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I'm just wondering because I've got the little Brown Book here by my bed here and I've looked and I've looked and somehow I just don't see that "Life Starts when the Sperm Meets the Egg" part...

(Scratches Head)...

I don't get it.

There are a whole lot of pages here.  A whole lot of different ideas.  I don't see that one.

Join me for a game of "Where's the Pro-Life Waldo?" Over the Flip.

So using I can search the entire book and get it in various different versions.

When I look up "Life" I get this.

Leviticus 17:14 New English Translation. For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.
it's also in Deuteronomy 12:
Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth like water.
And Genesis 9:
Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. 4“ Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
So there's a bit of consistency to this particular point.  in Biblical Terms: Life is Blood.

But when you talk about embryos all of this gets rather confusing because a basic just fertilized embryo Doesn't Contain any Blood

In the human embryo, the first site of blood formation is the yolk sac. Later in embryonic life, the liver becomes the most important red blood cell-forming organ, but it is soon succeeded by the bone marrow, which in adult life is the only source of both red blood cells and the granulocytes
So all that's a little strange because as I understand it blood doesn't begin to actually form in an embryo until about 14 weeks after gestation.  That's a long time after fertilization.

I even asked the question on Twitter and got an answer. Sort of.

Well, simply because an embryo isn't a child.  I asked about one thing he answered about something different.  A child can physically move and think and (eventually) walk and talk on their own as an independent sentient being. An embryo can't.  Not even a little bit.  Not even for short periods. It's not just a semantic difference, it's a big, huge, enormous biological difference.

It's like confusing an egg with a chicken.  They aren't the same. One might eventually become the other, but it's not like anyone would consider smashing an egg to be animal cruelty.

But the difference between the two is something that the Fundies don't seem to want to admit exists.

That difference requres - A Pregnancy.

Involving a Woman. With a Uterus.  And other sensitive woman parts.  And that woman, has rights.  And choices.  And decisions, and the FREEDOM to make those choices and decisons, because if she doens't she not free.  She's a vessel. She's chattel.  An object, not a person.

Without a Pregnancy, and a Woman to be Pregnant, you can't have an Abortion.  That's not me saying that, that's the American College of Obstetricians an Gynecologists saying that.

Although widespread, definitions that seek to establish fertilization as the beginning of pregnancy go against the long-standing view of the medical profession and decades of federal policy, articulated as recently as during the Bush administration. In fact, medical experts—notably the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)—agree that the establishment of a pregnancy takes several days and is not completed until a fertilized egg is implanted in the lining of the woman's uterus. (In fact, according to ACOG, the term "conception" properly means implantation.) A pregnancy is considered to be established only when the process of implantation is complete.
A fertilized egg - and we get plenty of them with Invetro Fertilization that are never used or implanted and I rarely ever hear "moral" objections to that fact - is not a baby.  Not even close.

Nor does the Bible in any way, consider the death or loss of an unborn and ungestated child to be "Murder".

There's Hosea 13:16.

Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.
In this verse it's God's Wrath to "dash the children to pieces" and to "rip open the pregnant women" with swords.   It really doesn't sound like God really, truly, seriously, hates the idea of dead. unborn. children.  He seems a bit alright with it. So that's not exactly as advertised.

And there there's Exodus 21:22...

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no mischief follows: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
Oh, so the punishment for causing a woman to miscarriage - and presumably lose their child - is to pay a fine to the husband. If the judges agree.  Yeah, that's just like the punishment for Murder.

This seems more like a negotiation. Like paying a debt.  Like you've taken property away from the Husband and now you're just settling on the price for that property., It's not at all like the other part of Exodus 20 which says..

“Thou shall not murder.
It really doesn't seem to me, and gee I could be wrong y'know, that the bible makes a direct correlation between the death of a unborn baby fertilized embryo, or a zygote, and Murder.  Cuz, it like, doesn't.

When it comes to actual "Murder" this is what the Bible says.

Leviticus 24:17 ESV / 97

“Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 20:13 ESV / 76

“You shall not murder.

Genesis 9:6 ESV / 75

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

Exodus 21:12 ESV / 72

“Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death.

Romans 12:19 ESV / 46

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Numbers 35:30-31 ESV

“If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

Numbers 35:31 ESV / 16

Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death.

So what we see, rather consistently, is that the Bible says that the punishment for Murder is Death - therefore one can not say that it similarly says that the punishment for ending a pregnancy - IS. DEATH.

Because it simply doesn't say that.  It says that's the start of a negotiation, not a trial potentially ending in Death requiring multiple witnesses.  One of these things is not like the other thing.

Now, I point this out not because I believe in abortion, or I like abortion, or I can't have enough abortion.  


I think contraception is a good way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and by extension, abortions.  I think comprehensive and accurate sex education also helps prevent unwanted and unexpected pregnancies and STD transmission.  I think pre-natal care is good at preventing complications during pregnancy and that easy access to child healthcare would go a long way reducing our ridiculous high infant mortality rate, and that improved and expanded options for adoption would also reduce the need or justifications for abortions - but then I rarely see or hear the anti-choice crowd saying much of anything about any of this except to OPPOSE IT ALL.


My point is this.  For those who have a honest "sincere" objection to abortion - the claim that that moral point of view can be found within the teachings of the Religion of Christianity is rather dubious based on the available evidence - which would be The Bible.

If you don't morally agree with abortion, if it truly and severely offends you as a practice - fine, I get that.  But I don't get that having that position is Justified as a Religious Right!

Because it's simply not a part of anything that Christianity is literally based on- which is supposed to be the Bible. But apparently, isn't.

Now, As i stated earlier the ACOG argues that Pregnancy begins at implantation, as has the American Medical Association.

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."[1] Similarly, the British Medical Association has defined an "established pregnancy" as beginning at implantation.[2] The legal definition in the United Kingdom is not clear.[3]
Hobby Lobby in their suit - as I have been informed by their supporters - did not seek to ban all forms of Contraception.  They repeatedly and very gleefully claim that we who do support the Right of a woman - or family - to make their own reproductive choices were making a mountain out of a molehill because Hobby Lobby's position wasn't against Condoms, and it wasn't against spermacides, and it wasn't even against the kinds of hormonal birth control that would prevent medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which Sandra Fluke discussed with congress. [Even if the SCOTUS has now "clarified" and says it decisions is actually against all 20 Approved Contraception Methods, not just the "Fatal Four"]

It would only prevent what they call "abortifacient" drugs and devices.

The problem is that "abortiafacient" is just some shit they made up just like their claim that "Life Begins at Conception" is somehow validated and confirmed within Biblican Scripture when it's just, plain, isn't.

The actual SCOTUS decision states this.

Nonexempt employers are generally required to provide coverage for the 20 contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Adminstration, including the 4 that may have the effect of preventing an already fertilized egg from developing any further by inhibiting its attachment to the uterus.
Just as an aside I wanted to mention one other "Abortifacient" method of Birth Control that Hobby Lobby neglected to object to in their case.

The Rhythm Method.

The rhythm method is believed to work by preventing fertilization from occurring. For this reason, pro-life advocates view the rhythm method as an acceptable form of contraception. The Catholic Church also condones this method because it doesn’t interfere with conception. However, in this week’s Journal of Medical Ethics , an author argues that the rhythm method could actually be responsible for many more embryonic deaths than some other contraceptive methods.

Professor Luc Bovens, of the London School of Economics and Political Science, uses several plausible assumptions to detail his case regarding the rhythm method’s role in embryonic deaths. He suggests that the rhythm method works not because it prevents conception, but because the embryos conceived have limited ability to survive. These embryos, conceived during the few days before or after the period of abstinence are more fragile than those created in the middle of the fertile period. The uterus is less hospitable to these embryos during this time period as well.

Call the cops, we've got a whole lot of embryo "murders" to prosecute out there.

It actually took me a little while - longer than I would have expected - to find the FDA list of 20 approved contraceptive methods, but I found them here.

In short based on this list, Hobby Lobby only objected to paying for Plan B, Ella and two versions of IUD which all would have the potential to prevent a fertilized egg from being implanted in the uteran wall.

And they, because they say they consider - for so-called "religious" reasons -  that "Life Begins at Conception" that it is their "sincere" belief that these drugs and devices are a form of Abortion not simply the prevention of an egg being fertilized which a condom, a diaphragm or a spermacide would provide.

But the Rythym method, like, isn't. Yeah, alright.

They are now arguing that they're just fine with "Basic Contraception" - they just don't want to have to pay for "Abortion by another name".

Except that in addition to the "Religious objection" being rather dubious their "moral objection" is rather questionable too since their own retirement benefits plan earns dividends from the very same "abortiafacient" drugs and tools that they now proclaim are religiously objectionable to them. Via Forbes.

In what just may be the most stunning example of hypocrisy in my lifetime, Mother Jones has uncovered numerous investments on the part of Hobby Lobby’s retirement fund in a wide variety of companies producing abortion and contraception related products.


Remarkably, the contraceptive devices and products that so offend the religious beliefs of this family are manufactured by the very companies in which Hobby Lobby holds a substantial stake via their employee 401(k) plan.

As I suspect many readers will find this as hard to believe and digest as I, the data can be confirmed by reviewing the company’s 2012 Annual Report of Employee Benefit Plan as filed with the Department of Labor.

They don't want to pay for "abortifacients" but they don't mind making MONEY from "abortificients".  Hmph. That's some very unique and flexible moral timber these people are made of. Yessiree.


There just happens to be a relatively simple solution to much this and that was - amazingly enough - provided by Justice Alito himself in the majority opinion.

(2) The Government has failed to satisfy RFRA’s least-restrictive-means standard.  HHS has not shown that it lacks other means of achieving its desired goal without imposing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion.  The Government could, e.g., assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives to women unable to obtain coverage due to their employers’ religious objections.  Or it  could extend the accommodation that HHS has already established for religious nonprofit organizations to non-profit employers with religious objections to the contraceptive mandate.  That accommodation does not impinge on the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs that providing insurance coverage for the contraceptives at issue here violates their religion and it still serves HHS’s stated interests.
Yet it occurs to me that this fairly simply solution would have to jump two hurdles.  The first would be that it would require an Executive Order by the President authorizing HHS to offer to pay for these additional 4 contraceptive choices on it's own, thereby removing the "moral burden" from Hobby Lobby and their co-plaintiffs.

So just a John Beohner and the GOP are talking about suing the President for his previous use of Executive Orderz and Presidential Privilege, the Right Wing Controlled SCOTUS specifically suggests that he add just one more E.O. to the pile?  

Sniff - uh - I think I smell a Rat.

The second problem is this, unlike the previously offered option the HHS gave to non-profit and full-on religious organizations such as churches and church owned and operated schools such as Georgetown, the core of the Hobby Lobby exception isn't just contraceptive drugs in general - it's with a subset of drugs which Hobby Lobby happens to consider to be - in their "religious opinion" - Chemical and Tool based ABORTION.

So if that's the case, how exactly does the Government offer to pay for "Abortion" without running smack dab head first into the Hyde Amendment which for decades has specifically banned the government from spending tax payer money on Abortion"?

In U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions with exceptions for incest and rape.[1] It is not a permanent law, rather it is a "rider" that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. It primarily affects Medicaid.
I'm just saying - I smell a pack of rats here - and they're swarming.


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Comment Preferences

  •  About 1 Foot Above the Text, Coming Out of the (8+ / 0-)

    mouth of the preacher or priest.

    Same place Jesus condemned abortion and gay marriage.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:49:36 AM PDT

  •  . (8+ / 0-)

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:58:58 AM PDT

  •  In fact, Catholic Church decided that a fetus has (9+ / 0-)

    soul at conception only in late 16th century. Before that canon lawyers thought that life does begin at conception but the soul is not infused into the fetus until quickening. Not that religious views of Catholics hundreds of years ago should matter all that much.

  •  Where in the Bble does is say "Make your dollars (6+ / 0-)

    off the slave labor on children in China?" Hobby Lobby's Holier than Thou attitude loses in the reality of their business practices.

  •  IIRC , its in the pages between (6+ / 0-)

    rules for keeping slaves and Jesus on how to pick a hand gun

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:18:47 AM PDT

  •  The OT declares that the spirit - rhea - does not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    belinda ridgewood, anon004

    enter the fetus until after conception.

    But obviously what the Bible says doesn't matter to the SCOTUS, it's what any nut job convinces himself it says.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:24:35 AM PDT

  •  A child is a person after one month (0+ / 0-)

    Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD. -- Numbers 3:15-16

  •  Can't prove shit! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What does it matter what a book of really bad fiction (Bible) says?  It's not even a good story, and the movie (sans thunder claps) sucks.

    We have proof the earth is more than 6,000 years old, we can prove that dinosaurs roamed the earth before humans - the Bible doesn't prove anything; it is the story of the fist that got away, embellished to hell and back.

  •  Tipped and rec'ed nt (0+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:41:55 AM PDT

  •  Well a sperm is alive and an egg is alive too. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Joieau, wintergreen8694, anon004

    Where does it stop? I don't care if a fundie births 22 children and has their own reality show. Don't impose your religious beliefs on me.

    Before Alito and Roberts, corporations weren't people and couldn't have religious beliefs. America is on a downward spiral, unless this ruling spurs Dems to work hard to win.

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 10:45:20 AM PDT

    •  Cancer cells are alive too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, FG

      All our vital cells are alive, and all the vital cells of every creature, plant, fungus and microbe. Might as well abandon all medical care that in any way harms individual cells - even cancer cells or bacteria.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 12:08:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course not (0+ / 0-)

    No one knew of eggs and sperm in JC's time.  Semen contained humoculi.  Look it up.  Little people.  Hence the entire incorrect concept.  LUewenhoek saw in first after he invented the microscope in the 1650's.  So these "biblical scholars" have made it all up to fit their desires.

  •  re: bible, try "breath of life" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ramblin engineer

    Here's a link that cites 16 bible verses about "Breath of Life".


    Genesis 2:7
    Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

    Job 33:4

    "The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

    - See more at:

    A google search returned this diary by OllieGarkey, Bible: Life begins at Breath, Not Conception.
  •  they're too stupid to realize their pastors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    lie to them and don't give a shit.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 11:42:26 AM PDT

  •  about half of fertilized eggs also never implant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vyan, wintergreen8694

    ever (and not because of birth control!) so...wouldn't that make god the biggest abortion doctor of them all? there's another question you could ask.

    you'll get one of the following answers though:

    1. it's a liberal lie made up by godless scientists
    2. it's "natural"
    3. you'll be ignored.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 11:47:18 AM PDT

  •  The bible is a hot mess of a book and (0+ / 0-)

    every time we try to apply it to today's issues, we get bogged down in a high pile of shit.

    Besides Jesus said that life doesn't begin until you die.

  •  Misreading (0+ / 0-)

    Misreading- or rather, selective reading.

    You actually found the right quotation: Exodus 21:22-23.  The Hebrew is:

    וְכִי יִנָּצוּ אֲנָשִׁים וְנָגְפוּ אִשָּׁה הָרָה וְיָצְאוּ יְלָדֶיהָ וְלֹא יִהְיֶה אָסוֹן עָנוֹשׁ יֵעָנֵשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁר יָשִׁית עָלָיו בַּעַל הָאִשָּׁה וְנָתַן בִּפְלִלִים. וְאִם אָסוֹן יִהְיֶה וְנָתַתָּה נֶפֶשׁ תַּחַת נָפֶשׁ
    The straight translation (this is mine- we'll cover other versions later):
    If men are fighting and hurt a pregnant woman, and her child comes out, and there will be no tragedy, he will surely be punished (fined- from context) as the woman's husband lays on him, and he will pay as the judges determine.  And if there will be a tragedy, he will pay life for life.
    Most modern translations of the Bible (the NRSV for example), and all Jewish commentaries, assume that the initial case is a miscarriage and the latter case is the woman's death.  That would imply that pregnancy has significance, but is not a human life.

    The King James, on the other hand, says:

    If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.  And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
    And the New King James Version, clarifying, gives:
    If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,
    That is, the first case is interpreted to be a viable birth, and the latter one a miscarriage.  In that case, a fetus is presumably equivalent to a human life.

    Being Jewish, I tend to find that interpretation lousy, but it is where they're getting it from, originally.

    •  I linked too (0+ / 0-)

      an entire host of interpretations of that verse, some include "miscarriage" and some do not.  Depending on which one you could say that they're being punished not for the miscarriage (and presumable death of an unborn) but merely for the inconvenience of causing a premature birth that has no other ill effects to either the woman or the baby.

      Sure, fine, but still then there isn't now isn't any verse in that version of the bible which address what does happen when someone else causes the death of an unborn - because in this case it's assumed that everyone lives.

      And you still have the versions which make the opposite assumption, that the child doesn't survive birth.  In  neither case is this treated as equivalent to "Murder" which is the core claim the fundies make.

    •  King James Version (0+ / 0-)

      doesn't make it clear that when "harm follows" and leads to the loss of life whether it's referring to the woman's life or the prematurely born baby.  In the first phrase they say "hurt a woman" and it's very well possible that a woman forced into premature labor could die in the process while the baby itself lives - which means the "life for life" portion could mean her life and not the babies just as much as it could mean the reverse.

      The KJV I linked to doesn't include that last bit, so it's not even consistent within that version.

      If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
      The reason is that it's considered part of the next verse which goes on..
      And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
      "Mischief" is a little more than just standing by a letting a miscarriage happen on it's own, that sounds like actively doing additional harm to me which puts us in an entirely different space.

      The New American Standard doesn't make that requirement...

      “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
      Again, this doesn't seem to indicate which person - because there are at least TWO - is the one injured.

      I mean it's not like Exodus considers Death to the punishment in all cases where life is lost as a result of someones action.  The life of a slave isn't treated as the same value as a free persons.

      “If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. 21“If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property.
      If you injure someone but don't kill them, there is no death penalty.
      “If men have a quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but remains in bed, 19if he gets up and walks around outside on his staff, then he who struck him shall go unpunished; he shall only pay for his loss of time, and shall take care of him until he is completely healed.
      But when it comes to punishing children - it's pretty much Death all the time.
      He who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

            16“He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.

            17“He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

      So I don't see a consistency that here that All Life from the Youngest to the Oldest has exactly the same value - quite the opposite actually.


  •  Kudos to SoCalSal (0+ / 0-)

    Excellent compilation of the "breath of life!"  Not that the Bible should be used to justify anything in an ostensibly secular society, but so-called christian pro-lifers put their fingers in their ears and sing, "la-la-la" when I remind them of these verses.
    The Bible is too self contradictory to be used to justify anything, even among believers - you would think that the US experience with slavery would have taught us that lesson!

    “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be." ― P.C. Hodgell, Seeker's Mask

    by ramblin engineer on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 06:24:33 AM PDT

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