (from malicious family chit-chat if nothing else) that I used to perform abortions as part of my clinical practice. Thanks to her life-long enmeshment in conservative Catholicism, and thanks, I imagine, to our shared history of emotional abuse as children (chronic childhood abuse often leads to a lack of self-empathy - a putting others ahead of self no matter what), she can't grasp the "selfishness" of someone who would kill a baby at any stage of gestation rather than "give life" and relinquish that baby to adoptive parents. Her exposure to the facts of embryonic and fetal development has been biased to the point that she projects cuddly baby onto every conceptus and imagines a cute little chest surrounding every unchambered heartbeat.

                To someone with that mindset, the frequent depersonalization of fetuses by pro-choice activists ("fetal parts" "terminate" etc) sounds cruel, crass, insensitive, and selfish. To me, my sister's letters to the editor on this subject sound deeply clueless about conception and pregnancy and profoundly cruel about the significant risks and burdens of childbearing for many women.

                I hasten to add that this same sister, when faced with a potentially fatal crisis in her newborn youngest child - a crisis of a sort that would likely worsen with each successive pregnancy, chose to bend her religion and end her child-bearing career via a permanent surgical method. This sane and compassionate decision was reached after consultation with her pastor, her doctor, and me. If the misfortune of desperately unwanted pregnancy had befallen her, I suspect it might have changed her views.

                "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

                by pianogramma on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 04:48:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have only one other comment...why aren't these (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Heart of the Rockies

                  same people in favor of all children having healthcare, pre-K, their mothers having pre-natal care, support of public education through college.  It may not apply to your sister but so many of these ultra conservatives do not support the basics for the children they mandate be born.  They turn on them like rabid dogs once they are born.  

                  •  very true, and my parents were of that stripe (0+ / 0-)

                    However, their paranoid psychopathology was so primitive and delusional - its internal contradictions so blatant and astonishing - I can only explain their unforgiving attitude as the product of fundamentally insecure minds. Also for them, punishing "mortal sin" sex doubtless had a lot to do with it.

                    But when we assume that folks who oppose government (read taxpayer) provision of healthcare, pre-K, prenatal care etc would deny it across the board, we may find ourselves embarrassingly mistaken. Unlike my parents, a lot of these people give very generously through their church, and very generously of their time, to assist struggling single moms and other needy neighbors.

                    "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

                    by pianogramma on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:52:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They give to those of their same color or (0+ / 0-)

                      religious persuasion that just happen to be "sinners".  They get no credit in my book and I don't think Christ is giving them any gold stars either.  He specifically told us to embrace those who hate us and turn the other cheek with love and generosity of resources and spirit to those that despise us(disagree with us).  

                      •  not true (0+ / 0-)
                        They give to those of their same color or (0+ / 0-)
                        religious persuasion that just happen to be "sinners".

                        Visit a church-based soup kitchen or clinic, and you might see attempts to convert, but you won't see any litmus test other than self-admitted poverty. Really.

                        You need to shed some of your liberal prejudices. It would be nice if all our opponents were hateful bigots undeserving of Christ's blessing, but they aren't.

                        "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

                        by pianogramma on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 05:43:45 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Nice (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          paulex, jan4insight

          You got them to admit that maybe a pregnant woman has a paramount right not to be invaded.  Well done.

          •  imho this is where we must take the debate (0+ / 0-)

            or we'll never prevail with SCOTUS or any red-state legislature. Right wingers comprehend the concepts of invasion, bodily threat, justifiable homicide etc. We may not agree with their trigger-happiness, but I submit that we might use it to our advantage re abortion rights.

            "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." -- Thomas Jefferson

            by pianogramma on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 06:15:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm no pro-lifer, but it is incorrect to (9+ / 0-)

    Say that a tubal pregnancy remains undifferentiated. It differentiates just the same way another pregnancy would, just gets restricted by the tube and can rupture it. It is not a cancer. You might be thinking of a molar or partial molar pregnancy-- which is not a baby.  Please get the facts right when you are trying to combat prolife rhetoric. It does us no good to get the facts wrong.

    I want to live in a world where George Zimmerman offered Trayvon Martin a ride home to get him out of the rain that night. -Bishop G. Brewer

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:39:49 AM PDT

  •  Life (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, jan4insight

    ... does not begin until birth, according to the Bible as well actually:

  •  My condolences to your sister (9+ / 0-)

    Although my wife and I never had an ectopic pregnancy, we did lose two pregnancies, one at about 10 weeks and another a little before that.  They were tremendous losses to us, and I am sure it would have been worse if my wife's life had been threatened.  We planted rose bushes in the front yard as a way to help us heal.  When we felt safe enough to try again, we were fortunate to end up with a healthy baby.  Her middle name is "Rose" in honor of the two we lost.

    May you be spared from people who tell you, "God never gives you more than you can handle."

    by ccyd on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 07:56:34 AM PDT

  •  not quite (3+ / 0-)

    While I agree with yor overall premise, your description of ectopic prgnancy is incorrect.

    Its cells will split, undifferentiated, until the woman dies.
    A molar pregnancy has undifferentiated cells; an ectopic pregnancy is a normally developing embryo in an impossible location.  The ectopic pregnancy, when removed, is recognizable as a normally developing embryo.   As you state, it cannot survive, and the mother is likely tonot survive as well, if it is not removed.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:19:20 AM PDT

  •  My 2 cents (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, Ahianne, Heart of the Rockies

    As you mentioned, when the "pro-life" folks talk about life beginning at conception, they're really saying that  upon fertilization one has an actual unique person (with a soul of course).

    They're wrong of course. What one has at conception is potential person. The zygote is a blueprint for a person, but it's not a person IMO.

  •  WAITER!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, SheLawyer, Ahianne, 6ZONite

    Why did you bring me fried eggs when I ordered fried chicken?

    The glass is not half full or half empty - it is trying to kill me.

    by LuLu on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 08:45:13 AM PDT

  •  My cousin nearly died (8+ / 0-)

    from a late-diagnosed ectopic, which cost her an ovary as well as the tube. She was never able to get pregnant again, though she very much wanted to.

    For me, the most appalling part of your story is the hospital's unwillingness to treat your sister, knowing full well how dangerous a condition this is. This is a decision based on their "moral" judgement that the pregnancy always has more value than the life of the woman whose body is supporting it. As was noted upthread, this is punishing women for having sex - even when it was done with the intent of procreation.

     They might be good Catholics, but they are also doctors in the US, not the Vatican. They took the Hippocratic Oath, and they have violated it. They should lose their licenses.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:00:01 AM PDT

  •  I differentiate between potential life and life. (4+ / 0-)

    An acorn is not a tree, A fertilized egg is not a chicken.   Life by definition requires the ability to live...doesn't it?  Isn't that what life is?     The question as to when life begins has been discussed thru time.   From a twinkle in an eye , to a fertilized egg, to a clump of cells, to a forming embryo, ...but for all the discussion it is when an organism can live.  Else there is no "life."  

    "When wealth rules, democracy dies." Me

    by leema on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:14:17 AM PDT

    •  just so (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paulex, Ahianne, Heart of the Rockies

      life is not a binary, on-off thing.  Watching  my son grow from a "baby blob" into a toddler convinced me more than anything how life is nurtured not simply created.

      If GOP were truly "pro life" they would support children, not just zygotes.

      1. Books are for use.

      by looty on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:22:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. It depends on the timing. The RWNJs (4+ / 0-)

      won't recognize that directly, but it's possible to infer they do recognize it by their actions, in seeking to reduce the window for legal abortion down to zero with respect to time.

      To me, the most important question is: Why do they want to control the outcomes of pregnancies other than their own?

      They try to make a moral argument which your point refutes. They try to make a religious argument, but in doing so they ignore the truth that their religious views are subjective.

      The only answer can be that they are crazy control freaks who want to have everything their own way. What gives them the idea they are entitled to that?

  •  gotta define your terms (0+ / 0-)

    what is "life?"
    what is a "human?"

    I don't know when human life begins quite frankly. The issue though is the balance between whatever that life is, and the life of an adult to choose when they want to reproduce. Understandably and I think logically, we've erred on the side of the fully grown adult at least until the point when the fetus is viable on it's own.

    Now, if either men and women could get pregnant, or we developed an artificial pouch where embryos were grown then they might affect the abortion question in my mind, but only so far as to now extend the right to choose to both sexes.

    It's because the woman is the one that risks carrying a child inside of her body that she gets the choice.

    But there's never going to be an acceptable alternative where no one gets a choice except the very narrow situation (and rare) where someone (either mom today, or either parent in future world where we stick babies in artificial placentas) waits to make the choice until after the fetus is viable on its own...which is already the law today more or less.

    I don't know what we mean by "life" begins at conception. I know the religious beliefs involved (the soul) but I don't believe in a soul, so that's irrelevant, and certainly not something you can scientifically establish.  I do know that full grown adults have priority when deciding their reproduction, at least up to a point.

    •  This is why the debate needs to be moved from (2+ / 0-)

      when does life begin? Since, scientifically speaking, the sperm and egg were each already alive, there was no "beginning point."

      The real issues are (1) autonomy of an existing person to decide what happens to her own body, and (2) religious belief (moment of ensoulment).  Since (2) should not be established into law (see 1st Amendment), the only legitimate debate to be had is (1). And in my opinion, there's no debate. Women should have absolutely autonomy to make the choice for themselves.

      •  I'm rabidly pro-choice (0+ / 0-)

        But I think you have to address both sides of the equation.  You balance the rights of the woman versus the rights of the fetus.

        That's why it's no slippery slope to deny that up to six months (at least), the fetus is not human because it does not have a brain capable of human thoughts and feelings.  That does not mean I favor infanticide, because once outside the womb, a society that chooses and has resources to care for it, can do so--then, adoption is a viable alternative for the woman, etc.

        The reason that the woman wins the balancing test at least up through the second trimester (and in the third trimester, can terminate for health reasons)--how I read Roe v Wade, simplistically--is that the fetus is not a feeling, thinking, conscious human being like she is.  My golden rule tells me to care about her feelings and rights, as opposed to a creature without human feelings and consciousness.

        •  I fundamentally disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I fundamentally disagree with this line of reasoning, because now the debate has moved from "when does life start" to "who is more deserving of protection." Even you describe this debate as being subject to some arbitrary "golden rule." It is a slippery slope, and now the discussion gets derailed along another subjective (I would argue, religious) path.

          As far as the arbitrary distinction between second and third trimesters, I personally don't believe that the fetus has "rights" that supersede those of the woman at any point. There's no way to prove that the fetus is or is not "a feeling, thinking, conscious being" during the second trimester, but suddenly gains those qualities at the moment the third trimester commences.

          If a woman is in the heart-breaking position of deciding to end a pregnancy in the 3rd trimester, it's unlikely she's doing it frivolously. And I don't believe anyone outside the woman, her health care provider, and anyone else she chooses to consult, should be involved in the decision.

          •  but that IS the debate (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            At some point the fetus IS more deserving of protection in most cases.  That's the law in Roe, and it makes sense.

            You aren't going to say the right to procreate means you can terminate an 8-month pregnancy when there is otherwise no threat to the mother to continue to term.

            You can say that when you are at 6 weeks because the fetus cannot survive outside of the womb, but at 8 months, it's ready and can.

            If she isn't doing it "frivolously" in the third trimester then one assumes she's doing it for health reasons, which is an allowed exception.

            Changing your mind at that late stage is not.  With respect, I think the vast majority of pro-choice people would not agree with you that an abortion can happen at any time, for any reason right up through the third trimester.

          •  The golden rule is arbitrary? (0+ / 0-)

            I would say it is the basis of most sound secular and religious morality.

            It's the self-evident axiom that provides the basis from which specific rules and laws are made.  

            As Hillel said, "That which you find painful, don't do to someone else.  That is the entire law, the rest is all commentary."

  •  I support abortion on demand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies

    for any woman in any circumstance. The only role the government should play is standard of care, licensing the medical professionals. That being said your argument fails to refute the right to lifers. if an egg is alive and sperm are alive when they come together they are still alive so the products of conception are alive when they combine. the fact that it fails to develop properly doesn't negate that fact. You are trying to argue the wrong point.

  •  For the born-again nutjobs I grew up with (5+ / 0-)

    it means that a living soul is created at conception. Yes, that fertilized egg contains a living soul.  A living soul is all that matters because it's your soul that lives for eternity in heaven or hell. The biological form is just a temporary container for that soul.  It matters not whether the biological form it lives in is a fertilized egg or a fully grown human being.  If you do anything to that soul at any your action is considered murder.  If you have a miscarriage or it doesn't implant, that is god's actions which are not to be questioned.  Some even believe that if a pregnancy will kill the mother and the child, that is god's plan and shouldn't be questioned, nor should any action be taken to save the mother's life.

    Of course, I completely disagree with all of this. I offer no proof for my opinion because of one very simple thing.  None of their beliefs can be proven so I have nothing to prove to them.  Abortion is legal.  It is a women's right to decide what happens with the help and support of whomever she chooses to include in that decision.  End of story.  Everyone else shut the fuck up.

    America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

    by Back In Blue on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 09:42:26 AM PDT

    •  I *wish* they would STFU, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paulex, Heart of the Rockies

      since the forced-birthers are very successfully imposing new laws around the country based on their religious ideas of when life "begins," we have to do something more active than just tell them to shut up &/or ignore them. Abortion is legal now, but for how long if we don't reverse the tide?

      •  Absolutely. (6+ / 0-)

        I'm only sharing what I know about the forced-birthers I grew up with and stating my position which I hope is clear.  

        What the forced-birthers have gotten away with is another matter and the only way to change those laws is to have them overturned.  Our paths to that are to retake local and state government and repeal them or the much harder task of finding people to file suit.  My understanding is that it will be very hard to find someone with standing, who was harmed by these laws, who will be willing to put themselves out as a target.   They will be harassed, threatened, and possibly even attacked physically.  The forced-birthers are counting on that.

        It is a great tragedy for this country that the democratic party took it's eye off the ball for local and state government, focusing almost solely on the presidency, especially in 2010.  

        America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

        by Back In Blue on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 01:10:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Soul" is religious (2+ / 0-)

      "Murder" is legal/moral

      Leave it to God to mete out the punishment for anyone who messes with a sacred soul.  That's His/Her province.  Down here on earth, our job is to make laws based on what we know as human beings, not what we choose to believe

  •  It's a personal belief and should be left that way (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, Ahianne

    The definition of human life is existential. It is, in fact, infinitesimally probable that any of us exist. Too many things have to happen by chance. If you abort a fetus at, say three months, that potential human joins the infinite group of those who never existed. This is something for the individual, or couple, to ponder and to decide for themselves.

    Violence occurs when some individual, group, or government decides about forced continuation to term. A woman's body then becomes victim to arbitrary authority. And at that point there is now a question of responsibility for that human life, for which that same authority will completely deny.

    Part of the problem here is that religious zealots attribute a supernatural cast on the act of creating a fertilized egg, that is, god did it and god commands you to take it to term. If that's they way they believe, that's fine for them, but they should never be allowed to force this on the rest of society.

    One other point. We can now create genome sequences, and are only going to get better at it. If a computer generates a new human like genome sequence, is that human life? What is the test? Who are the responsible parents? Is it human life when stored on disk? Or implanted in a egg cell? I think that this gets back to my original point, that the definition is existential. Be careful about your response to this question as at some point there may be no way to tell the difference between computer generated DNA and DNA generated by "natural" means.

  •  A "proof" without adequate terms of reference is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, Ahianne

    an opinion.

  •  I once asked an abortion protestor (6+ / 0-)

    If abortion is legal and God is perfect, what's the problem? His head almost exploded and he swore I would go to hell.

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:07:44 AM PDT

  •  Many people believe life begins at contraception (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, Hammerhand, Ahianne

    And they are no more right or wrong than you are in your belief.

    That your sister had a “tubal pregnancy” doesn't prove or disprove anything but that, in some cases, the result of contraception will be a form of life that threatens the mothers (plenty with "normal" births also die in the process).

    And just because some people believe life begins at contraception does not necessarily mean they are against abortion or would not get one themselves, but such a decision would certainly go through the filter of their belief system as much as it would for someone with a different belief system making the same choice.

    I understand it is almost an article of faith by liberal Americans that the belief that life starts with contraception is wrong because life cannot be sustained outside the womb at that point so it can't be life, right?  And then the political debates about abortion follow, and they tend to be highly polarized at that.

    Some people think differently.  They think conception is the beginning of life. And what follows is a continuum of development that leads to a point when that life can be sustained outside of a womb (or not). Exactly the point a life can be sustained is not something that can be determined with certainty, even the medical science if full of dependent conditions and an estimation, not a precise determination.

    And it is not at all important to get a precise answer for any purpose other than to use it as a rhetorical tool, pro or con, in these debates.  

    In practical terms, where abortion is concerned, it's only really important to define in a case at hand where a medical decision has to be made.  Or at least should be; I fully recognize the problem your sister faced.

    Simply because conception sometimes results in a life form (or if you wish a tumor) that will not develop into a viable fetus, such as your sister's “tubal pregnancy”, it does not actually contradict the idea the conception is the beginning of life when it results in a different outcome.

    And there is an important reason not to be so categorically narrow; some people think/believe differently and the same facts lead to their conclusion as well.

    For example:

    Traditionally, Chinese (like lots of other cultures) believe life starts at contraception and it's based on observation of nature and how babies are made not some sort of religious doctrine, and because of that, we start counting age at conception, so in traditional terms, a child is "one year old" when it is born, our traditional concept of a year also being approximate and based on our Lunar calendar, which is also based on the observation of nature.

    And to our way of thinking, the "proof" you offer can also be used to reach another obvious conclusion:

    That some lives start and end in the womb. Or fallopian tubes.

    My wife actually miscarried her first pregnancy, fraternal twins. I assure you, it would be impossible to convince her that was not life followed by death, and equally hard to convince me because one morning, she told me "The babies have died" and within hours she miscarried. She knew that because there were living things inside of her that died.

    And what we found was:

    - the boy died first, at least 2 days before, and consequentially;
    - it caused the miscarriage of the both, while the girl was still a live fetus

    That is the bitter medical fact explained to us after the autopsy of the fetuses.

    Later, after much hardship, she conceived again and our daughter was born, our little "miracle" of life.

    On July 16 she will be 7 years old, born 2008 July 16.

    Or if you prefer, 6 years old.

    Depends on the system you count with, of course.

    Really suggest people allow for different concepts of life and when that begins, because rigid dogma does us no good, particularly when it is imposed on others with life-threatening consequences.

    Because life is precious. Your sister's, my daughter's, each one.

    No one is coming to save us, the future is in our hands.

    by koNko on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:20:06 AM PDT

  •  Life began 3.8 billion years ago (6+ / 0-)

    A mating pair does not create life.  It simply directs its manifestation.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:30:32 AM PDT

  •  Most anti-abortionists... (6+ / 0-)

    Believe in life before birth and after death, but not in between.

    I prefer the "in between".

    Abortion Clinics OnLine, the world's first and largest source for online abortion clinic information. Join my DK Abortion Group.

    by annrose on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 10:37:55 AM PDT

  •  Blessed be to you and your family, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, jan4insight, Creosote

    Tragedy worsened by ignorance.  No one should have to go thru what your sister did.

  •  And.... (5+ / 0-)

    It also happened to someone very close to me.
    Fortunately, it was in New York and she was able to get the help she needed, where she needed, when she needed and without name calling or any other horror show at the entrance to the hospital when she went for her VERY unwanted (but medically VERY necessary) procedure.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:17:29 AM PDT

  •  Actually, life begins when a Coropration is formed (9+ / 0-)

    "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open." - Frank Zappa

    by macleme on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:23:08 AM PDT

  •  A diary in the spirit of Sagan & Druyan. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, jan4insight

    Always love to see people using logic.

    Here's my favorite discussion of abortion, ever:

    Also: I am sorry they did that to your sister.

  •  Don't give the Tea Party radicals new... (2+ / 0-)

    ideas. Before you know it, they'll ask for Obama's Long-Form Conception Certificate. "He was born in Hawaii, but conceived in Kenya!"

    "Woe unto ye beetles of South America." -- Charles Darwin, about to sail on The Beagle, 1831

    by Katakana on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 11:54:47 AM PDT

  •  I nearly died from an Ectopic Pregnancy (8+ / 0-)

    in the spring of 1990.

    My doctor thought that I had had an "unfinished" miscarriage, leaving me passing blot clots and still showing hCG (the hormone a woman's body creates when she is pregnant) on tests.

    So they sent me to the hospital for a D & C (dilation and curettage). Which was painful.

    The two doctors who did the procedure left the room, and a nurse came in. About two minutes later, I had the worst flash of pain (and I had already undergone two deliveries at this time, with over 30some hours of labor with the second) of my entire life on the low, right side of the abdomen.

    Turns out, I had an ectopic pregnancy, and that flash of pain? That was the fallopian tube bursting.

    If I hadn't been IN THE HOSPITAL, on a table already, there is a fair chance I would have bled to death that day.

    Thank you for writing this diary.

    Life most certainly DOES NOT begin at conception.

    Abortion and other healthcare services for women are not murder or death - they are life-saving treatment for WOMEN.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:37:55 PM PDT

  •  Speaking from a strictly biological viewpoint (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    every organism you've identified is technically alive. We need a more refined discussion I think.

    Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 01:31:47 PM PDT

    •  I don't think we should be discussing it at all. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bobs Telecaster

      It devolves quickly into a discussion of faith and religion, which should be off the table.  Women should have complete control over their own bodies.  Life begins, for legal purposes, when you are born, and a birth certificate is generated.  People are free to believe it starts at conception, but that is a religious belief that shouldn't be imposed on others.  If we could win a case of freedom to practice your religion own (including no religion), that would end the discussion for good.

      •  It actually isn't a religious belief (0+ / 0-)

        it is a scientific fact.  All debate about human reproductive law aside,  every lipid encased organelle containing a deoxyribonucleic lattice structure, capable of sending RNA instructions to the outer area to manufacture proteins. and which can metabolize without a host is technically alive.

        No religion needed.

        Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

        by Bobs Telecaster on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 11:57:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Send This To Pope Francis... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, jan4insight

    He's got this big meeting starting in the fall with all those guys in crimson and purple to talk about sex. Unless they want to  deal with the real world, they ought to just stay home.

    "Never before has it been so hard for the rich to become poor, or for the poor to become rich." Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R,Ky)

    by wild hair on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:07:51 PM PDT

  •  Yes its not complicated (2+ / 0-)

    Human life starts at birth, or when the fetus is separated from the mother. That's it and no more.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 02:21:32 PM PDT

  •  There really is no beginning of life of (2+ / 0-)

    any particular human since the various parts that go into him/her have also been alive before conception - including the egg which is alive in the mother when she herself was a fetus.  It is ridiculous to try to define the beginning.  

    Two points:
    1.  I love telling my Bible believing friends that Adam didn't come to life until the breath was breathed into him.  Therefore a human isn't alive until it is born and breathes for the first time.  Bible says so.

    2.  What is really at issue is the civil definition of a being becoming a member of the living for legal purposes.  If you define legal life as beginning before birth, that has all sorts of repercussions for inheritance and property rights.  It is much more practical and cleaner to define legal life as beginning with a live birth.

    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

    by fayea on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 03:40:07 PM PDT

  •  I've heard that life begins at 40. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paulex, 1040SU

    But since I'm nearly 47, I'm hoping it's actually 50.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 06:12:48 PM PDT

  •  It's a chicken and egg argument (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When a human life begins is a matter of opinion.

  •  The fact is... (0+ / 0-)

    ...even the church long believed that "ensoulment" happened not at conception but at quickening - when the woman feels the fetus move inside her for the first time. What makes a lot more sense to me considering how many fertilised eggs never implant and how many pregnancies end naturally before the woman even knows she's conceived.

  •  There are so many ways to make this point (0+ / 0-)

    If the mother dies after conception where is the human?

    Even a fully formed fetus is not capable of sustaining itself.  

    After delivery unless maintained the newborn is not sustainable as a human.

    Mammals in particular are fuzzy things until they can sustain themselves.

    Religious nonsense is the only way people can have answers to unanswerable questions.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 05:12:59 PM PDT

  •  The issue is not life. (0+ / 0-)

    Obviously an egg and sperm are alive, before and after conception. But so is the root of a hair. The fertilized egg has a small advantage in that it is a new combination of genes that is a part of a well evolved process of reproduction. But so what? That is not the issue.

    The issue is "personhood." Does a fertilized egg count as a person, that is to say an entity that has rights? Equally obvious to me, the answer is no.

    here are many theories as to when the developing life becomes a full person, and all of them can be argued against on one ground or another. Views range from conception, to quickening, to viability (a moving goal post because of the advance of medicine), to birth, and some radical philosophers content that one cannot bear rights without bearing responsibilities, so not even a new born would be a "person" yet. Some would argue a new born wouldn't count as a person, but am adult chimp or dolphin would.  No one is solving this issue in a DK diary.

    This issue of life is a mistaken take on the reproductive controversies. The issue is deeper, more fundamental, and much more subtle. And no one to date has come up with a universally acceptable theory of personhood. nor ever will be able to. Proof of the beginning of "life" will not settle these issues.

    •  THe issue is not life (0+ / 0-)

      I think the whole blather about personhood is irrelevant.  

      The reason we try to prohibit murder is to make you and me and others safer and more secure.  Murder causes chaos and misery. So it is logical to forbid murder. Abortion, on the other hand, does not cause chaos or misery, it does not make you and me less safe or secure. Indeed, the termination of unwanted pregnancies may reduce the number of dangerous people and make our world safer and less chaotic.

  •  Tubal pregnancies are treated in hospitals (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe not Catholic hospitals but all "regular" hospitals will take care of them.

  •  You're very smart but, aside from us Kossaks, i... (0+ / 0-)

    You're very smart but, aside from us Kossaks, it's too esoteric. I like the breath answer better. It's easy and verifiable.

  •  My Mother had an ectopic pregnancy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we were living in Sweden and that was way back when there was no Anti abortion movement like today and had it been in the USA there still would have been no question of  the medical necessity... and no ignorant, unkind people blocking her path...

    and had my mother not had access to fast medical solution (waiting is not an option when hours count) to save her life my brother and all his children would never have been and all the interactions with all the people in their lives would never have occurred... So his existence and theirs are therefore based on choice and science. He was chosen... the ectopic emergency before that was dealt with properly... a rational choice as well.

    Personal choice and medical truth should always come first.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 04:59:13 AM PDT

  •  I am so sorry. I used to have a similar point o... (0+ / 0-)

    I am so sorry. I used to have a similar point of view until I read up on these things. However, I would wonder if medically, scientifically--not emotionally, not even "legally", it can be determined exactly WHEN an actual, healthy fetus does become a human being with rights. Is it entirely up to the mother, or "host" as one person put it to me? Is it ONLY and FINALLY at birth? Two minutes before? A month before? "Quickening"? Is it not illogical for one woman at 6 months healthy pregnancy to decide she's a "mother with a baby" inside her and another to decide she's a "host with a parasite" in her body that she wants excised? I don't want to control anyone's body but my own and perhaps the location of some criminals'. But I also don't want to be part of some horrific "crime against humanity", if you will, either. Still curious, but not so dogmatic.

  •  nephesh (0+ / 0-)

    Some religious scholars believe life begins at first breath, not conception.

    Biblical references related to the beginning of life.

  •  Facts of Life (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Primer for Republicans:

    - The spermatozoon who successfully penetrates the ovum is alive. Were it not, he would have zero motility and have lost the first great competition to get the girl.
    - The ovum successfully penetrated by Mr. Lucky is alive, too. Were she not, Wiggles would have turned up his nose at her.
    - The fertilized egg (a diploid called the zygote) is alive, too, and constitutes a new biological identity. But its "life span" is measured in hours if it fails to find a welcoming home in the host's uterus.
    - If the uterine implantation succeeds, the word "pregnancy" then applies.  The lifespan of this new entity could end at any moment but if it completes a successful gestation it will emerge from the host with a heartbeat.
    - Once it begins to breath, it becomes independent of the host. We call this biologically independent entity an infant, or baby or child and we call the host "mother".
    - It is at this point when it is viewed as a burdensome parasite by Republicans and is expected to get a job or go back to Mexico.

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:13:41 AM PDT

  •  I feel kinda sorry for your sister. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm glad she got the medical care she needed. I hope that she and her husband are able to have healthy children someday.

  •  When Does Life Begin? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    About 3.5 billion years ago.

    And, once it got started, it never quit.

  •  Ironically, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bonnybedlam, paulex

    I had a similar situation around 1970--except that I had what's called a "missed abortion", the medical term used when a fetus ceases to be viable but no miscarriage occurs.  Because this was diagnosed at what would have been the midpoint of my pregnancy, my OB-GYNs were reluctant to remove the fetus at that time: instead, they recommended  waiting until it deteriorated to where it could be more easily removed.  (Gross, I know, but it's a lot  worse to experience than to describe.)  In addition to intermittent bleeding, I needed weekly blood tests, as this condition can lower the  clotting factor in a woman's blood: these weekly absences from work almost cost me my job--even though I worked at a local hospital and used my lunch hour for the tests.  

    The OB-GYNs who treated me were a group of three doctors, all male.  When I had just about reached the breaking point, I was fortunate to see the one doctor in the group whose wife had also experienced a missed abortion: apparently surgery hadn't been an option for her, or she was further along than I was, because Dr. X told me that she had carried her fetus for 11 months!  I told him I was on the verge of losing my job and quite possibly my sanity, and he said he felt I was at a point where removing the fetal remains could be done safely and that he would arrange it as quickly as possible.  

    Due to the potential for blood loss, etc., the procedure was done in a hospital (fortunately I had health insurance), and I got my life back.  But if I had been treated at Planned Parenthood, I'm sure I would have been subject to the same harassment I've seen there locally (and everywhere on TV) far too many times.  After all, in the clinic-attackers' eyes any fetus--including one that's not only dead but rotting--trumps the life and health of any woman.   This is part of why I'm a feminist, a Democrat, a Planned Parenthood sustainer and have volunteered as a clinic escort.  Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court's gang of five just gave me another reason to fight.


    •  I'm so sorry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for your experience. That sounds just unbearable. And it's exactly why this whole debate is so horrible. It completely misses the point of--life.

      I hope you recovered quickly and went on to have exactly as many children as you want.

  •  Sorry, but this post doesn't (0+ / 0-)

    make any sense to me. The egg and sperm are alive, they join up and cells begin to divide, they--or it--are alive from the start. Saying it's not because miscarriages doesn't make any sense, either. It was alive, then a miscarriage or an ectopic implantation is removed, and now it's dead.

    Suggesting that it's not human is also kind of weird. What else would it be? It's not a tree or a cat or a fungus. It's a human zygote, of course, that if allowed, would become a human embryo, and so on. It's no less alive, and no less human. That's just science. Saying that it isn't doesn't help the case that I think you're trying to make (it's not totally clear), it just leads us down that political road that you also say you want to avoid.

    In your question of twins--where did the "other one" come from--I don't even know what that means. A zygote split, two individuals embryos formed, and when they grew brains they were different people. You know, because different people have different minds.

    This semi-random wad of word-gum only makes sense from a religious "it's human when it gets a soul" pov, but good luck proving when or if that happens. And since religion is the one unprovable "proof" missing here, I can't even figure out why you bothered to write and post this, let alone how it made the rec list. (Really, Kossacks?) If your thoughts have clarified any, or if you've read some biology since yesterday, please let me know.

  •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

    for what happened to your sister.  But I kept reading this, looking for something that might be proof that human life doesn't begin at conception.  There isn't anything like that here.

  •  How did this poorly written (0+ / 0-)

    idiotic mess make it to the recommended email?

    by Edward L Cote on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:05:26 PM PDT

  •  LOOK. Life has continued from ~4 billion yrs... (0+ / 0-)


    Once self-replicating molecules got started -- and on a global basis -- life never started again.

    Life CONTINUES through the replication process, whether that process be asexual or sexual.

    Life only DIES, it never starts from fresh.

    Now, it's true that a new dice roll starts when a new individual is resolved from a previous one or ones.

    But that's not a "beginning".

    Ugh. --UB.

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:46:27 PM PDT

  •  I can do better. (0+ / 0-)

    Identical twins are born when a single fertilized egg splits, sometime after arriving in the womb, into two. Did the Creator jam two homunculi, er, souls into one egg at fertilization?

    Likewise, it's possible for fraternal twins, very early in pregnancy, to fuse into a single, apparently normal individual. This may go entirely undetected unless the resulting child has to have its chromosomes examined. (It can, for example, produce individuals who have many or all of the physical traits associated with Down's syndrome but who are of normal IQ, since only half of the person's cells may carry the extra chromosome responsible for the condition.) What happens to the "extra" soul?

    Further, a developing fetus can sometimes be "resorbed"--essentially digested by the womb--spontaneously.

    The point is, we don't know at conception how many lives we're dealing with--so how can we say that life begins then?

  •  If you are looking for compassion don't look fo... (0+ / 0-)

    If you are looking for compassion don't look for a Christian

  •  Ectopic pregnancies (0+ / 0-)

    ARE pregnancies, in the medical sense.  They are in no medical way related to cancer.  They are dangerous and in almost all cases present a grave risk to the woman involved, with no viable chance of the zygote surviving.

    I think the author of this article is confusing emotion with technical terms.  Why does it matter if the word "pregnancy" is in the name of the term?

    My wife had a false pregnancy -- I do not remember the exact technical term -- but there was a placenta but nothing inside.  The doctor said that it was probably a fertilized egg that did not succeed for some reason.

    To my wife it was a baby, and she grieved for its loss.  I bet the author's sister grieved, too.  It is normal to do so, although it is fine not to grieve.  But calling it a cancer does not make anything better.

  •  life begins at conception (0+ / 0-)

    Clearly a sperm is a living being 'cos it swims around.  So life begins BEFORE conception.  

    Und zo... if we follow the logic of the "ProLife" crowd formed by [a] sincere boobies [b] Hypocritical Political Operatives and their followers, we have the following propositions:

    [1] all human life is sacred,
    [2] sperm is human life
    [3] we must protect all human life

    Therefore, ergo, by this logic we are compelled to make Big Government even Bigger, and to protect human life we must enact legislation to allow every sperm to fulfill its full potential, namely to become a living human being.  In a few years then we could fill the whole universe with the vast pulsating biomass emanating from Mother Earth, and enter into the Rapture. Wow !!!  Let's get to work !!!

    •  Life Begins BEFORE Conception (0+ / 0-)

      Clearly a sperm is a living being 'cos it swims around.  So life begins BEFORE conception.  

      Und zo... if we follow the logic of the "ProLife" crowd formed by [a] sincere boobies [b] Hypocritical Political Operatives and their followers, we have the following propositions:

      [1] all human life is sacred,
      [2] sperm is human life
      [3] we must protect all human life

      Therefore, ergo, by this logic we are compelled to make Big Government even Bigger, and to protect human life we must enact legislation to allow every sperm to fulfill its full potential, namely to become a living human being.  In a few years then we could fill the whole universe with the vast pulsating biomass emanating from Mother Earth, and enter into the Rapture. Wow !!!  Let's get to work !!!


  •  Another "false" pregnancy example: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Here's another one to add.

    Trophoblastic Disease or "Molar Pregnancies". Not long ago, thought to be so rare that they kept track of every reported case in the world. They didn't understand its cause. They have a better idea now. They are still rare, they are also considered to be a cause of some spontaneous abortions.

    When some of us were in Life Science class in High School, some of us wondered why, in an instant, two sperms couldn't break through and what would happen? We were told it can't happen. Well, it CAN, but mostly, the egg is destroyed and is washed away as a miscarriage. But, sometimes, it doesn't happen and the egg develops without either "Y" chromosome. It doesn't have a "X-X''s and an X-Y (for the Male), it's just missing. It can develop into a full fledged fetus, it can abort, but it is as close to a false pregnancy as a human can have. There is no limit to the abnormalities that one of these "pregnancy's" can have. They often grow into a giant MOLE inside the Uterus (Molar Pregnancy) which leads to a serious female cancer.

    They are very difficult to diagnose and if diagnosed, the only procedure is a "pregnancy termination" and usually, after tests, a complete and total hysterectomy.

    I know because my wife had one. It is a dreadful female cancer that can be extremely aggressive or you can be extremely lucky. Like my wife was.

    The RTL folks would be wanting to get between my wife's life and the life of an unviable fetus that is a group of blastocysts with no direction and no hope of ever developing in to anything.

    Operation Rescue: Rescue this.


  •  Ectopic pregnancies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My wife had two - one in each tube, which required surgery to remove and keep her alive! If these asshats had their way, one talented physicist (and musician) would no longer be alive! FWIW, we recently celebrated our 40th anniversary with over 100 of our friends... :-)

  •  Molar pregnancy (0+ / 0-)

    Ectopic pregnancies are usually normal and "human" fetuses, but outside the uterus,  They are capable of killing the mother due to bleeding, and almost never result in a healthy living child.  

    There are also "molar pregnancies" (also called hydatidiform mole) where the fertilized egg develops very abnormally.  No fetus, just a mass of cysts.  These are usually benign, but there is also a somewhat related cancerous version (luckily usually quite treatable) called choriocarcinoma.

    I have no idea which of these the author's sister had.

    Certainly a fertilized human egg is POTENTIALLY a human being, given no genetic errors too serious for survival, sufficient time in the uterus, and successful delivery.

    A human sperm is a POTENTIAL human being also, IF it fertilizes an egg, the combination implants properly, and then the above happens.  But then millions of sperm "abort" with every ejaculation, so, semantically and morally, it is a very complex issue indeed.

    •  complex, indeed... (0+ / 0-)

      and absolutist position about what IS or IS NOT moral with no attention to context is the most immoral of any position I can imagine.

      But then, that's just what I believe.

      Thanks for joining the dk conversation today.  

      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
      ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 04:33:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gauntlets and Medical Care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is there some type of gauntlet we can make men run through to get medical care so they can finally understand?  Any thoughts out there?  

  •  Some Eastern religions (0+ / 0-)

    believe that the soul doesn't enter until the 2nd trimester.
    The first 3 months it is soulless tissue.

  •  We really didn't need to hear this argument again. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Of course life does not begin at conception.  Life began several hundred million years ago and you can't produce life from nonliving things.  (Frankenstein is FICTION, y'all.)  The egg and sperm that unite to create a new organism are both alive.  End of story.

    Aside from that, can we please stop arguing about when an individual human life begins?  Legal abortion access is not about the humanity or individuality of an egg, sperm, zygote, embryo, or fetus.  It's about the humanity and individuality of the woman, including during the time she is pregnant.

    No other class of human being is expected to be a life-support machine for any human being, born or unborn.  If we instated laws requiring everyone to give up one kidney in their lifetimes and a pint of blood every two months, we'd find ourselves right smack in the middle of the Second Civil War, and deservedly so.  But people die every day because they can't get a kidney or a blood transfusion.  And yet the death of the "unborn baby" is the reason cited for not allowing women to assert our right to cease "donating" our uteri to any other party.

    We're supposed to think "unborn babies" are exactly the same as born people in all ways including morally and ethically.  And yet we would not put up with born people making the sorts of demands on our bodies that anti-choicers think we should allow "unborn people" to make.

    So let's start arguing from that angle--which some feminists have been asking us to do for years, starting with the book Breaking The Abortion Deadlock: From Choice to Consent.  Look it up on your favorite book-selling site.  It's out of print. Steal This Book is still in print but a book that argues for women's bodily autonomy has been ignored and we're still allowing anti-abortion people to frame this entire conversation.  Enough already.

  •  Conception is long... (0+ / 0-)

    Conception starts with the act of sex and ends with the birth of a little human.  There are a lot of things along the way that will change the end result. abortion or the dad jacking one out on the bathroom floor.  Randomly picking a magical point as if little sparkles pop out and shazam, you have a baby, is BS. I believe they all know it's BS.  The old question "Who do you carry out of a burning building, a little ten year old girl with a broken leg or that small freezer in the corner with 50 frozen embryos in it?"  Most will not answer the question, I thinks it because they really know the difference between a person and an embryo.

    Now, it they chose the freezer?  I wouldn't find the mother of the little girl guilty, if in her distress, beat the person with the freezer to death with a bat.

  •  God is the worse pro-choice dude (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jillf, paulex

    I once read (can't find the article) that in the late 90s there was a massive wave of miscarriages in early pregnancy.  

    They tried to figure out what caused this figure to jump, and the answer was this: women were NOT having more miscarriages then they used to, but rather the over-the-counter pregnancy tests had gotten so sophisticated that women were discovering thier state much earlier, and then reporting miscarriages to thier doctors.  Prior to these tests, these women would have just assumed that they were having a heavy period.

    As the article points out, there is a LOT that can go wrong after conception.  Heck, most women will generally wait until they start to show before they announce their news, since it is so possible that they might miscarry.

    On a personal note, I have met more women who have told me that they have miscarried then women who have told me that they had an abortion.  

    So it  looks like the dude that Hobby Lobby should really take thier agenda to is GOD.

  •  Great Story. The State sets much of the context. (0+ / 0-)

    I am grateful that American law and medicine still exist in a form that allowed your sister to continue to live.  I, too, am sorry for the mistreatment she received in so many ways.

    I defer greatly on this issue to the obstetricians and their close associates.  To quote Jesus:  "We speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen."  They have seen the details, and how helpful that they write so eloquently.  They should always be sought out to inform the discussion on this matter.  This diary has been exceptional in this regard.

    A parallel of state intervention in the lives of men is the military draft.  Freedom to choose is in great measure forfeited.  The man is trained to kill, regardless, in most cases, of his philosophy.  The needs of the State prevail over his personhood. He is exposed to the possibility, and too often the reality, of coming upon those he has killed, and finding them not to be the intended enemy.  The memory exists for life, sometimes unbearably.  He may be persecuted by fellow citizens who disagree with his actions.

    The Constitution provides a framework for perpetual peaceful argument.  The relative strength or desperation of the State can move the bar on many issues that involve death.  History records the harsh decisions that have been made in desperation.

    This diary is a testament to the relative peace we enjoy.  In other circumstances it could only be regarded as an enviable luxury.  We need to attend to a whole array of emerging threats to civilization, that our children might live in a world where they can celebrate the survival of their siblings.  Let's do it for them, and in memory of the soldiers for whom it is already over.  Learn. Work. Argue.  Vote.  Train.  Love.

  •  Using the tool of choice (0+ / 0-)

    of the so called christians, the bible, Leviticus clearly states that life begins with the first breath.

    For the christians to claim anything else is blasphemy.

  •  My thumb is human. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My thumb is not a person.

  •  Every cell is sacred. (0+ / 0-)

    Technically, every cell is a life.

    That's the sort of standard the fundies want us to use for a zygote.

    They're insane.

    Until the fetus is removed from the mother and breathing (even if the mother is already dead) it's not a life in anything other than a crazy sense.  And it's not sapient, not actually "human," until been breathing for several months.  The wiring in a human head is mostly unmyelinated (uninsulated) at birth. Most of tie brain is cross-wired and useless.  All that's operating are instinctive, basic animal functions. And not even as much of that as your average adult rodent has.

    Religion has no place in medicine or the law. The religious have proved that through millennia of abuse of actual humans.

    Time to put the freedom from religion back into freedom of religion.

  •  How do you define conception? Medically, a preg... (0+ / 0-)

    How do you define conception? Medically, a pregnancy begins when a fertlized ovum(zygote) becomes implanted in the uterus and becomes an embryo. This could be several days after fertilization. I would define that(implantation, not fertilization) as conception and that is probably the medical definition.

  •  The only sensible measure of when a clump of ce... (0+ / 0-)

    The only sensible measure of when a clump of cells is a human, is whether it can survive outside its host with no unusual medical intervention.

    So here's a thought: if a woman declines to serve as a host, the cells can be removed and implanted into a women's health clinic protester, chosen at random.

    The male protesters would be especially amusing, as they experienced what it's like to have their own lives imperiled by the growth of a clump of cells. Then we would see who REALLY believes their own bombastic blather and who is just prancing around shouting in a pathetic effort to control the lives of people they don't know.


  •  Trophoblastic Disease is not a new life (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, paulex

    One in three pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Tubal/ectopic pregnancies occur in 19.7 of 1000 pregnancies. After the egg is fertilized, there are a number of ways things can go dangerously wrong when the fertilized egg develops into a trophoblastic disease. One of these is called Hydatidiform Mole. There is no embryo, only a clump of cells forming a very abnormal "placenta". (Yes, the placenta comes from the fertilized egg.) Molar pregnancies can invade the uterus and even spread metastatically, often to the lungs. These can kill a woman. The Molar pregnaancy can  get more aggressive and deadly if the mole transforms into a rapidly growing, deadly choriocarcinoma. With trophoblastic diseases there never is a baby. I used to have to deal with a Catholic hospital that on occasion placed my patients in danger with their protocols about saving all pregnancies. This is what happens when religious beliefs from the dark ages trump science.

  •  Birth Control (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snwflk, paulex

    With the world population exploding, global warming, dwindling potable water supply, less arable land, etc., why are some people trying to limit birth control?  All human life is at stake no matter what your religious beliefs!

  •  Just one technical quibble (0+ / 0-)

    An ectopic pregnancy isn't generally a "cancer" or a "non-viable" pregnancy -- it's a pregnancy that would have carried to term just peachy damn keen if it had implanted in the uterus and not in a fallopian tube. I can understand framing it as not a "real" pregnancy, but the fact is that most of them are actual, genuine pregnancies with an embryo that is developing normally, up to the point where the tube can't stretch anymore and it ruptures, killing both the mother and the embryo.

    Now, molar pregnancies, those are genuinely possible cancer-causers.  They result from sperm fertilizing non-viable eggs, two sperm fertilizing one egg, or various other chromosomal accidents. They are never viable pregnancies, and never result in an embryo or a fetus, much less a baby. Untreated they can lead to a cancer called choriocarcinoma.

    And what's the treatment? Why, nothing less than "evacuating the uterus by uterine suction or by surgical curettage as soon as possible after diagnosis". That's right, friends and neighbors, ASPIRATION ABORTION. Horrors. The woman will test positive for pregnancy, her uterus will grow as per normal, but there's nothing in there except potential cancer.

    If the molar pregnancy makes it to the 4th or 5th month, the woman may start having bleeding. Usually a molar pregnancy is detected early by ultrasound, or is one of those fertilized eggs that's lost with the next menstrual cycle. But some aren't. And if it happens to a woman with no medical coverage, or who can't afford medical coverage, or who is diagnosed by a doctor who shrinks from all abortion, or is diagnosed at a hospital that won't perform an abortion on religious grounds....

    What do you think happens to her?

  •  Life began ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... probably only once, about 4 billion years ago, and that life has continued in unbroken process until it reached everything alive today.  The egg and the sperm are human life, haploid, admittedly, but undeniably of human ancestry.
    So, the egg and sperm are human life, the zygote is human life, the embryo is human life, the foetus is human life, and the human baby is human life.
    The soldiers that we go out and kill and die on the battlefield are human life, the civilians who die in air raids are human life, the millions who die every year of starvation and preventable or curable diseases are human life.
    Idiots, imbeciles, and morons are human life.  Freaks and the insane are human life. Murderers, and child molesters are human life.  Some folks even think Republicans are human life!

    Now whether all these, or any of these are "people" has been a matter of contention down through history.  For most of history and prehistory only ones own family or tribe were considered "people".  Strangers and foreigners could be killed or enslaved as chattel at will.  

    Human life is and always has been cheap and expendable.  Person-hood is a matter of social convenience, and decided by brute force.

    When there are no soldiers, when there is no death penalty, you can argue that human life is "sacred".  Until then, any such talk is just bullshit.

  •  Your emotion is obvious. Its clouding your logic. (0+ / 0-)

    Your emotion is obvious. Its clouding your logic.

  •  Life doesn't begin when sperm and egg unite (0+ / 0-)

    As someone that has had a miscarriage I know that life does not begin when sperm and egg mate , what  came out of me when I miscarried was a bloody mass of biological matter not a life, I was two months along when this happened and saw and held that bloody mass because I had to pick it up when it fell out of me and take it to the doctor to show him. So if as some claim life begins when sperm and egg unite why wasn't there a heart and a brain in that bloody mass? To have life you have to have a brain and heart but there was none in my bloody mass. I was told that I would never have children because I couldn't carry the biological matter that becomes a baby to term and I never had any children. So I will keep saying  there in no life when conception happens no matter what people say or think. Also according to the old Testament life does not begin until a breath is taken by a baby after it leaves the womb.


  •  An Invalid Argument (0+ / 0-)
    To put the rest of this response into context - I am areligious and a strong liberal.
    19 paragraphs and not one definition. What is life? To answer that I will use this definition:
    Life is a distinctive characteristic of a living organism apart from dead organism or non-living thing, as specifically distinguished by the capacity to grow, metabolize, respond (to stimuli), adapt, and reproduce.
    Using this, much of the points made are incorrect.

    Is a sperm or egg alive? No, neither can grow. It would be interesting to see if either metabolize food, but it isn't necessary for our purpose.

    Is a fertilized egg (hereafter "egg") alive? Certainly, it has all the characteristics of life. Any other conclusion is simply intellectually dishonest.

    Is an egg human life? For that, we need another definition. What is a human? The definition I will use is:

    A human is an organism whose DNA causes it to classified under the taxology of Homo Sapiens.
    An egg has the same 46 chromosomes as any other human, therefore it is a human.

    Miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, eggs that don't implant are all events that lead to the death of the egg. It you're going to claim that something isn't alive because it died then is seems to you're claiming that once something dies it was never alive to begin with. I mother died 2 years, but I, and everyone else, still considers her to have lived.

    This lifespan of an organism has no bearing on its having been alive up until its death.

    Is there something mysterious about twins? Of course not. The vast majority of organisms on earth reproduce by fission, splitting in two to form two organisms with identical DNA. Are the new organisms not alive?

    Many multicellular organisms reproduce by budding. A section of their body begins to grown into a bud which eventually breaks off, again into two organisms with identical DNA. Both of which are alive.

    I'm sorry about the poster's sister, but the events of her life have nothing to do with the original hypothesis. They simply give an emotional context to the errors of the argument.

    I see no basis to deny the hypothesis that life begins at conception.

    How we treat said organism, whether we grant it the rights of other humans, is a completely different question.

  •  When Human Life Starts (0+ / 0-)

    Since the Pro-RAPE crowd claims to use the Bible to base their belief let's consider when the Bible states that HUMAN Life begins.

    It is not at conception. If it were the Biblical/Hebrew punishment for causing a miscarriage would HAVE to be death - it would be a capital crime. Killing a person.

    In Exodus (21:22) when God was dictating law for the Hebrews through Moses this offense was treated as an optional commercial matter not a crime of ANY sort. Certainly not a CAPITAL CRIME.  If the Father objects he can ask for fine.

    Also, in Genesis when God fashioned Adam he declared him HUMAN when he had given him his breathe of life. This is why (as I understand it) that Judaic folks treat that point as the start of Human Life (or perhaps 8 days later when a male infant is circumcised.

  •  Life begins... (0+ / 0-)

    ...when the children leave home and the dog dies.

    Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you...Elsie de Wolfe

    by Hilltop Mama on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:28:13 AM PDT

  •  Life at Conception? (0+ / 0-)

    Lots of interesting and compelling arguments here.  I can't say exactly when I believe human life begins (from a legal perspective) but I would point out that embryologists tell me that more than 50% of fertilized eggs are simply non-viable due to chromosomal abnormalities.  Often those non-viable eggs/embryos die without the mother even knowing fertilization occurred; the rest of the time they result in an obvious miscarriage.

    The laws that would give human status to a fertilized egg therefore don't make sense to me.  They would give human status to something that more than half the time can never become a human being.

    My instinct is that abortion of a healthy fetus that can feel pain should be prohibited except when the mother's life is in danger.  I believe that's around 18-20 weeks, so I would support laws prohibiting abortion after that time provided there's an exception with respect to the mother's life.

    •  exceptions (0+ / 0-)

      The problem with limited exceptions like "When the mother's life is at risk" are that they are always too simplistic. What about a woman who just discovers she is pregnant in the third term? This happens. It doesn't matter how often, only that it happens. Should this woman be forced to give birth to a child who may have been the child of a rapist, or family member, or even just plain unplanned and unwanted? I knew a woman who did not realize she was pregnant until she was in labor, went to the doctor about stomach pains and was released a day later, babe in arms. (Not urban legend, this was really a personal friend.) The point is, it should always be between the woman and anyone she chooses to consult with, preferably a doctor. It is no one else's business thus there is no need to legislate further than to give women the right to choose at all times while the fetus is in utero. Sure, I could argue that, on the basis of cognizance, that personhood rights should be reserved until after the first year, during which time there is the greatest risk of infant morality by natural means. But I won't. As my opinion is that once the baby is breathing on its own, not sucking its mother's blood, then it deserves the rights of personhood, and if the mother really doesn't want it, then there should be a good and viable social safety net for the infant. However I can not argue that the rights of personhood should be granted any sooner than a fetus is ex utero. Until that time, the fetus is a parasite on the woman and thus she has the right to excise it if she so chooses. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it. (Unless, of course, someone makes an argument that is more compelling to me than the above. I have yet to hear such an argument, though, and I listen a lot.)

      Let's stop telling women what to do with their bodies, no matter how big, or old, the things growing inside of them are, OK? So no 20 week abortion bans. In fact I am surprised to hear someone suggest such a thing on Daily Kos. The 20 week ban is the wedge that hard right wingers are using to show their religious zealot constituents that they are doing something to save the lives of fetuses from the tyranny of mothers and doctors. So forgive me if I react a bit when I hear suggestions of a 20 week ban on abortions.

  •   A fetus is NOT a baby. Got that? (0+ / 0-)

    Things you will NEVER hear:

    Are you coming to our fetus shower?

    What are you going to name your fetus?

    "Hey there, fetus doll, let's go have a drink".

    We're going shopping for a new fetus stroller.

    Could you pick up some fetus powder while you're out?

    Fetus elephants are the cutest!

    He's just now losing his fetus teeth.

    (singing) Fetus, Fetus, where did our love go? ooooooo

    (singing) Oooo Fetus I love your way.. wanna be with night and day..

    (singing) Fetus come back, any kind of fool could see

    (Gun Nut Nuge "singing") Hey Fetus, tell me why you're hangin' 'round Ain't got time for kissin' I'm too busy messin' in this town.

    (singing) I want my Fetus Back, Fetus Back, Fetus Back Ribs..

    (singing) And kick them nasty thoughts, Fetus got back!

  •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

    Paulex:  Thank you for your testimony.  You expose the weak spot in all the religious ideologues' arguments about "morality": their refusal to realize that morals spring from the lives of individual human beings in all their complexity, not from the half-interpreted words of some "text" written by fallible authors at other times and for different cultures.  The more people who read and understand your sister's story, the more people who can find and act on their own human compassion.

  •  Life begins at (0+ / 0-)

    If you believe the bible,God said life began with the first breath he blew into Adam,not at conception of Adam.

  •  Limits on subjects of legal action. (0+ / 0-)

    We don't have laws about the destruction of grass or ants.  Why not?  I believe this is because such life forms are not considered members of society.  They make no claims on the social world, and it makes no demands on them.  Therefore laws cannot grant them rights nor require the exercise of responsibilities.  In this light, it is not sufficient justification for legal protection to claim a thing is human life.  You must also demonstrate that the living object can make a claim to citizenship, in the broad sense of that term, that is, as a member of society.  I will not argue in this debate whether or not embryos are sacred, just as I do not argue that gay marriage is a sacred sacrament peculiar to any spiritual tradition; only whether these entail legal rights.  My position is actually rather conservative in that it comes down on the side of limits on government intervention in purely private social relations.  Or, at least that is what I believe we should be debating.  

  •  Freedom is as Freedom does (0+ / 0-)

    We are supposed to be the leader in the world of a free society but sadly we are slowly and steadily regulating freedom out of our society.

    When does life begin? I do not know nor do I care.

    I do know that freedom above all else is what gives us the right to even ask that question and that same freedom allows each individual to accept their own answer and live by what they believe.

    It does not give them the right to force those beliefs onto others.

  •  Someone I know was pregnant with triplets (0+ / 0-)

    and they all died while still inside her.  She had to go to Planned Parenthood to have them removed because they couldn't do it in the hospital.  She had to suffer the same humiliating experience as the writer's sister.  It was one of the worst days of her life!

  •  Logic (0+ / 0-)

    No logic will prove what the person doesn't want to see. We have a problem with the climate deniers because of that. But I am glad you were able to convence yourself.

  •  ectopic pregnancy (0+ / 0-)

    does not disprove life. If it were possible for the implanted embryo to grow without killing the mother, it has just as much chance of being human as any other, but its location is fatal. It will not receive the necessary blood supply and will be under pressure as it expands. It must be removed to save the mother or both will die, but don't call it a cancer.  It is an embryo in the wrong place.

    If you want to show that not all conceptions are human beings, get a good gynecology textbook and look up teratomas.  A fertilized egg gone awry can implant and grow something consisting entirely of hair and teeth, or any other bizarre combination of tissues.  Most such errors are simply shed, however.

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