Implications of 'Abortion is Murder'

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Firstly, I'm sorry to start another abortion related thread but I once made a post about this and it didn't generate the discussion I was hoping for since people were already caught up in their own vitriolic arguments.

What I want to ask is that if we accept that life starts at conception and that a foetus is a seperate human being which, while dependent on the mother, is still deserving of human rights, wouldn't this have all sorts of implications? If abortion is murder, as many pro-lifers argue, could having a miscarriage be considered manslaughter? Suppose a woman has a miscarriage or a still birth, and blood tests reveal that she drank alcohol or smoked during her pregnancy. Could such negligence in her role as an incubator result in criminal persecution?

To carry that further, if a woman starved her infant child she would go to jail. But what if an ill-informed young woman sees her baby bump and, not realising she is pregnant, goes on a diet, resulting in serious complications for her child. Should she too be held criminally liable?

To me this is simply the implication of the pro-life argument, but it never seems to get discussed. Is this just a slippery-slope argument? Or is it the next logical step once you accept the premise that a foetus is a human being.

I think it might be a bit slippery-slopeish, but if we are going to make abortion literally the same as murder by legal definition, then it only makes sense to hash out what that makes all of those other types and causes of fetus death. It wouldn't make much sense without taking that into account.

But what I really wonder about is citizenship. People make this type of argument, that from conception the embryo is no different from a fully-grown human being, so why do we give out social security numbers at birth? If they want the fetus to legally be a person, then why do they make no steps to give them personhood? Why are names and citizenship only given at birth if from conception the being is not legally distinguishable from any other child? If we're going to treat them as people from the moment of conception, then we need to have a system that makes them people from the moment of conception. Otherwise it just doesn't make sense.

Why are you talking in the form of a hypothetical?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/24/america-pregnant-women-murder-charges
There are serious implications to that point of view, not just in regards to miscarriages and tenuous connections to their possible causes. It also makes IVF practically impossible as it would be deemed mass-murder, it makes some forms of contraception criminal, it puts rape victims in an even worse position and so on.

I think at worst it would be criminal negligence, not murder or manslaughter, unless some degree of intent could be proven (I think), which would be bizarre. Also, the conviction for going on the diet would be negligence at most, though I am not certain if that is an identical term legally. A bit too far down the slippery slope really, though that still doesn't justify the idea.

Edit- also, I'm pretty certain if fetuses were given full legal rights abortion would be manslaughter, though I could be wrong.

Edit2- In the above post I misused the term criminal negligence. It would in fact be negligent manslaughter, not criminally negligent homicide without an extreme amount of proof. I had thought that the term applied to a lesser charge when it is in fact a murder charge. Massive mistake on my part. It also is a different charge but only when there is no homicide involved, so it only applies in the last case.

Revnak:
I think at worst it would be criminal negligence, not murder or manslaughter, unless some degree of intent could be proven (I think), which would be bizarre. Also, the conviction for going on the diet would be negligence at most, though I am not certain if that is an identical term legally. A bit too far down the slippery slope really, though that still doesn't justify the idea.

Edit- also, I'm pretty certain if fetuses were given full legal rights abortion would be manslaughter, though I could be wrong.

I agree on most counts of miscarriage, especially the "OMG I'Z GAINING WEIGHT MUST DIET" example presented earlier.

But why do you think that abortion would be manslaughter instead of murder?

OT:

Lilani:
Why are names and citizenship only given at birth if from conception the being is not legally distinguishable from any other child? If we're going to treat them as people from the moment of conception, then we need to have a system that makes them people from the moment of conception. Otherwise it just doesn't make sense.

Because it's far less complicated and squishy to just wait until the baby is born to give it.... Oh, I see what you did there. :p

manic_depressive13:
To me this is simply the implication of the pro-life argument, but it never seems to get discussed. Is this just a slippery-slope argument? Or is it the next logical step once you accept the premise that a foetus is a human being.

As I recall, a slippery slope argument is not inherently a fallacy. It just needs to be used VERY carefully.

Also, you are correct. While I find myself being very ambivalent but leaning towards the "pro-life" side of things, it too has some distressing implications. Along the same vein, the instant you start talking about what the punishment a woman should receive for seeking/getting an abortion, people tend to not have an answer.

I get the slight feeling you posted this because of an argument on that other topic, which is why I feel like I should reply:

You are going at it from a purely practical standpoint. And I'll agree, changing the law to make abortion "illegal" would be absurd. Something that I never suggested, nor anyone sensible would ever suggest. Again, I believe we had a discussion about this in another topic.

However, my point is that just because it isn't practical, doesn't mean we shouldn't change our view on it, regardless of what the law says.

The law isn't there to tell us what's right and wrong.

In my opinion, abortion is something that doesn't quite bear the weight it should.
Eventhough I am not for changing the law to fit that viewpoint.

People are deciding over life and death. The only thing they seem to decide it upon is; MY career, MY body, MY situation.

SimpleThunda':

People are deciding over life and death. The only thing they seem to decide it upon is; MY career, MY body, MY situation.

And people make exactly the same decisions, with the same end result (baby doesn't get born) if they use contraception. Are condoms murder? Can I take a hot woman to court because she refused to sleep with me, and thus "murdered" our future offspring?

Batou667:

SimpleThunda':

People are deciding over life and death. The only thing they seem to decide it upon is; MY career, MY body, MY situation.

And people make exactly the same decisions, with the same end result (baby doesn't get born) if they use contraception. Are condoms murder? Can I take a hot woman to court because she refused to sleep with me, and thus "murdered" our future offspring?

Bullshit. It's about drawing a fucking line in the sand. It is always arbitrary to a certain extent. Their logic is that it is a genetically independent life form (though not in such words). The same can not be said of your sperm. Strawmanning the fuck out of your opposition is useless. Stahp.

Revnak:
Bullshit. It's about drawing a fucking line in the sand. It is always arbitrary to a certain extent. Their logic is that it is a genetically independent life form (though not in such words). The same can not be said of your sperm. Strawmanning the fuck out of your opposition is useless. Stahp.

Hehe. That was exactly my point: an arbitrary line in the sand. Conception is arbitrary, 12 weeks is arbitrary, 9 months is arbitrary.

Batou667:

Revnak:
Bullshit. It's about drawing a fucking line in the sand. It is always arbitrary to a certain extent. Their logic is that it is a genetically independent life form (though not in such words). The same can not be said of your sperm. Strawmanning the fuck out of your opposition is useless. Stahp.

Hehe. That was exactly my point: an arbitrary line in the sand. Conception is arbitrary, 12 weeks is arbitrary, 9 months is arbitrary.

Yet at some point a line must be drawn. You certainly understand that. We cannot go about without an answer to the question of when a person attains full human rights. And it is always arbitrary to an extent. One can debate the validity of any point that is chosen based upon qualities a human life form has at that given point. At conception they are genetically independent. Soon after they develop a functioning central nervous system. Latter a heart beat. Later they are physically independent. Later they develop the ability to crawl, walk, or speak. Soon they will read or do math. At some point we draw a line. One of these qualities pushes them from life to person. They choose a point that is ultimately wrong, not because it is arbitrary to one extent or another, as any point would be arbitrary and rights themselves are arbitrary as well, but because the quality they are talking about makes no sense to have be the starting point considering the qualities of the lifeform at that point. Even the dead are genetically independent. Cancer is genetically independent. They must possess more qualities of a person before we consider them to be such. That is the reason to be against their stance, not because of how arbitrary it is or how we can apply part of their reasoning to sperm or eggs.

Edit- fuck was that a long rant. I need to sleep.

Zen Toombs:

manic_depressive13:
To me this is simply the implication of the pro-life argument, but it never seems to get discussed. Is this just a slippery-slope argument? Or is it the next logical step once you accept the premise that a foetus is a human being.

As I recall, a slippery slope argument is not inherently a fallacy. It just needs to be used VERY carefully.

A slippery slope fallacy occurs when someone argues that "A will lead to B" without explaining or demonstrating the mechanism that explains why A will lead to B. Someone that argues that "A may lead to B" is not making the slippery slope fallacy, just a regular slippery slope argument.

As for the OP, yeah, one could make an argument that saying abortion is murder would also imply that certain forms of miscarriage should be seen as manslaughter, with the circumstances surrounding the miscarriage being the key factor.

For example:

manic_depressive13:
Suppose a woman has a miscarriage or a still birth, and blood tests reveal that she drank alcohol or smoked during her pregnancy. Could such negligence in her role as an incubator result in criminal persecution?

Probably. Avoiding alcohol and smoking during pregnancy is fairly common knowledge/advice. In fact, I suspect that the anti-abortion brigade would specifically include this in the hypothetical law.

manic_depressive13:
To carry that further, if a woman starved her infant child she would go to jail. But what if an ill-informed young woman sees her baby bump and, not realising she is pregnant, goes on a diet, resulting in serious complications for her child. Should she too be held criminally liable?

If the legal authorities could prove some kind of malicious intent, then yeah. If not, no.

Assuming the burden of proof lies on the accuser, of course.

EDIT: I have been corrected on this, so you can disregard this particular segment.

manic_depressive13:
To me this is simply the implication of the pro-life argument, but it never seems to get discussed. Is this just a slippery-slope argument? Or is it the next logical step once you accept the premise that a foetus is a human being?

It is a slippery slope argument for sure. Fallacious? That has yet to be determined.

In any case, I suspect we don't look at it this way for the same reason we don't scrutinize the logic of the people who argue that "abortion should be illegal except for rape, incest, and danger to the motherīs life" or the like: Because the only things we really talk about in these debates are whenether abortion should be illegal or not, and to what degrees.

Hjalmar Fryklund:

If the legal authorities could prove some kind of malicious intent, then yeah. If not, no.

Assuming the burden of proof lies on the accuser, of course.

Not necessarily, malicious intent doesn't need to be proven for manslaughter, just a degree of negligence in making sure you DONT accidentally kill another person. In the scenario of the diet situation the mother didnt take the steps needed to identify she was pregnant and in that ignorance killed (in the hypothetical that abortion == murder) another human being. I imagine a case could be made for proving criminal negligence leading to manslaughter. Indirectly your action killed another human being. I imagine this would be a complex case in court but with the given that abortion is murder it could be argued.

I use this argument a lot actually. If you give a zygote full human rights you have some issues. For example the medical oath requires a doctor to do everything in their power to save a human life. Did you know 60% of all zygotes NEVER implant to the uterus wall? They just fail. Conception technically occured. Ignoring the hilarious image of heaven being 60% babies who never made it to the uterus wall (how fucking boring to share heaven with those people?) surely a doctor would be liable if it was proven that the doctor didnt do EVERYTHING to ensure a successful pregnancy in a couple that asked for advice. Because for every failed attempt a human being dies. The same could be said for parents, is EVERY step taken to ensure it works properly? Because if they fail they killed another human being indirectly. Inaction leading to manslaughter.

Oh boy. This topic again?

Look, a line in the sand DOES need to be drawn (having an abortion in the final month is just plain wrong unless the mother's life is in danger).

But drawing the line at the moment of conception is not right and will cause more harm than good.

Sometimes the contraceptives fail and the couple isn't ready or able to provide for a child. Sometimes a woman gets pregnant from rape. Sometimes a woman is knocked up while she's unconscious. Sometimes the father dies and the woman loses her job/is crippled and will not be able to care for that child. You would make these people out to be murderers if they abort relatively early? If you do, you are pretty heartless.

In cases like this, it's probably for the best if the child is not born IF the pregnancy is in the early stages. If you abort early enough (let's say before the heart starts beating), then the child hasn't developed enough to be a person yet.

Furthermore-

Ugh, why am I even replying to this topic? We all know how it's going to go down. Neither side will give in, no one will be convinced, and all we will have is a pointless screaming match of "CHILD MURDERERS!!!!" and "MORONS!!!" going back and forth. I'm done, see ya.

*puts his hands up and leaves the topic*

BiscuitTrouser:

Hjalmar Fryklund:

If the legal authorities could prove some kind of malicious intent, then yeah. If not, no.

Assuming the burden of proof lies on the accuser, of course.

Not necessarily, malicious intent doesn't need to be proven for manslaughter, just a degree of negligence in making sure you DONT accidentally kill another person. In the scenario of the diet situation the mother didnt take the steps needed to identify she was pregnant and in that ignorance killed (in the hypothetical that abortion == murder) another human being. I imagine a case could be made for proving criminal negligence leading to manslaughter. Indirectly your action killed another human being. I imagine this would be a complex case in court but with the given that abortion is murder it could be argued.

So noted. Post amended.

I use this argument a lot actually. If you give a zygote full human rights you have some issues. For example the medical oath requires a doctor to do everything in their power to save a human life. Did you know 60% of all zygotes NEVER implant to the uterus wall? They just fail. Conception technically occured. Ignoring the hilarious image of heaven being 60% babies who never made it to the uterus wall (how fucking boring to share heaven with those people?) surely a doctor would be liable if it was proven that the doctor didnt do EVERYTHING to ensure a successful pregnancy in a couple that asked for advice. Because for every failed attempt a human being dies. The same could be said for parents, is EVERY step taken to ensure it works properly? Because if they fail they killed another human being indirectly. Inaction leading to manslaughter.

This is also a good point, but a doctor could probably get an expert witness (like a specialist nurse or another doctor) in order to get covered on that front. It would likely jack up medical costs though.

Oh, and thanks to you I now have a grotesque image of heaven being strewn with zygotes and fetuses (all without umbilical cords, I might add) all over the place. Just as I was about to eat. >_>

On a related note, someone recently did a study in the US about arrests of pregnant women, and found many who'd been arrested for things they wouldn't have been were they not pregnant. Can't find the link though.

manic_depressive13:
If abortion is murder, as many pro-lifers argue, could having a miscarriage be considered manslaughter?

No, because a woman doesn't have control over that function of her body. Assuming the miscarriage was natural and she didn't have someone take a baseball bat to her stomach.

Suppose a woman has a miscarriage or a still birth, and blood tests reveal that she drank alcohol or smoked during her pregnancy. Could such negligence in her role as an incubator result in criminal persecution?

Possibly. If she knew she was pregnant and still engaged in these behaviors, yes. But I'm pro-choice and I agree with having a law like this, so that's not necessarily an implication of "Abortion is murder".

But what if an ill-informed young woman sees her baby bump and, not realising she is pregnant, goes on a diet, resulting in serious complications for her child. Should she too be held criminally liable?

Bolded for emphasis. If she doesn't realize she's pregnant, and such an assumption would be considered reasonable given her circumstances, then no, she shouldn't be held criminally liable.

Revnak:
Bullshit. It's about drawing a fucking line in the sand. It is always arbitrary to a certain extent. Their logic is that it is a genetically independent life form (though not in such words). The same can not be said of your sperm. Strawmanning the fuck out of your opposition is useless. Stahp.

Every form of life is genetically different, but I've never seen people who drive a car being charged with multiple accounts of murder because of the mosquitos squashed on the windscreen.

The truth is the whole pro-life thing is just deeply hypocritical. It's custom-made to only apply to restricting pregnant women, and no other form of life, and worded to sound a lot less nefarious than its true motivation is.

Hjalmar Fryklund:

Zen Toombs:

manic_depressive13:
To me this is simply the implication of the pro-life argument, but it never seems to get discussed. Is this just a slippery-slope argument? Or is it the next logical step once you accept the premise that a foetus is a human being.

As I recall, a slippery slope argument is not inherently a fallacy. It just needs to be used VERY carefully.

A slippery slope fallacy occurs when someone argues that "A will lead to B" without explaining or demonstrating the mechanism that explains why A will lead to B. Someone that argues that "A may lead to B" is not making the slippery slope fallacy, just a regular slippery slope argument.

Woo, I was right! Thank you for the clarification.

thaluikhain:
On a related note, someone recently did a study in the US about arrests of pregnant women, and found many who'd been arrested for things they wouldn't have been were they not pregnant. Can't find the link though.

Could you try again to find the link for that? Because that's the opposite of what I would expect.

Zen Toombs:
quote="thaluikhain" post="528.398729.16321565"]On a related note, someone recently did a study in the US about arrests of pregnant women, and found many who'd been arrested for things they wouldn't have been were they not pregnant. Can't find the link though.

Could you try again to find the link for that? Because that's the opposite of what I would expect.[/quote]

A link to an blog post with links to the study and related stuff:

http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/on-pregnancy-police.html

thaluikhain:
-snip-

Thank you for the rapid response. That was an interesting and distressing article.

If we're going to charge women for manslaughter if they miscarry, how about every time you masturbate and those millions of sperm die in the process, you get charged for every single one? A manslaughter charge for every single sperm that dies.

Sounds fair. Doesn't it?

I think the slippery slope is not so much everything becomes murder, but much rather late term complications that force you to choose between mother and baby become much more difficult. I think there was a case a while back where an Indian woman died in Ireland because her baby miscarried and the doctors wouldn't do anything because late term abortions were illegal. So now suddenly if a complication arises, A) there is no one to treat you because it is illegal to provide the service, and B) assuming you can get treatment, there is probably a ton of red tape to make sure everything is legal so now a life or death situation resides on a desk jockey filling out a form.

manic_depressive13:

What I want to ask is that if we accept that life starts at conception and that a foetus is a seperate human being which, while dependent on the mother, is still deserving of human rights, wouldn't this have all sorts of implications? If abortion is murder, as many pro-lifers argue, could having a miscarriage be considered manslaughter? Suppose a woman has a miscarriage or a still birth, and blood tests reveal that she drank alcohol or smoked during her pregnancy. Could such negligence in her role as an incubator result in criminal persecution?

Here's one: What's the difference between an unborn baby and a pig? Is it contradictory to kill full conscious animals whilst insisting these blobs of semi-sentient meat live?

thaluikhain:
A link to an blog post with links to the study and related stuff:

http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/on-pregnancy-police.html

This... This... I find this to be one of the most disturbing things I have read in a long time.

- A woman in Utah gave birth to twins. When one was stillborn, she was arrested and charged with criminal homicide based on the claim that her decision to delay cesarean surgery was the cause of the stillbirth.

- After a hearing that lasted less than a day, a court issued an order requiring a critically-ill pregnant woman in Washington, D.C. to undergo cesarean surgery over her objections. Neither she nor her baby survived.

- A judge in Ohio kept a woman imprisoned to prevent her from having an abortion.

- A Louisiana woman was charged with murder and spent approximately a year in jail before her counsel was able to show that what was deemed a murder of a fetus or newborn was actually a miscarriage that resulted from medication given to her by a health care provider.

- In Texas, a pregnant woman who sometimes smoked marijuana to ease nausea and boost her appetite gave birth to healthy twins. She was arrested for delivery of a controlled substance to a minor.

- A doctor in Wisconsin had concerns about a woman's plans to have her birth attended by a midwife. As a result, a civil court order of protective custody for the woman's fetus was obtained. The order authorized the sheriff's department to take the woman into custody, transport her to a hospital, and subject her to involuntary testing and medical treatment.

OP: Reading the above article just moments before, I think your concerns are valid. At least in one particular country... If the zygote is given full human rights, then I suppose you would be held liable if anything goes wrong. I find that thought almost too disturbing to contemplate. But as a woman, I might be a bit biased.

bleys2487:
If we're going to charge women for manslaughter if they miscarry, how about every time you masturbate and those millions of sperm die in the process, you get charged for every single one? A manslaughter charge for every single sperm that dies.
Sounds fair. Doesn't it?

You misunderstand. That would be doing it all wrong. The objective is to bring all women under religious control. Women must be punished for sinning, and through that be discouraged from taking their own decisions, or thinking of themselves as individual human beings with a mind of their own. Men mustn't be targeted by such rules, after all, they're the superior sex, and they own all women, god said so himself.

Great care must be taken to wrap these rules in the correct rhetoric. If you forget to use cover-terms life 'protecting life', and just place a sign that says 'get back in the kitchen', even women will see through it in an instant. Great mastery shows itself in achieving control over women while those pesky guys who believe in silly ungodly things like freedom and human rights think it's about something else, like for instance, protecting clumps of cells.

Blablahb:

bleys2487:
If we're going to charge women for manslaughter if they miscarry, how about every time you masturbate and those millions of sperm die in the process, you get charged for every single one? A manslaughter charge for every single sperm that dies.
Sounds fair. Doesn't it?

You misunderstand. That would be doing it all wrong. The objective is to bring all women under religious control. Women must be punished for sinning, and through that be discouraged from taking their own decisions, or thinking of themselves as individual human beings with a mind of their own. Men mustn't be targeted by such rules, after all, they're the superior sex, and they own all women, god said so himself.

Great care must be taken to wrap these rules in the correct rhetoric. If you forget to use cover-terms life 'protecting life', and just place a sign that says 'get back in the kitchen', even women will see through it in an instant. Great mastery shows itself in achieving control over women while those pesky guys who believe in silly ungodly things like freedom and human rights think it's about something else, like for instance, protecting clumps of cells.

Thank you for showing me the error of my ways :PP I will dutifully return to the kitchen and hopefully will become a human incubator one day and have men choose everything for me, including my rights. Because, they as the superior gender know all. I mean, they know exactly what it's like to be pregnant and give birth!

(I'm obviously being sarcastic, but thanks for the laugh, sir :D)

Danny Ocean:

manic_depressive13:

What I want to ask is that if we accept that life starts at conception and that a foetus is a seperate human being which, while dependent on the mother, is still deserving of human rights, wouldn't this have all sorts of implications? If abortion is murder, as many pro-lifers argue, could having a miscarriage be considered manslaughter? Suppose a woman has a miscarriage or a still birth, and blood tests reveal that she drank alcohol or smoked during her pregnancy. Could such negligence in her role as an incubator result in criminal persecution?

Here's one: What's the difference between an unborn baby and a pig? Is it contradictory to kill full conscious animals whilst insisting these blobs of semi-sentient meat live?

As you said, the difference is that the pig is conscious and capable of feeling pain and emotion, which is why I don't eat meat. However, this argument usually just gets people attacking me for not seeing the difference between an animal and a human, and saying I'm a smug asshole trying to push my beliefs on people.

So I avoid it.

LetalisK:
Possibly. If she knew she was pregnant and still engaged in these behaviors, yes. But I'm pro-choice and I agree with having a law like this, so that's not necessarily an implication of "Abortion is murder".

Do you think such measure would be practical? We know that being exposed to a lot of second hand smoke can result in tests showing positive results for chemicals found in cigarettes in your urine, blood and saliva. So if a woman has a miscarriage, you think it should be possible for her to be persecuted based on such tenuous evidence? Perhaps she drank a glass of wine because she thought it would be harmless, and indeed there would be no way of ascertaining whether the wine even played a role in the miscarriage of her foetus. Surely such draconian measures would do nothing other than reduce women to incubation machines, where the slightest mistake or erroneus result on a blood test could reduce her to a criminal. As if losing a child isn't traumatic enough without people saying it was your fault and punishing you for it.

manic_depressive13:

So I avoid it.

It was one of the first things we did on one of my philosophy/socsci courses. The argument is very persuasive.

http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/phil1200,Spr07/singer.pdf

Williams- the idea of equality

Danny Ocean:

manic_depressive13:

So I avoid it.

It was one of the first things we did on one of my philosophy/socsci courses. The argument is very persuasive.

http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/phil1200,Spr07/singer.pdf

Williams- the idea of equality

Peter Singer is very controversial. The problem with using arguments like that is that people tend to reject them on a gut instinct and refuse to examine why the feel that way. If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me "Look, humans and animals can't be compared and if you don't understand that you're beyond help" I could probably buy myself a sandwich and some crisps from one of those relatively expensive places in the city. I just don't find it to be the best tactic to take when arguing about women's rights and abortion because it tends to derail almost entirely into a discussion about animal rights.

manic_depressive13:
I just don't find it to be the best tactic to take when arguing about women's rights and abortion because it tends to derail almost entirely into a discussion about animal rights.

Depends, ussually it does a fine job at exposing that those who are opposed to abortion don't care about women, or people other than themselves in general. That's pretty damning for their point of view, because it shows that what they name as an argument, that 'pro-life' rubbish can't be true; If they claim to care about unborn life, then how can they not care about other human beings? So their claim must be false.

That lack of empathy and judging what they don't understand is one of the easiest ways to attack the anti-abortion lobby, because it never fails, none of them know what they're talking about, save maybe one or two flagship rape victims who got bullied into having the child by their extremist religious surroundings and obeyed out of fear of being shunned, and then get dragged from rally to rally.

manic_depressive13:

LetalisK:
Possibly. If she knew she was pregnant and still engaged in these behaviors, yes. But I'm pro-choice and I agree with having a law like this, so that's not necessarily an implication of "Abortion is murder".

Do you think such measure would be practical? We know that being exposed to a lot of second hand smoke can result in tests showing positive results for chemicals found in cigarettes in your urine, blood and saliva. So if a woman has a miscarriage, you think it should be possible for her to be persecuted based on such tenuous evidence? Perhaps she drank a glass of wine because she thought it would be harmless, and indeed there would be no way of ascertaining whether the wine even played a role in the miscarriage of her foetus. Surely such draconian measures would do nothing other than reduce women to incubation machines, where the slightest mistake or erroneus result on a blood test could reduce her to a criminal. As if losing a child isn't traumatic enough without people saying it was your fault and punishing you for it.

Such a law would not be for the woman who drinks a glass of wine. Besides what you already mentioned, that the miscarriage from wine being unconvictable because of tenuous evidence, but a glass of wine is not going to hurt a fetus. The law would be intended for those that, for example, abuse drugs and/or alcohol while pregnant, which can not only be proven but is known to have severe adverse effects for the fetus both in development and for the rest of its life.

Batou667:

Hehe. That was exactly my point: an arbitrary line in the sand. Conception is arbitrary, 12 weeks is arbitrary, 9 months is arbitrary.

If you accept that all these lines are legally arbitrary, and there is no objective way we know of to determine the start of personhood, would the pragmatic thing to do not be choose the line we know isn't allowing people to kill babies?

tstorm823:

Batou667:

Hehe. That was exactly my point: an arbitrary line in the sand. Conception is arbitrary, 12 weeks is arbitrary, 9 months is arbitrary.

If you accept that all these lines are legally arbitrary, and there is no objective way we know of to determine the start of personhood, would the pragmatic thing to do not be choose the line we know isn't allowing people to kill babies?

That line is however just as arbitrary. Why not condemn someone for wasting spermatozoids? What line of distinguishes that?

I'm just saying.

Frission:

That line is however just as arbitrary. Why not condemn someone for wasting spermatozoids? What line of distinguishes that?

I'm just saying.

You're just saying silly things. A spermatoid isn't an organism.

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